The BFI is to celebrate the iconic post-war films made in the Ealing Studios with retrospective project Ealing: Light and Dark taking place throughout October and November.
Running from October 22 to December 30 at the BFI Southbank, the retrospective will include a national re-release of It Always Rains On Sunday and a new digital restoration of They Came To A City.
Many of the films released from Ealing Studios – like Dead of Night, The Blue Lamp, The Cruel Sea, The Man in the White Suit and Passport to Pimlico – captured the zeitgeist of the era, depicting a society still living with the memory of the war, eager for social and political change faced and faced with the austerity of the immediate post-war era.
Although Ealing Studios are chiefly known for its comedy output, Ealing: Light and Dark will also celebrate the lesser known and more serious films produced during the 1940s and 50s, some of which were willing to criticise the war effort and acknowledge British failings during the Second World War.
Other films imagined the threat of invasion and contemplated the legacy of the war on British cultural life in films like The Ship That Died Of Shame, Cage of Gold and Frieda.
Special guests and events include an exhibition of Ealing posters, stills and memorabilia drawn from the BFI National Archive and a new collection in the BFI Mediatheques.
BFI curators will also speak about the untold story of Ealing’s short-lived documentary unit, overseen by Alberto Cavalcanti, and its importance to Ealing’s feature films.
Other items from the BFI’s Ealing collection will appear in the London Film Museum as part of the forthcoming exhibition Lights, Camera, London!, due to open at the end of October.
For more information, visit Ealing: Light and Dark.