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Old 21-06-2007, 13:42   #1
John Hodson
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The British Film Institute Thread

I posted the link to this piece - Times look bleak for the BFI - in the 'Hammer' thread (the trashing of the BFI's supposed restoration of 'Dracula' in the link below being particularly interesting) and it was suggested that the BFI could do with a thread all it's own...so here it is.

You might also like to read through the various posts at Film Archive Action, which says:

Film Archive Action is the website of the Custodes Lucis Group.

The Custodes Lucis (The Guardians Of Light) are campaigning against the changes being imposed on the National Film and Television Archive by its parent body, the British Film Institute.

These changes mean that the NFTVA will no longer be the national heritage moving image collection, but is being reduced to the status of a film library to be used by the BFI for its own purposes. Acquisition and preservation policies will be designed to suit the BFI's as yet undefined 'cultural plan'. The needs of researchers will be ignored: cataloguing the Archive's holdings in order to provide good documentation has already been reduced to virtually nothing. A third of the film technicians at the Archive's Conservation Centre were made redundant last year; the BFI has not yet replaced their work with any alternative procedures for conserving and preserving the films. This world-renowned collection is now threatened with destruction through ignorance and neglect.


Ooo-er...observations anyone?
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Old 21-06-2007, 17:58   #2
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BFI publishing lost its way a long time ago - very few must have books and seemingly content with the "top 10" format that did nothing sales wise. I understand much of the publishing arms' problems are down to the appointment of a new publisher a few years back, who to quote a book trade source "spent most of his time having expensive lunches rather than commissioning books". As a result sales were abysmal and new titles non-existent.

Re: the Dracula restoration - I can't find anything specific in either the Guardian piece or the Hammer thread about it's quality. Care to share on here?

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Old 21-06-2007, 18:03   #3
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Go to this link and scroll down the page to 'Dracula - The True Story' and you'll find:

...However, on May 15th, a press release was posted on the BFI website, headed “Dracula in Cannes”.... In it, Andrea Kalas, Senior Preservation Manager, BFI National Archive, in her Notes on the restoration of Dracula, said the following: “The restoration of what many fans call the best Hammer horror film required extensive research into reported censored scenes. Rumour and fact, not unlike the Dracula story itself, are intermingled. Our research into missing scenes led us to every conceivable resource from the vaults of Warner Bros to an archive in Japan. Scenes censored by the BBFC for the release of the UK version, but included in the US version, have been recovered. In addition, the US title, “Horror of Dracula”, had been attached to most theatrical and video releases.”

We all know that Dracula is a fantasy but surely no-one ever expected the British Film Institute to dream up such a fantastical press release. There is not a shred of truth in these assertions. The BFI did not restore the 1958 Hammer Dracula. This was done by Warner Bros. (the copyright owners) about six years ago, and was, by all accounts a very straightforward procedure, requiring no research, as the negative they worked from (of the American release version) was complete and in good condition. All the “BFI National Archive” did, in reality, was to have a laboratory in California add the British main titles to the American release picture, thus producing a hybrid that was never, ever in distribution. So much for the BFI’s policy of enhanced curatorial control. Such a decision – to create, in effect, a new work without clearly documenting the modification – would be anathema to any right-thinking archivist elsewhere in the world. In the BFI’s new fantasy land, though, it seems that anything goes...
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Old 21-06-2007, 20:06   #4
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It's a shame that Michael Brooke no longer posts on the Forums - he could offer an insider's point of view.
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Old 22-06-2007, 05:55   #5
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Since he's employed by them that might be career-limiting!
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:49   #6
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Arrow

4 years later thread BUMP!

Thinks to all those low priced BFI Blu's that I have picked up, my interest in the BFI has spiked and thinking of becoming a member.

Anyone else here a member?

If so what sort of films do they show in there, and what sort of time of day do they show:
Quote:
Two exclusive screenings each month - apply for up to two tickets, one of which is free

Quarterly film screenings or events with special guests - apply for up to two tickets.
With there Archive Tour- Rare opportunity to visit the BFI National Archive twice a year can you chose the time or is it a set time of year/day etc?

I work in the London Bridge/Waterloo area so I am within easy walking distance of the BFI Southbank/MAX to make the most of the above.

Also anyone subscribe to there Sight and Sound magazine?

