NEWS: He Who Gets Slapped @ Star And Shadow, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Silent film actor Lon Chaney was known as “The Man Of A Thousand Faces”, buried under heavy make-up as the Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame. One of his lesser known films, 1924’s He Who Gets Slapped (based on the Russian play of the same name) screens at the Star & Shadow Cinema on Sunday 11th January, part of their Resounding Silents film season, with a live score from local musicians.

In the film Chaney plays a circus clown, with only simple white make-up obscuring his oft-hidden features. His face still takes centre-stage however; his character’s act revolves around getting slapped repeatedly on stage by his fellow clowns (this, along with his decision to tape back his nose for his role as the Phantom, gives us the impression Chaney was a bit of a glutton for punishment). This was incidentally the first motion picture by fledgling Hollywood studio MGM… Leo the roaring lion began his career here.

Live musical accompaniment is provided by the Helictite ensemble, an enviable roll call of Newcastle’s finest world/jazz/folk/avant-garde musicians. The season continues through until March, with bands including Newcastle’s Noize Choir and turns from stars such as Buster Keaton, proving that silents really are golden.

He Who Gets Slapped screens at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle on Sunday 11th January.

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