Film: The Mark Of Zorro (1920)
TUESDAY 14 NOVEMBER - 8:00 PM
The Mark of Zorro is an uplifting escape adventure. Its thrills would be copied the world over throughout the rest of the history of cinema.
Fred Niblo’s The Mark of Zorro (1920) is classed as the world’s first action adventure film. Not only did it give birth to a genre, but it established a new persona for star Douglas Fairbanks. Just like Fairbank’s masked hero, the film catapulted him from standard film actor to one of Hollywood’s first superstars. Elements of the film and Fairbanks’ portrayal would later inspire Bob Kane’s most famous of heroes, Batman.
Set in Spanish California, Fairbanks portrays Don Diego Vega. He is a comically effete young nobleman with a taste for tasselled sombreros and juvenile silk-hanky magic tricks. But when danger calls, Diego swathes himself in black, straps on a well-honed sword and storms the countryside as the mysterious Zorro. He slices his initial into the faces of the ‘sentinels of oppression’. Diego’s bold alter-ego gives him the courage he usually lacks to romance the woman of his dreams (Marguerite De La Motte).
This special screening is co-produced by Turner Sims with Southampton Film Week in partnership with South West Silents. Live musical accompaniment comes from pianist Meg Morley and drummer Emiliano Caroselli.
Meg Morely is an Australian-born, UK-based pianist, composer and improviser. Meg creates music within diverse artistic genres (silent film, contemporary dance and ballet, solo piano, contemporary jazz ensembles and electronic music). Classically-trained from the age of two, Meg has worked with various dance companies (English National Ballet, Rambert Company, Matthew Bourne, Pina Bausch). She performs and composes for international film festivals and institutions (BFI, Nederlands Silent Film Festival, Kino Lorber). She recently released a second album with Meg Morley Trio (Richard Sadler on bass, Emiliano Caroselli on drums) who have also recorded and toured her original scores for silent film.