In this concluding year of LDSM's commemoration of WW1, we mark not only the turbulent historic events that took place as the map of Europe was redrawn, but how peacetime brought about a different mood, with this rare screening of what is often held to be the first anti-war film. It became the top-grossing film of 1921, and at one point it was said to be the highest-grossing film of all time, until Gone with the Wind's release in 1939. It turned the then-little-known actor Rudolph Valentino into a superstar and as the first film featuring the tango, was responsible for a dance craze.
For this LDSM screening there will be a live improvised organ accompaniment by Darius Battiwalla, an expert in this field: last December theartsdesk.com wrote of his improvised score to The Phantom of the Opera "Improvisation extraordinaire: remarkable resources of organ and player bring a classic silent film to life... Playing continuously for 90 minutes would be a challenge for anyone, and to synchronise it with the action of a film while building coherent musical structures out of the player's mind is a tour-de-force. It was a real multi-media achievement."