Kiri Inglis, Marketing Executive at Picturehouse HQ, previews this week’s Discover Tuesdays title.
Make More Noise! Suffragettes In Silent Film
Directors: Various. UK 1899–1917. 75 mins.
“You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else, in fact you have to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under…” – Emmeline Pankhurst, 1913
Make More Noise! opens with women moving purposefully through throngs of bowler-hatted men. Their white Edwardian dresses contrast starkly with the black suits and heavy moustaches of the bemused and outraged crowds. The movements of all on screen are mechanically sped up as film whips round the reel, making the scene appear antiquated and bizarre.
The scenes that follow show slapstick sketches of nagging harridans, and of henpecked husbands lost in the tyranny and chaos that occur when women seize liberty and leave the housework undone. The women’s protest leads to a burning house and an apparently crumbling society. As punishment, they are forced to dress as men… in public!
Make More Noise! charts the politically charged comedy of the time with stars such as the anarchic Tilly Girls, and titles including Wife The Weaker Vessel. This archive compilation follows the suffragette movement through hunger strikes and countless dangerously heroic acts. The fight for their rights was slow and bloody. We see protest banners being held aloft that read ‘Mobilize Brains And Energy Of Women’: the women’s movement evolved through industry and war. From music-hall comedy to shocking newsreel footage, Make More Noise! is a visual essay in black and white – stories in monochrome that still resonate powerfully today.
The preceding video for Joanna Newsom’s Divers is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose latest film, Junun, is available now, exclusively from MUBI. Picturehouse Members can enjoy this release completely free as part of a 90-day MUBI trial. Join us!
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