Last night we had our first screening of a Silent Film at St John's with improvised accompaniment from St John's Organist Nick Miller on Betty, our recently restored 1865 Grade II* Listed Organ. The event was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of Betty's restoration. The Passion of Joan of Arc is a 1928 film originally commissioned by the Société Générale des Films, who invited Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer to make the film based on the actual records from Joan's trial. Though originally suffering from much censorship we showed a copy from what is believed to be the director's original version, found in cupboard in a mental institution in Oslo in 1981.
Nick's improvisation on the organ gave great depth to the already incredible performance of Renée Falconetti as Joan of Arc. The successful evening sets the scene for our next silent film screening of a slightly more light hearted film, City Lights with Charlie Chaplin, scheduled for 14th October