2010 | Birds of Paradise

The Barbican programme explores the hypnotising allure of film costume, as worn by the diva, the showgirl and the dancing fairies and spectres of the silent era. Highlights include the screenings of Nino Oxilia’s Italian masterpiece Rapsodica Satanica (1915/1917) featuring one of Italy’s original film divas Lyda Borelli, Germaine Dulac’s Orientalist film La Princesse Mandane (1928) and Michael Curtiz’s Red Heels (1925). All of these magnificent European silent films are rarely screened in the UK.



La Princesse Mandane

La Princesse Mandane is a rarely screened commercial feature by an outspoken feminist director who is better known for her avant-garde work. Its brazen embrace of fashionable costume and glamorisation techniques may surprise some of Dulac’s fans... More »

Dreams of Darkness and Colour

This programme explores the role of costume in several silent cinema journeys into darkness, many of which are executed in colour... More »

Michael Curtiz Double Bill

The programme concludes with two silent films directed by the Hungarian director Michael Curtiz (then Mihaly Kertesz) of Casablanca fame and co-produced by the Viennese company Sasha-Film. Both cast his then-wife, the French actress Lili Damita... More »