UK | Michael Powell | Carl Böhm, Anna Massey, Moria Shearer
Mark works at a film studio by day and at night takes photographs of women to sell. He is also an amateur filmmaker making a film about fear in his seedy top floor Soho flat. One day he befriends the daughter of the family living in the apartment below who takes an interest in him, but when she sneaks in for a look at his rushes is horrified by what she sees. This “dark masterpiece” from Michael Powell effectively halted his career when released, its depiction of voyeurism too disturbing for critics at the time. Rediscovered over a decade later when young filmmakers such as Scorsese, Fellini and Argento referenced the film in their work and in gushing interviews, we take a moment to revisit its very British themes of sexual repression.
Join us for an introduction and discussion with Rebecca McCallum, host of Talking Hitchcock, following PEEPING TOM 2.00pm Sunday 29 October to find out more about this fascinating story
Screening as part of Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell + Pressburger, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. bfi.org.uk/powell-and-pressburger.
The Birth of the Slasher
1960, the birth of a decade, the population a little younger, clothing (and arguably morals) a little looser. Amongst the bright colours and confidence of swinging London something else was being born – the slasher film. Two British filmmakers Michael Powell and Alfred Hitchcock found inspiration in the shadow selves and began a genre revolution. Psycho, resolutely an American myth, something terrible lurking in the liminal countryside places, was a huge success. But earlier in the year Powell had released Peeping Tom, queasily voyeuristic and set in the streets of Soho, perhaps too close to home for the London critics at the time whose hatred of the film’s sex and violence effectively killed Powell’s career. Now regarded as one of the most influential and stylish horror thrillers, we can look at these two together and reflect on an exciting time for genre film. Join us for a discussion with Rebecca McCullum, host of Talking Hitchcock to find out more about this fascinating story.