If there's ever been proof of Charles Dickens' long-lasting influence upon film, the BFI's series of pre-1914 short films is it. Dating all the way back to 1901, cinema has been forever besotted by Dickens' work, from the author's grand sweeps across society to his small indoor scenes of poverty-stricken people keeping warm by expensive fires.
Oh yes, there've been a lot of Dickens movies over the years. It's a sign in itself that tonight's set of screenings is the second anthology of silent shorts put together by the BFI. Add that to the fact that A Christmas Carol appears frequently in both line-ups and you know what you get? Sick and tired of watching A flipping Christmas Carol.
Fortunately, you also get fascinated by a compilation of old creations that you wouldn't see at any other point in your life. Chief of which is the newly discovered 1901 movie, The Death of Poor Joe, the oldest surviving Dickens film, which will be screened as part of tonight's event. (You can listen to Michael Eaton's discussion of the film's significance at the premiere here.)