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He has researched and published on many aspects of film history, including Eisenstein and Russian cinema, Powell and Pressburger, Gilliam and Scorsese, and is a regular broadcaster on cinema.

His current exhibition, Animatograph! Current Visiting Professor of Media.

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Professor Ian Christie. Extra Lecture Materials.

Download audio file. This is part of the series: Screening London.

Media Film History Victorian history London history. Related Future Lectures. Part of a series.

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Close X. The season put the debates about gothic and cinema at its very centre and the many people who engaged with the season were justly rewarded with exciting films and stimulating discussion. For me, however, one of the highlights of the season was the strand of screenings devoted to television. As someone who did not grow up in the UK born and bred in Canada , I had not had much opportunity to engage with this history and knew much of this material by reputation alone. The season therefore offered the chance to explore these often discussed but rarely screened classics and also to have the rare opportunity of watching Gothic TV as a shared experience with an audience.

These public screenings also offered the opportunity for the BFI to invite the producers and creators of many of these classic TV productions to discuss their work and to consider why and how British TV screens became home for the uncanny and the horrific. When everything went horribly wrong, as they usually do in paranormal dramas, many called the BBC first in distress and later to complain that the BBC had betrayed their trust and that the drama was too frightening for TV a point that itself raises very interesting questions about the purpose and nature of the Gothic on television.

The discussion also explored the issues of re-imaging the ghost tale through the televisual conventions of documentary and reality TV, abandoning dramatic music scores and chiaroscuro for talking heads and night vision photography, something we take for granted in a world where horror is dominated by the found footage subgenre but which was cutting edge in The creators also described the hesitancy on the part of the BBC to have the programme look, at times, messy and improvised rather than carefully composed.

Screening the Gothic

For instance, much discussion was had about the gory and disturbing imagery of the Hammer episodes making me want to reach for the box set and revisit this series. Perceptively Shearsmith emphasised that what made these series so unsettling was that they usually had dark and disturbing conclusions. No neat endings in which the hero rescues the Gothic maiden and everyone lives happily ever after but rather frightening conclusions in which evil reigns or the dead claim yet another victim. Of note in this particular episode was a fascinating class distinction with a touch of country vs town in which the knowing servants stay silent while the wealthy owners who have recently purchased and refurbished the house despite warnings of its ghostly history suffer at the hands of the spectre.