In Shanghai for various meetings but mainly for Shanghai International Film Festival at which there are seven UK films in competition, Tom Hooper's head of the jury and we're showing all nine Hitchcock silents recently restored by the British Film Institute. Tonight we threw a party in the lobby of the brand new Shanghai Film Museum which coincidentally officially opened yesterday. Nice atmosphere with speeches from the BFI's Amanda Nevill and others, then a surprise few words from Tom Hooper... and then in walked Helen Mirren. We thought she couldn't come, but great that she did, especially given her current Hitch connection: she plays his wife in the recent biopic, opposite Anthony Hopkins.
We then screened Blackmail (1929) in a cavernous hall. Strangely enough, I'd never seen it before. Two versions were shot: a silent and a talkie - his (and Britain's) first. We showed the silent, with live ambienty electronic music by FM3 which I think worked really well.