Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Not victimizing you, or anything ...

The Cultural eXchanges event that caught my attention was the lecture by John Coldstream. On Tuesday the 28th February in Clephan 0.01 he'll be discussing Victim the controversial film from the early 1960s.

I had no idea about what this movie involved but a little research led me to a summary of the plot. It's the story of barsister Melville Farr (played by Dirk Bogarde), who finds himself in trouble after blackmailers learn of a homosexual relationship he had on the quiet with a younger man called Barrett. The film chronicles Barrett turning to Farr for help when he is hunted down by those who find out, creating a plethora of problems.

So why was this film controversial at the time? It was the very first film in the UK to use the word "homosexual", or cover the topic of homosexuality at a time when homosexual acts between two men were illegal in England. It was released in the wake of the Wolfenden Report, which recommended that the laws against consensual male homosexuality be repealed. Director Basil Dearden was a director not afraid to explore problems with society in his work, having made the film Sapphire earlier which concerned racism against Afro-Caribbeans. And just to add to all the drama surrounding this challenging film's release... it debuted in none other than Leicester at the Odeon Cinema!

So, for an interesting slice of controversial cinema and the times surrounding it, this might just be the event for you. You wouldn't want to let this face down, would you?

George Forster

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