The University of Southampton
Great War: Unknown War

Silent Film Fortnight

Dawn (1928) Film Poster
Dawn (1928) Film Poster

Turner Sims in partnership with the University of Southampton’s Film and Music departments presents a three-part series focusing on the film heritage of the First World War. With introductions to each film, expert insights and guests, including two of the country’s leading silent film score performers, the series of screenings and talks will show the role cinema played in memorialising the war after the armistice, and reflect on cinema’s continued importance to our present day understanding of the conflict.

The Guns Of Loos (1928) 

Silent Film Screening with Live Music Accompaniment

Sunday 11th February 2018 3pm

Stephen Horne piano
Martin Pyne percussion

The Guns of Loos marked a bold new approach to depicting the war on screen. Previous British war films concentrated on highly detailed, documentary-style reconstructions of particular battles, with little attempt at drama or character.

For this film, the striking recreations of the conflict at Loos provide the backdrop to an intense psychological drama about a factory owner whose dictatorial manner and apparent nerves of steel quickly unravel when faced with the horrors of war. Combining strong performances with outstanding cinematography, the film received rave reviews on its release in 1928, with many critics declaring it the best war film ever made. Stephen Horne’s specially commissioned score was first performed in 2015 to mark the anniversary of the battle.

Ticket purchase required from the Turner Sims Box Office. Book Here

Dawn (1928) 

Silent Film Screening with Live Music Accompaniment

Tuesday 13th February 2018 7:30pm

One of the greatest British martyrs of World War I, Edith Cavell (1865-1915) was a distinguished nurse who moved to Brussels in 1907 to help establish an independent medical institution outside the control of the established churches. After war was declared in 1914 she became actively involved in helping to smuggle British fugitives out of Belgium, for which she was eventually caught, tried and sentenced to death. In the first of two adaptations of the Cavell story director Herbert Wilcox opted to stage the events primarily in the form of an atmospherically-shot suspense thriller, with Sybil Thorndike in the title role, one of her most memorable film appearances.

Composer and pianist Andrew Fisher leads an ensemble in an improvised performance to accompany the film.

FREE: Advance registration required. Book Here

Seminar Prior to Dawn - All welcome, free to attend

In collaboration with the Film Department's seminar series we are pleased to announce that two expert speakers will be presenting their thoughts relevant to the Dawn screening between 4-6pm at the University of Southampton. We hope that this will give a greater insight and depth to viewers of Dawn in the evening.

Stretchers, Screens and Cinema Day: How Medicine and Film Shaped Caregiving in the First World War’

Rebecca Harrison, University of Glasgow

‘“Patriotism is Not Enough”: Edith Cavell on Film’

Lawrence Napper, King's College London

Please download abstracts and the full Film Seminar Series programme below.

1918, At Home, At War 

Silent Film Screening with Live Music Accompaniment


Thursday 22nd February 7:30pm Neil Brand piano

Neil Brand, writer, composer, broadcaster (BBC4’s Sound of Cinema and Sound of Song) and World War I historian, uses the films, music and writings of the time to take his audience deeply into the experience of the serving soldier and his family at home 100 years ago. Battles, factory work, concert parties, cinema-going, the songs, laughter, highs and tragic lows of ordinary people spring to life through film, music and readings as Neil presents his unique vision of the century-old war and accompanies the films on the piano in his signature style.

Ticket purchase required from the Turner Sims Box Office. Book Here

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