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Arnolfini - est 1961

Please note this is a programme change from Dans Les Mansardes de Paris (1926)

Directed by one of the most prolific and technically proficient filmmakers in cinema history, Julien Duvivier, was idolized by the likes of directors Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, and Orson Welles. Le Mystère de la tour Eiffel is very much Duvivier’s nod to passed adventure serials, particularly Louis Feuillade’s famous Fantômas, Les Vampires and Judex serials.

The film tells of the story of the Mironton Brothers who are part of a fairground attraction within the heart of Paris. During their time in Paris one of the brothers, Saturnin, is told he has inherited a huge fortune, very much to his comic partner’s annoyance. However, there is catch involving the formidable criminal organisation, Friends of the Antenna, who’s HQ is based within the structure of the Eiffel Tower. This crime organisation will do anything to keep Saturnin occupied long enough from him accessing his money by sending both the Mironton Brothers on impossible and wild adventures with countless traps and death defying stunts. The film concludes with a spectacular showdown on the actual structure of the famous Paris attraction.

Live musical accompaniment by John Sweeney. With special thanks to Lobster Films, Paris.

John Sweeney was born in New Zealand. He has worked in London for 25 years and is one of London’s favourite accompanists, composing and playing for silent film and accompanying ballet and contemporary classes. He has worked for many famous dance companies including Rambert Dance Company, Mark Baldwin Dance Company and LCDT. He currently accompanies class for the Richard Alston Dance Company. He is one of the world’s top silent film pianists and is a regular feature at the BFI Southbank, the Barbican and the major silent film festivals around the world. He is a founder member of the Kennington Bioscope.

This screening is part of Bristol Ideas’ #BristolFilm2021 Paris Season, in collaboration with South West Silents. It is presented as part of Opening Up the Magic Box, a heritage element of Film 2021 which marks the centenary of the death of Bristol-born film pioneer William Friese-Greene and the 125th anniversary of the first public cinema screening in Bristol, which took place at the Tivoli on 8 June 1896, as well as celebrating Bristol – a UNESCO City of Film since 2017.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Starring: Tramel, Régine Bouet, Gaston Jacquet, Jimmy Gaillard.