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BFI SB Guide May Page Turner

GIRLS LIKE US 35 MON 15 MAY* SAT 20 MAY 20:40 NFT2 18:00 NFT2 SUN 7 MAY MON 22 MAY 15:50 NFT2 18:20 NFT2 SAT 6 MAY SAT 13 MAY 15:30 NFT2 20:30 NFT2 Thursday’s Child UK 1943. Dir Rodney Ackland. With Sally Ann Howes, Stewart Granger. 82min. PG The only 1940s British feature about film production stars the talented ingénue Howes and is a vitriolic attack on the industry’s exploitation of young women. Ackland wrote many MOI shorts featured in this season (including A Call for Arms); the established playwright was a scriptwriter for Hitchcock, Reed, Powell and Asquith. His disdain for the hand that fed him is palpable in this entertaining exposé. + W.V.S. UK 1942. Dir Louise Birt. 22min Birt’s short film is a testament to UK female Volunteers. Also available on A Canterbury Tale UK 1944. Dir Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. With Sheila Sim, Eric Portman, Dennis Price, Sgt John Sweet. 124min. 35mm. U One of Powell and Pressburger’s few box-office flops, this film was unsuccessfully recut and re-released in the USA – though many now claim it to be their masterpiece. Its propaganda element centres on a land girl’s friendship with an American soldier. Casting a non-actor lead (a real hero) is its biggest failing, although his lack of charisma is curiously harmonious with the film’s tempo and Chaucerian view of Britain. + Westward Ho! UK 1940. Dir Thorold Dickinson. 8min A charming MOI short extolling the virtues of evacuation. Also available on Great Day + intro by Dr Toby Haggith, Imperial War Museum* UK 1945. Dir Lance Comfort. With Flora Robson, Eric Portman. 80min. 35mm. U A visit to a small English village by Mrs Roosevelt provides the catalyst for the women to pull together. ‘Quite simply, Great Day is a masterpiece, which combines radical sexual politics with a ravishing visual style. It is the only film of the period I have seen which successfully maintains a coherent mode of address to the female audience, while at the same time insisting on the pleasures of female energy and sisterhood.’ Sue Harper, Nationalising Femininity: Culture, Sexuality and Cinema in World War Two Britain (Manchester University Press, 1996) + Choose Cheese UK 1940. Dir Ruby Grierson. 7min + They Also Serve UK 1940. Dir Ruby Grierson. 10min Two rare female-directed MOI shorts. Grierson sadly died while making a film about evacuating children to safety in Canada when the liner she was on was torpedoed. @BFI INTRO


BFI SB Guide May Page Turner
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