Salomé – Silent Film with live improvised organ accompaniment by Alexander Pott

a phantasmagoria of striking
images, unbridled sensuality,
and fearless storytelling  – Martin Turnbull

A rare screening of the remarkable 1922 film Salomé in the dramatic setting of the antechapel at Magdalen College.  The film is a spectacular adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde, one of Magdalen College’s most infamous alumni. The crazed King Herod is obsessed with his stepdaughter Salomé and grants her one wish in exchange for a dance of the seven veils. She uses this bargain to bring catastrophe upon Herod and fulfil her own fantasies through the execution of John the Baptist.

The film was directed and starred the Russian actress Alla Nazimova, and is considered one of the first art films produced in the United States. The film never achieved box office success as it was too risqué to be taken up by a major distributor, and rumours abounded that the entire cast were gay or bisexual in homage to Oscar Wilde. The costumes and sets were inspired by the illustrations of Wilde’s play made by Aubrey Beardsley, and the whole production exudes an extraordinary fin-de-siècle decadence.

Accompanied by the rich variety of colours on the new organ, by Alexander Pott, Assistant Organist at Magdalen College, this promises to be a memorable event for film aficionados and music-lovers alike.


Jul 09 2023


9:00 pm

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Magdalen College Chapel
Magdalen College