At the 1900 Paris Exposition, visitors had their first taste of sound-cinema, thanks to the Phono-Cinema-Théâtre. This special pavilion featured current stars of theatre and variety, including Sarah Bernhardt in Hamlet and a can-can by Gabrielle Réjane – captured on film with original sound thanks to an ingenious gramophone system.
Following a century in obscurity, these startling short films – many of them in hand-tinted colour – have been restored by the Cinémathèque Française, and are screened here for the first time in the UK. The material without sound will be accompanied by a live trio led by pianist and arranger John Sweeney.
This premiere is presented by Flatpack Film Festival, which runs in venues across Birmingham from 20–30 March.
Presented by Flatpack Festival in partnership with The Barber Institute of Fine Arts & Cultural Engagement