Film and television have long caused debate around what content is acceptable in the name of story-telling. This summer, the MAC Cinema is hosting a full season of controversial films and TV series, from the 1920s to today. This season will explore how these shocking creations challenged the status quo and changed the face of entertainment.
The program kicks off on May 12th with Michael Cumming’s Box of Brass Toast. This screening will look into the 1997 comedy series Brass Eye, with a showing of Oxide Ghosts: The Brass Eye Tapes (a behind the scenes look into the world of Brass Eye) and a Q&A with show creator Michael Cumming.
Later in May, you can watch a rare screening of three episodes of Queer As Folk, with a Q&A with Russel Davies, who later became a household name as Doctor Who showrunner. When the first episode aired in 1999, the show caused moral outrage. Sponsors pulled out, but the intended LGBT audience celebrated finally seeing gay characters on screen who weren’t stereotypes. The show only lasted ten episodes, but an American remake ran for five seasons.
Also being shown is 1925 silent film and one of the most censored films of all time, Battleship Potemkin. In June, you can enjoy Viridiana, a film that the Vatican labelled blasphemous on its release in 1961.
Peek behind the scenes and see how film censorship is decided with documentary Behind The Scenes At The BBFC. Watch Scum, starring Ray Winstone, a prison story so shocking that the BBC banned it for fifteen years. June closes with a screening of A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s adaption of the controversial Anthony Burgess novel. Kubrick banned the film himself, tired of accusations of encouraging copycat violence.
Finally, you can lighten the mood with a Sundown Cinema screening of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. The film, released In 1979, tells the story of Brian Cohen, who has been mistaken for the Messiah. The film was widely banned for blasphemous content.
Feeling rebellious? Down With This Sort of Thing runs from May 12th to August 10th.