ALISON COLE writes: I was lucky enough to be at the premiere of the newly restored Hitchcock silent masterpiece The Ring (1927) last night (Saturday July 14th 2012), with a specially commissioned live score performed by Soweto Kinch and his band.
In the evocative music hall atmosphere of Hackney Empire, we were transported back to the Jazz age, to a melodrama focused on the boxing ring, a wedding ring and an arm bracelet – and a love triangle between up and coming contender Jack ‘one rounder’ sander, his girlfriend Mabel and his love rival, heavyweight champion Bob.
The irrepressible score brought out the quirky humour of the piece, the fun of the fairground setting, the drunken abandon of the party scenes, and the mounting tension and excitement of the genuinely enthralling fight scenes. Beautifully acted, vigorously accompanied, and shot through with Hitchcock’s humanity and wicked sense of the bizarre, it was an absolute treat. Soweto rightly received his standing ovation.
The Ring was restored by the BFI National Archive, presented by the BFI, and was part of the BFI’s wider project, The Genius of Hitchcock.