Silent film masterpieces – The Impossible Voyage and others

Omnibus, Clapham Common, London

To this converted library in Clapham for Neil Bland’s Sound of Silents – an evening of unalloyed pleasure and revelation. Bland has been playing for silent films for 30 years and is a master of his art: urbane, eloquent, modest, humorous.

He gave us an evening of `shorts’, unknown to many of us including this, The Impossible Voyage by Frenchman George Melies (1904). In its invention and technical and theatrical wizardry it makes today’s cutting edge seem very timid by comparison. A Laurel & Hardy, `Liberty’, saw the two lads perilously dangling from girders high above ground, unbelievably defying gravity and balance to pull off one comic stunt after another.

If you ever hear of a Neil Bland event, don’t miss. Sheer heaven.

April 22, 2015