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The Power of the Press

Dir: Frank Capra

We are delighted to present a special screening of this rarely seen silent film with live musical accompaniment by The Devotional Ensemble.

Legendary director Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life, Mr Smith goes to Washington) began his career making comedy shorts in the 1920s. This was his tenth feature film and shows he was just as adept at fastpaced drama.

A 19 year-old Douglas Fairbanks Jr stars as a cub reporter for a city newspaper hoping for his big break. By accident he ends up reporting on the murder of the District Attorney and is drawn into a world of gangsters, femme fatales and political corruption. Harold Lloyd fans will recognise the delightful Jobyna Ralston as the heroine, but the scene-stealer here is Mildred Harris – a former child actress and the first of Charlie Chaplin’s teenage brides – in what was her last starring role before sound killed her career.

Print enthusiasts will be fascinated by the documentary-like sequence showing the newspaper being assembled and typeset then running through the presses. Everyone else will get the chance to enjoy a cracking comedy thriller by one of Hollywood’s great directors.

The Devotional Ensemble are a quartet featuring members of indie lo-fi combo Spare Snare, the ensemble has performed at many artists’ film and video screenings and they have been heard on BBC 6 Music's Freak Zone and BBC Radio Manchester.