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21 February 2018: Forgotten Women of the 1930s


Marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act and with today’s headlines dominated by gender politics in the film industry, this Queen Mary Grad Fest programme rediscovers some of cinema’s forgotten women.

Harlequin, Lotte Reiniger, 1931, 22 min, B/W, 16mm
Housing Problems, E. Anstey, A. Elton [& Ruby Grierson uncredited], 1935, B/W, 16mm
Colour Box, Len Lye, 1935, 4 min, Colour, 35mm
Kaleidoscope, Len Lye, 1935, 4 min, Colour, 35mm
Carmen, Lotte Reiniger, 1933, 4 min, B/W, 16mm 

Organised by Tashi Petter, this programme reconstructs a London Film Institute Society screening that took place on the 23rd February 1936 at the Forum Cinema, curated by Olwen Vaughan – an important but undervalued figure in early film culture. Drawing directly from Petter’s on-going research on the pioneering German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger and her experiences as an exile in London, this hour-long programme of short films covers a wide range of styles from the 1930s period, including early documentary, advertising film and two silhouette animations by Reiniger herself. Rediscovering these shorts from the BFI archive, all films will be screened on 16mm or 35mm – a rare opportunity to view these works as originally intended.