Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 303: Sun Oct 30

Stella Dallas (King, 1925): Barbican Cinema, 3pm


This special 35mm presentation is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills season. You can find all the details here.

Here is the Barbican introduction:
This is the story of a mother and daughter seen through the prism of class, artfully composed by Henry King in this poignant silent drama. Our heroine Stella (Belle Bennett) gets married ‘above her station’, as they say, to the debonair Stephen Dallas (Ronald Colman). Try as she might, Stella cannot quite fit in; her speech too unrefined, her clothes a shade too outlandish. Rejected by her peers, Stella is divorced and abandoned, while her daughter Laurel is raised in her father’s milieu.

Emotionally charged and totally captivating, Stella’s predicament tugs at your empathy: we see her point of view, but she never gets to win. Rather than being moulded in the image of good taste like Eliza Doolittle after her, class is immutable for Stella; this is her tragedy. What’s more, the scene in which Stella sees Laurel herself get married might be one of the most heart-breaking around.

Stephen Horne accompanies this screening with his original score, alongside Elizabeth-Jane Baldry on harp, which was first performed at the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema earlier this year. We’re thrilled to have Stephen and Elizabeth-Jane performing and journalist Pamela Hutchinson to introduce the screening.


Here (and above) is an extract.

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