News: The BFI’s Controversial Classics


The BFI’s latest themed collection on their online player is ‘Controversial Classics’, bringing together a series of feature films and shorts that outraged, angered or shocked audiences when originally released.

While many of the titles are well known and not that hard to see elsewhere – Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Battleship Potemkin, Bad Timing, Birth of a Nation, Trans-Europ Express and Theorem are amongst the films in the collection – there are a number of lesser-shown classics and obscurities worth seeking out. There’s Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou and L’Age D’or, Barbert Schroeder’s More and Maitresse, British true crime drama The Black Panther, Nigel Wingrove’s blasphemous Visions of Ecstasy, and rarely shown underground short Skinflicker amongst the highlights.

You need to be a BFI Player subscriber to watch these – subscriptions are £4.99 a month, but you can get a free 30-day trial to begin with.

And watch out for our reviews of Theorem and Birth of a Nation later this week.