ACMI and the Victorian Seniors Festival present
The Sentimental Bloke with live score by Jen Anderson and The Larrikins
A special presentation of this Australian silent era classic, presented live with a musical score by Jen Anderson and the Larrikins.
The pièce de résistance of Australian feature film-making from the silent era.
As part of the 2022 Victorian Seniors Festival, ACMI and the National Film and Sound Archive present the digitally restored version of the Australian classic silent film from 1919, The Sentimental Bloke, directed by Raymond Longford, one of the Australian silent era’s most prolific and successful film directors.
An adaptation of C.J. Dennis’ verse narrative of life set on the backstreets of inner Melbourne in the 1910s, The Sentimental Bloke is a tale of redemption, depicting the social rehabilitation, courtship and marriage of the titular ‘Bloke’, Bill (Arthur Tauchert) to his sweetheart, Doreen (Lottie Lyell). Lyell, an international star of the Australian silent era and a filmmaker in her own right, co-wrote and edited the film with Longford, her partner and key creative collaborator until her premature death in 1925, from tuberculosis. Lyell was 35. For the film, Longford and Lyell relocated the setting from Melbourne to Sydney, shooting on location in Woolloomooloo, which then enjoyed a well-earned reputation as a tough inner-city neighbourhood, as well as at Manly Beach and the Hornsby Valley (the orchard scene). Longford’s direction – Longford was himself an actor before becoming a director – elicited a remarkable naturalness from his talented cast, which also featured Gilbert Emery in the role of Ginger Mick.
A hit when it opened at Melbourne Town Hall on the 4th of October 1919, The Sentimental Bloke broke domestic box office records and screened to packed houses for some years. It subsequently disappeared without trace once ‘the talkies’ took over until the 1950s when it was rediscovered in a parliamentary library in Canberra.
The Sentimental Bloke will be presented in-cinema with a music score by Jen Anderson performed live by Jen Anderson and the Larrikins.
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Jen Anderson and the Larrikins
Jen Anderson was commissioned to write a score for The Sentimental Bloke for a newly struck print released by the National Film and Sound Archive in 1995 (to coincide with the International Centenary of Cinema) which she performed at the Astor Theatre in Melbourne with the folk-rock band Weddings Parties Anything. In 2004 the NFSA released a newly restored print containing four extra minutes of recently discovered footage and Jen was again invited to perform her musical score to accompany the film. She formed the Larrikins with Dave Evans and Dan Warner, and together they toured Australia and overseas, appearing at several prestigious screen events such as the London International Film Festival, Pordenone Silent film Festival (Italy), Telluride Film Festival (Colorado USA), and Tokyo Film Festival (Japan).
READ: The Sentimental Bloke turns 100: Australian silent film's enduring masterpiece
Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian, Fri 16 Aug 2018
READ: The Sentimental Bloke
Paul Byrne, Australian Screen: an NFSA website
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