BFI Southbank

2010 | Birds of Paradise

BFI Southbank presents some of the most visually compelling films made in America and Europe during the entire silent film period, highlighting the marvellous and the fantastic with such rarely screened gems as Albert Capellani’s The Red Lantern (1919), Jean Durand’s l’île d’amour (1927), Alexandre Volkoff’s Secrets of the East (1928), the recent restoration of Joë Francis’s La Revue des Revues (1927) including colour sequences and Cecil B. DeMille’s Male and Female (1919). All silent films in the programme will be accompanied by live music.


Male and Female

DeMille typically inserted into his modern-day narratives exotic episodes, so-called ‘visions’, that provided seductive fantasy escape and featured climactic costuming... More »

The Affairs of Anatol

Loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler’s ironic play about the affairs of a love-obsessed bachelor in fin-de-siècle Vienna, DeMille’s film is more of a spectacular sex comedy that reflects on Jazz Age morality... More »

The Red Lantern

At once an epic story and an atmospheric Chinoiserie fantasy, The Red Lantern was an ambitious vehicle for its producer, the American actress Alla Nazimova, who by 1919 was already a celebrated stage and screen star... More »


The cult status that Salomé enjoys today owes much to the outlandish, highly stylised sets and costumes à la Aubrey Beardsley... More »

La Revue des Revues

Beautifully restored in 2005 by Lobster Films with the Danish Film Institute, La Revue des Revues is a formidably audacious and colourful parade of sets, costumes and dances... More »

Moulin Rouge

Amidst the illuminations of the cafés, theatres and streets of Paris - shot on location and on lavishly constructed sets at Elstree studios - German director E.A. Dupont tells the story of Parysia: shimmering star of the Moulin Rouge... More »

The Island of Love

Xenia, the altruistic niece of an American millionaire, and Bicchi, a dashing country boy who is also the film’s proper pin-up. The directors are Gaumont’s veteran Jean Durand and his wife-collaborator Berthe Dagmar... More »

Secrets of the East

A big-budget Franco-German co-production, Volkoff’s “Luxusfilm” of the yearis an exquisite fantasy of an escape into the ‘Orient’, a theme which was still going strong in both European and Hollywood cinema in the late-1920s... More »

The Gossamer Wings of Early Cinema

The wings of costumed fantasy in early cinema are unfolding to new interpretations as today’s fashion film shorts take flight online. Showcasing an array of turn-of-the-century butterfly and serpentine dances, magical tricks and costume transformations... More »