Thanks in advance for any info/help.
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Old 03-03-2011, 19:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new View Post
Thinks to all those low priced BFI Blu's that I have picked up, my interest in the BFI has spiked and thinking of becoming a member.
Anyone else here a member?
If so what sort of films do they show in there, and what sort of time of day do they show:
With there Archive Tour- Rare opportunity to visit the BFI National Archive twice a year can you chose the time or is it a set time of year/day etc?
Also anyone subscribe to there Sight and Sound magazine?
Thanks in advance for any info/help.
I've been a member for several years. I don't go very often but there have been several great events (like the premiere of David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE followed by an interview with Lynch), and comprehensive seasons of director's work which enabled me to check out those rare Antonionis or Fellinis that I hadn't seen.
As for what they show and when, there's loads of info on the BFI website:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/
Why not just pop in and check out the book/video shop and mediatheque?
I'm off to see my favourite movie Walkabout this Saturday which is followed by an interview with Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and Nicolas Roeg.
I don't know about the archive I'm afraid.
Sight And Sound is on sale in W. H. Smiths if you don't want to commit to a subscription.
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Old 03-03-2011, 22:08   #8
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I used to be a member when I lived in London - didn't really take advantage of it as much as I should have though (bloody kids). They show a vast range of films so can't really tie it down to a particular type. Best thing I saw there was Alien in 70mm.

Also had a subscription to Sight and Sound in the past - it's a good magazine but it's not one you can read thoroughly without having major plot points revealed as they provide a full synopsis with each review. But it does have some good articles and interviews if you're looking for something a bit meatier (or less tainted by the need to lure advertising revenue) than the likes of Empire or Total Film. Nothing wrong with those mags if that's what you want but it's a BBC 4 vs BBC 3 situation. As above I'd definitely check it out with a couple of single issues before subscribing.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:45   #9
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Thanks for the info.

I have spent a number of afternoons before the Southbank (finally got to meet, speak to, get his autograph, and shake his hand Roger Moore there a few years back), so do kind of now what I could be letting myself into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies View Post
I'm off to see my favourite movie Walkabout this Saturday which is followed by an interview with Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and Nicolas Roeg.
I don't know about the archive I'm afraid.
Sight And Sound is on sale in W. H. Smiths if you don't want to commit to a subscription.
Is the Walkabout showing you are going to be the one at 20:30 at the Southbank on Saturday? If so is the interview with Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and Nicolas Roeg straight after the showing in the cinema its self or is this something separate you had to book?

Might be able to squeeze that one in if so.
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Old 04-03-2011, 18:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new View Post
Is the Walkabout showing you are going to be the one at 20:30 at the Southbank on Saturday? If so is the interview with Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg and Nicolas Roeg straight after the showing in the cinema its self or is this something separate you had to book?

Might be able to squeeze that one in if so.
The interview and the film are all one event.
There hasn't been quite as much demand for this event as I expected so please come along!
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Old 04-03-2011, 18:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies View Post
The interview and the film are all one event.
There hasn't been quite as much demand for this event as I expected so please come along!
Ill be there

Wife cant make up her mind, so will give her to 10pm, and then book either for just me or us both.

Wondering if its worth bring something along for Jenny to sign, if I wait around long enough afterwards

Last edited by new; 04-03-2011 at 18:57.
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:47   #12
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Smile

Little bump.

Well joined the BFI and did get to see Walkabout with Jenny and co. Jenny still looks .

Wife decided not to go and have looked at some of the films with a distinct lack of disinterest, so looks like Im going to be going solo to most of them.

Have a ticket to the April Screen Epiphanies on the 18th of April, but no idea who its going to be or what film they will choose yet.

Also booked a ticket to Nightmare Movies: Kim Newman & Mark Kermode in Conversation + Let's Scare Jessica to Death on April 29th at 8pm.
As I finish work at 3pm decided to plum for a ticket to the 4pm showing of True Grit as well

Also now a subscriber to Sight and Sound, excellent magazine
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:54   #13
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The British Film Institute Thread

I'd put up with Kermode for the chance to see Jessica on the big screen. Love Kim Newman too.
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Old 19-03-2011, 12:42   #14
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Excerpts from the Walkabout Q+A are up on the BFI website.

http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/600

Also this:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/599

"Aha!"
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:09   #15
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Have won two free tickets to see Butterfield 8 at the London BFI tonight (Wednesday, 3 Aug 20:45 NFT1) but cant go. If anyone wants them and can make it please let me know and Ill send them the details that will allow them to pick the tickets up at the box office.

Butterfield 8
Quote:
MGM insisted that Taylor fulfil her contractual obligations before making Cleopatra for Fox. The resulting animosity, and Taylor's vilification for her relationship with co-star and fourth husband Eddie Fisher, coloured her view of BUtterfield 8 (her verdict: 'piece of ******', scrawled in lipstick across a screening room mirror - a nod to the famous 'no sale' scene). The Academy disagreed and, after three successive Best Actress nominations, Taylor won for her mesmerising performance as lost soul Gloria Wandrous.

Director Daniel Mann
Cast Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher, Betty Field, Dina Merrill, Mildred Dunnock
Country USA
Year 1960
Running time 108min
Certificate 15

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