Murder In The Cathedral (1952) – George Hoellering (BFI).

British cinema in the early 1950s appears to have been fond of experimenting with other art forms.  Powell and Pressburger were transplanting opera and dance into the form in their colour zoetrope Offenbach amalgamation, The Tales Of Hoffmann (1951) (and slightly earlier in The Red Shoes (1948)) whilst Laurence Olivier was continuing his melding of … Continue reading Murder In The Cathedral (1952) – George Hoellering (BFI).

Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).

A shifting sense of time, space, and place can bring huge advantages to fantastical works of fiction.  The feeling that time is a folded concept, repeating and resetting in a quasi-ritualistic ceremony of life adds a sheen of the monumental to even the smallest and most intimate of dramas.  This sheen is the absolute embodiment … Continue reading Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).

Classe Tous Risques (1960) – Claude Sautet (BFI)

In spite of working wearily outside of the French New Wave movement, Claude Sautet's debut feature, Classe Tous Risques (1960), cannot help but evoke the cinematic environment bursting forth around it.  While it may seem crass to spend time discussing more well known work in an article about a director whose work has been largely … Continue reading Classe Tous Risques (1960) – Claude Sautet (BFI)

The Stuart Hall Project – John Akomfrah (BFI).

From its opening declarations, John Akomfrah's documentary on Stuart Hall, The Stuart Hall Project (2013) explicitly acknowledges that it is going to be condensing fifty years of complex history and ideology into its relatively short running time.  Akomfrah achieves this in an unusual but extraordinary way by linking the ideas and history of the public … Continue reading The Stuart Hall Project – John Akomfrah (BFI).

Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

The notion of gothic is quite rightly taking over the BFI at the moment.  Their gothic season is looking set to be its most all encompassing and vast seasonal retrospective for some time.  The gothic tint has found its way into a number of avenues including its DVD range.  The Flipside label always seemed fit … Continue reading Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

This articles contains minor spoilers. Holding the record at the time for being the only play in the BBC Play For Today series to be repeated, James MacTaggart's Robin Redbreast has an aptly cult aura surrounding it.  First broadcast in the "spooky" slot (a December time tradition since Dickens' era) in 1970, it manages to … Continue reading Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).

M.R James' ghost stories seem almost tailor-made for television and radio.  They've taken on so many forms and guises over the years that, like their original forms read by the fireside at Christmas in Cambridge University, they have become a regular, traditional event.  Though their presence has been somewhat thin on the ground of late … Continue reading Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).