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He Who Gets Slapped (12A*) + live music by Taz Modi

Silent Film and Live Music

He Who Gets Slapped

One of the strangest, most twisted films of the silent era, this is the story of a man who relives the greatest humiliation of his life, day after day, in front of a paying public.

Lon Chaney is Paul Beaumont, a young scientist who loses everything on one horrific day when his patron, the dastardly aristo Baron Regnard, steals his research… and his wife. Slapped in the face by the Baron, called a clown by his wife, Paul cracks.

The next time we see him it’s as a circus clown, known only as HE, whose popular act consists of being slapped, repeatedly, by other clowns. With each slap, Paul relives his personal and professional humiliation in front of a roaring crowd: where can this end?

An exploration of emotional masochism, this is a spine-tingly weird film: fans of David Lynch should book a ticket now.

Accompanied by composer and pianist Taz Modi and other to be announced.

US 1924 Dir Victor Sjostrom 90 min Silent 35mm presentation

* = Locally classified by The City of London Corporation

Please note: the 35mm film print we are screening from is subtitled in French

Presented in partnership with The London International Mime Festival


Taz Modi is a pianist and composer best known as a member of Submotion Orchestra, as well as being Matthew Halsall’s pianist. He has overseen live improvised soundtracks for films such as Jaromil Jires’ Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Green Man Festival), Věra Chytilová’s Daisies (Leeds International Film Festival) and Henryk Szaro’s Call of the Sea (Barbican/Kinoteka Film Festival).



Marion Davis isn't fooling anyone by pretending to be a boy

Long read: The Modern Silent

Enjoy scrolling through cat videos on social media? Silent film got there first. Silent London’s Pamela Hutchinson looks at the origins of silent cinema and the striking similarities to what we're watching now on our phones and on the big screen.

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