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Dupont's work (…) offers an example of sheer cinematic skill which was seldom surpassed in Britain in the 1920s. From its opening shots PICCADILLY shows his exceptional visual sense - his use of camera movement, skill in intercutting and predilection for mirrors and shadows, glass and glossy surfaces. The result is an extreme opulence and filmic dynamism. (…)

In PICCADILLY Dupont shows himself to be fascinated by the Chinese femme fatale portrayed by Anna May Wong, whom he surrounds with decadent glamour. The differing atmospheres of nightclub dance floor and backroom scullery are neatly captured, the drunk-filled bars of Piccadilly have a real sleazy corruption, and the hero discovers a disconcerting world of oriental mystery when he ventures into Limehouse. Dupont's cinema is marked by his mastery of light and surface texture - the beauty of women's faces and bodies, the effect of smoke or shadow - all captured with an admirably fluid camera. (Roy Armes: A critical history of British cinema; Secker & Warburg, London 1968)


In 2003 the British Film Institute restored the delirious black and white spectacle of Jazz Age England with the support of Simon Hessel and ARTE France. Neil Brand composed a new score for a seven-piece jazz ensemble.

PICCADILLY centers on a declining nightclub in the bustling hub of Piccadilly, London. The club once awash with the rich and famous has fallen from favour and its acts are no longer pulling in the in crowds.

A novelty act is needed to save the Piccadilly club and a saviour is found in a former scullery girl Shosho (Anna May Wong) who becomes the talk of London with her exotic dance routines.

Obsessive jealousy and love emerges between the two female performers Mable (Gilda Gray) and Shosho for the affections of the club owner Valentine Wilmot (Jameson Thomas); a jealousy which leads to a fatal entanglement and violence. (BFI)


Neil Brand

2003 new score
  Ensemble (1 - 15 Musicians)    
flute, sax/flute, trumpet, trombone, percussion/drums, piano, bass
sync fps