The Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) is situated within the BFI’s South Bank complex, promoting British film and television culture. Established in 1988, MOMI charts the development of moving images from pre-cinema experiments in photographic projection and optical illusion to today’s industrialized and commercialized film and television production and exhibition systems. The chronological journey through history is supported with ... Read More »

Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones (1912-2002) Chuck Jones is an American motion-picture animator, writer, director, and producer, known for his work on many classic animated films. Charles Martin Jones was born in Spokane, Washington. He moved to California when he was a child and at the age of 15 enrolled in the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. After graduation, he worked at ... Read More »

Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson (Schere, Roy, Jr.) (1925-1985) As the independent movie Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (1992) argues, Hudson’s career represents a telling lie embedded within American culture. Tall, handsome Hudson romanced Doris Day in sitcoms writ large, while other romantic roles made him a popular male actor in film and television. At the same time, his secret identity was known to ... Read More »

Sean Connery

One of the few British actors who can sell a film on name alone, Sean Connery was born Thomas Connery in Fountainbridge, a working-class suburb of Edinburgh. Always identified with the role of James Bond, his career began in British B-Movies in the 1950s, and it was not until David Niven refused the role of Bond in Dr No (1962) ... Read More »

Avant-garde Cinema

The British avant-garde film movement surfaced in the late 1960s when it was stimulated by the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative (LFMC) and by American influences such as Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol. Key figures in Britain included Steve Dwoskin, Andy Meyer, David Curtis, Peter Gidal, Malcolm Le Grice and Annabel Nicolson. Instead of using the term ‘avantgarde’, they chose ... Read More »

Saint Louis Blues

Saint Louis Blues (1929), a two-reel short written by William C. Handy and Kenneth W. Adams, was one of the first talking films with an all-black cast. It featured several influential actors and musicians of the Harlem Renaissance and contains the only existing footage of the singer Bessie Smith. The plot of the film, which Handy described as “a serious ... Read More »

Film Music

Though the first cinema films had no sound track, the early picture palaces were not silent. To blot out noise from the projector and the audience and also to create atmosphere, a piano, organ or band, sometimes with many instrumentalists, nearly always provided music. The music was often extemporized or adapted from a stock repertory, but was sometimes composed specially ... Read More »

Pinewood Studios

Located twenty miles west of London and named after the pine trees in the grounds, Pinewood has been at the heart of both British and international film production. The property, Heatherden Hall, was bought by Charles Boot in 1934, and he and J. Arthur Rank became partners in the project to build the studios. Pinewood proved groundbreaking in its use ... Read More »

Film Awards

British awards are conferred by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), British Film Institute Awards, Evening Standard British Film Awards, and London Film Critics Circle Awards. BAFTA awarded twenty of its top thirty awards (Best Film, Best Actress and Best Actor each year) to British talents in the 1990s. Since 1960, Britain has obtained top awards at ... Read More »

Marlene Dietrich

The year 2001 saw Berlin celebrating Marlene Dietrich’s one-hundredth birthday (she died in 1992). Today, aficionados can trace her life around the city. According to Cook (2001), they can begin at her birthplace in Leberstrasse 65, located close to the restaurant of the Blauer Engel (named after her best known film, The Blue Angel). Thereafter, they proceed to her old ... Read More »