The BFI’s blockbuster Gothic season is taking Britain to the dark of cinema

August 2013 – January 2014 TWITTER: #BFIGothic @BFI

GOTHIC: THE DARK HEART OF FILM is the BFI’s blockbuster project celebrating one of Britain’s biggest cultural exports, besides William Shakespeare of course, as revealed through four themes Monstrous, The Dark Arts, Haunted and Love is a Devil.

With over 150 titles and around 1000 screenings, plus DVD releases and a host of special events, Gothic celebrates the very British genius – rooted in literature and art – that gave rise to some of the most filmed characters in our on-screen history: Dracula, Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde. Gothic introduced the nation to sex, unleashing dark passions and breaking taboos along the way, circumventing what was acceptable to view on screen and then selling it to America – who imported the genre with true bloodlust.

• A four-month season of film, television and events ever to be held at BFI Southbank with special guests appearing on stage alongside exclusive previews including Roger Corman, George Romero, Jane Goldman and many more.
• The BFI Monster Weekend at the British Museum with outdoor screening of restored versions of Night of the Demon, Dracula and The Mummy (29/30/31 August).
• Working with The National Trust that will take us to some of the most historic places in the UK including Calke Abbey, Derbyshire and The Sticklebarn Pub in the Lake District.
• A partnership with Film4 celebrating cinema’s ‘Dark Arts’ over the Hallowe’en period.
• A return to Somerset House on 15 August with a special BFI talk by Jasper Sharp on ‘Asian Gothic and the Japanese Ghost Story’.
• The Edinburgh International Festival (9 August-1 September) presents composer Philip Glass’s magical reimagining of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 La Belle et la Bête.
• Working with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in conjunction with their ‘Witchcraft & Wicked Bodies’ exhibition, (27 July-3 November) and Filmhouse, Edinburgh which will be presenting a GOTHIC season of films and events.
• A major BFI Education programme inspiring a Gothic imagination in younger audiences, launching on Friday 13 September.
The Shining (1980) presented outdoors at Mapledurham House, Oxfordshire by Cult Screens (13 September).
• Nationwide BFI cinema releases of Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre – launching with Hallowe’en previews – and Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, released on 13 December.
• Eight new BFI DVD releases with DVD and Blu-ray premieres including the much-wanted BBC TV adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s Schalcken the Painter. For younger viewers there will be Bumps in the Night; three scary stories from The Children’s Film Foundation film library.
• The illustrated new BFI publication Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film.
• A Gothic double bill on 26 October at Cornerhouse Manchester.
• A partnership with Abertoir: Wales’ International Horror Festival (5 – 10 November)
• A partnership with Angels Fancy Dress, who supplied the Dracula cape for the launch, which Movie Talk’s Pete got to don (below).

1958 dracula cape

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