The Weekly Film Stuff List (4 - 10 August): Propaganda, see a 1914 era cinema programme, behind the scenes at Somerset House

View From Here: The British Council Film Collection 
(4 August – 24 September 2014)
British Council HQ, 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN (MAP LINK)

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 9.30–18.00
Saturday and Sunday: 12.00–16.00
Free of charge. No booking required

Opening this month, View From Here is a new interactive exhibition exploring the British Council's Film Collection. The Film Collection is made up of dozens of archive films that were commissioned to show 'the best of Britishness' in a bygone era. During the 1940s the British Council commissioned these 100 or so cultural propaganda films that covered all aspects of UK life. The idea was to distribute them all over the world,  so as to create a positive image of Britain as a pleasant place to live.

Tying in with the exhibition at their HQ,  the Council has put the entire Collection now online (you can see them here), and the new exhibition features original production materials as well as three newly-commissioned short films inspired by the Collection by filmmakers John Akomfrah, Mark Cousins and Penny Woolcock .

A brief history of the collection

A Night at the Cinema 1914

BFI Southbank until 10 August.

Commemorating the centenary of WWI, this event attempts to recreate the kind of cinema programme moviegoers would have seen in 1914. Using short films from the BFI Archive, the programme includes topical and newsreel items plus lighter comedy and drama. Viewers can see an episode of the legendary serial The Perils of Pauline, and an early outing for Charlie Chaplin. Some venues will have period-costumed ushers and other special features.

Both Picturehouses and the BFI are running this special programme in early August, and the picture house cinemas will continue in the spirit later in the year with a restoration of Stanley Kubrick’s WWI Kirk Douglas-starring epic PATHS OF GLORY showing on 7 September, and screenings of a restored version of the aerial war drama (and first ever Best Picture Oscar winner), WINGS, on 5 October.

Behind the Screen Season :Celebrating 10 years of Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Starting 7 August - 20 August

Somerset House.

Somerset House is already well established both as a filming location, and as the site for its summer outdoor screening season (see here for tickets). The Somerset House Behind the Screen season is pitched as a 'diverse and entertaining programme of talks, workshops and family activities to celebrate 10 years of Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House.'  The season is made up of screenings, special events and guests tied into this year’s film programme


Highlights include:

  • Talks from the directors of Nick Cave doc 20,000 Days on Earth, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard.
  • Richard Ayoade, director of The Double (reviewed here) discussing his film inspirations. 
  • A NARS Lead International Stylist discussing makeup secrets of Hollywood icons.
  • Film tours exploring the site of Somerset House, which has provided the location for many cinematic scenes.
  • 10 Years of Film4 Shorts.


Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.