The BFI London Film Festival has announced that its Archive Gala screening will be the world premiere of a new restoration of Anthony Asquith’s “Shooting Stars” (1928). Asquith’s first film as co-director and scriptwriter, “Stars” is set behind the scenes at a contemporary film studio. Newly restored by the BFI National Archive, the film will be presented with a new live score by BAFTA and Emmy award-winning composer John Altman.
Annette Benson and Brian Aherne play two mismatched, married stars, with Donald Calthrop (Andy Wilkes) as a Chaplin-esque star at the same studio, with whom Mae becomes romantically involved. Chili Bouchier, Britain’s first sex symbol of the silent era, plays a key role as an actress/bathing beauty, an attractive foil to the comic antics of the comedian. The film manages to operate as both a modern morality tale and a critique of the film industry and a celebration of its possibilities.
“We are delighted to be showcasing this remarkable film in a brilliant new restoration achieved after months of work from our dedicated teams at the BFI,” said Robin Baker, Head Curator at the BFI National Archive said. “‘Shooting Stars’ is a fascinating debut from one of Britain’s greatest filmmakers and to see it with a newly commissioned score performed live in the Art Deco splendour of the Odeon Leicester Square promises to be a very special experience.”
The event will be held on Friday, October 16 at the Odeon Leicester Square.