Open to the public and NFTS students alike, our programme of screenings at the BFI Southbank, London, is brought to you by the NFTS.
There's a screening most Monday evenings, and occasional Tuesday evenings and you can find out what's showing month by month by viewing the schedule below. Designed to give a continuous and comprehensive overview of every facet of cinema, from its beginnings to the present day, the programme showcases key films from the classic, mainstream and avant-garde of European, American and world cinema, mixing the familiar with the experimental and rediscovering forgotten gems. Guest speakers introduce each programme and there's often a lively discussion in the café after the film. For current ticket prices, reservations and further information, call the BFI Southbank box office on Tel 020 7928 3232 or visit the BFI website - www.bfi.org.uk. BFI Southbank: Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT.
Summer 2014 Programme
Hollywood Uncensored - A Parallel Universe
This is a season of films from the four-year period from 1930 to 1934, the early talkie era, when Hollywood productions, though ostensibly controlled and censored by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America association, enjoyed a golden period of freedom of expression. Worries about Hollywood morality, both on and off-screen, went back to the early 1920s, when ex-postmaster Will Hays was put in charge of the MPPDA. In 1930, a Production Code was drafted to control the licentiousness, but it was weakly administered and freely defied on issues both sexual and political. In 1934, things changed: moralists renewed their attack on the movies, studies set out to prove that they inspired immorality and illegality in the real world, and the Democrats’ New Deal government (ironically) threatened federal censorship. Hays appointed a censor, Joseph Breen, to become the overlord of morality on Hollywood screens for the next 20 years. In our season, we explore that singular four-year period when, as Thomas Doherty wrote in Pre-Code Hollywood, Hollywood films were “more unbridled, salacious, subversive, and just plain bizarre than what came afterwards; they look like Hollywood cinema but the moral terrain is so off-kilter they seem imported from a parallel universe”. (Part of the BFI and Sight & Sound Deep Focus season on Hollywood Babylon: Early Talkies Before the Censor). Richard Combs