London Screen Archives explore the Alexandra Palace restoration project

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The LSA team recently got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Alexandra Palace East Wing as it undergoes a major restoration. This venue used to house a BBC studio and a Victorian theatre in that part of the building, and a project is currently underway to revive it. Today, Londoners would be more likely to use the venue for gigs or fireworks displays, but aside from restoring the wing to its former glory,  the new space will play host to events as well as a new multimedia visitor attraction, drawing on the building’s crucial role in the history of broadcasting and entertainment (the world’s first regular high-definition live TV service was beamed from here.)

The disrepair of the East Wing is down to a fire that claimed the Great Hall and most of the western part of the building in 1980 - the second unfortunate incident to strike the People’s Palace. Repairs took eight years, but although the fire left the East Wing mostly unharmed, it has never been fully restored. This new project, supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, London Borough of Haringey and public donations, aims to right that wrong.

You can see some archive footage of the "Ally Pally" below at the BFI and LSA sites, and you can read more about the project here.

Alexandra Palace in the 1927 film Canine Beauties (BFI)

What Future for Haringey? (1974, Bruce Castle Museum)

 

 

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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.

How will Brexit affect the British film industry?

As the nation stumbles into uncertain territory after the UK voted to leave the EU last week, every industry in the country is now sizing up what the impact will be in its area. The film exhibition and production industry is no different.

The Smoke Screen has gathered up some of the writing from around the web on how the films we see produced and exhibited on our screens might change if we truly do exit the EU as it is now. Buckle up, it largely isn't pretty...

Brexit will hurt British film sector warns industry survey- Screen Daily.

This is why Brexit is terrible news for UK film and TV industries - Metro.

What will Brexit mean for the UK TV industry?- Radio Times. 

Less cash, fewer movies, meltdown: how Brexit may affect British film- Guardian.

Comment

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.

Help London Screen Archives with their LocalEyes Community Cataloguing Project


The Film London London Screen Archives new community cataloguing tool, LocalEyes, has now launched. It gives you the chance to share your knowledge and memories about films held by the London’s Screen Archives network. Whether you recognise a person, place, know the date of a film, or have anything you’d like to share, you can join the discussion and help bring London's history on film to life. 

See here for more details; and you don't need to login or pay in any way, just click on the ‘Catalogue this Film’ button on a film page. Anything published helps to tell a bigger picture of London’s social history on film. Search for a film local to you, or by selecting one of the fifteen outer boroughs below who are part of the London: A Bigger Picture project, which is helping to preserve and enrich film collections across the capital.

 

Comment

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.

The Best Shakespeare on Film Events in London this season

This year marks 400 years since the Bard shuffled off this mortal coil, and there are a batch of film events around the capital to mark the date from April onwards, many being found at the BFI and Barbican and other cultural centres. THe entire project is part of Shakespeare Lives, organised by the British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign for their major global programme for 2016, with the BFI and  Film Hub London working in partnership with the BFI and the UK’s eight other film Hubs.

See below for some of the highlights, but the main place to look for the full menu is the BFI's Shakespeare on Film site. The BFI are boasting over 300 events across the country are planned, so don't expect the below list to be anything like comprehensive.

  • Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine in Conversation about Richard III following a screening of the film at the BFI.
  • Ian McKellan live talk on acting in Shakespeare in "Shakespeare on Stage, Screen and Elsewhere, with Ian McKellen"
  • Akira Kurosawa's Ran gets a 4k digital polish and re-release at the BFI throughout April, see the review here.
  • Henry V screening + Kenneth Branagh Q&A (Broadcast live to Cinemas). Taking place at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre, the Q&A and film will be beamed live to 70+ cinemas across the UK.
  • Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Film, a new compilation from the BFI National Archive. Screenings of this around the country will also feature different new scores by various artists.
  • Shakespeare’s Sister, an exploration of gender – both behind and in front of the camera – courtesy of Curzon. This discussion will include filmmakers, academics and the brains behind the Bechdel Test Fest.
Comment

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.

London due a Stanley Kubrick summer with a Barry Lyndon re-release and a new exhibition at Somerset House

Fans of director Stanley Kubrick (and that should be all of you) are in for a treat it seems this summer in London, with a series of Kubrickian events in the works. The BFI announced today that the legendary director's tenth feature film, the Oscar® and BAFTA-winning historical drama Barry Lyndon, will be back on big screens again this summer. It will be released by the BFI in cinemas across the UK from 29 July 2016.

In this adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel about the exploits of an 18th century Irish adventurer, Ryan O’Neal stars as Redmond Barry (later Barry Lyndon) and Marisa Berenson is Lady Lyndon. Among the great supporting cast are Patrick McGee, Hardy Krüger, Diana Koerner, Leon Vitali, Steven Berkoff, Murray Melvin and Leonard Rossiter.

The film is rightly acclaimed today for its stunning visuals. Kubrick went to incredible lengths in his research of the period in order to re-create it accurately. Inspired by painters such as Thomas Gainsborough and William Hogarth, the film has a beautiful, painterly look, enhanced by filming in natural or historically accurate light sources. Some scenes were lit only by candlelight, captured by the super-fast lenses of Oscar®-winning cinematographer John Alcott.

The re-release of Barry Lyndon also coincides with Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick in partnership with Canon, an original exhibition at Somerset House, London, running from 30 June – 29 August. A host of contemporary artists, filmmakers and musicians will showcase works inspired by Stanley Kubrick, curated by Mo’Wax and UNKLE founder, artist and DJ James Lavelle. Details and tickets can be found here.

Comment

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.