Silence please for some of the best films ever made

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Yorkshire Silent Film Festival

May 8. Various venues countywide

Comedian Paul Merton will open the third Yorkshire Silent Film Festival at City Varieties, Leeds, on May 8.

A long-time fan of the great silent film clowns, Merton will present a night of slapstick comedy films featuring Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd accompanied by Neil Brand on piano.

“I’m thrilled beyond words to be presenting my favourite silent comedians – Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy, in some of the funniest films ever made. With live music provided by the brilliant Neil Brand, the evening promises to be a comic cavalcade of fantastic fun and laughter.”

Yorkshire Silent Film Festival is the UK’s largest celebration of silent film with live musical accompaniment and takes place in cinemas, theatres and community venues across the region. There are 40 events and each one will feature live musical performance by some of the world’s leading specialist film musicians.

This year’s festival takes place at Hebden Bridge, Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leyburn, Marsden, Scarborough, Settle, Sheffield, Thirsk, Ossett and York between May 8 and 27.

Hebden Bridge Picture House presents films on two separate days.

On Saturday May 12 (5pm) fans can see Louise Brooks in Beggars of Life (See photograph). In the film Brooks disguises herself as a man and goes on the run, train-hopping her way through 1920s America. It will be screened with a live harp score by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry.

The cinema throws open its doors again on Thursday May 24, for the brilliant Harold Lloyd movie Speedy

In it Lloyd chases through New York to save the last horse-drawn trolley car in the city. This film is accomopanied by Neil Brand on piano.

On Monday May 21,the Ukrainian Centre, Huddersfield, screens Professor Vanessa’s Performing Wonders (7pm).

The film reveals some uniquely weird and wonderful circus and variety performers of the past in Professor Vanessa’s special show celebrating the 250th birthday of circus in 2018.

Full programme and tickets ysff.co.uk