The Snow Spider (Roberts, 1988): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.10pm This is a screening from The Flipside team at the BFI. I asked Will Fowler from The Flipside for the history and the ideas behind their screenings. He told me: "Our first Flipside was back in late 2006 when we screened the mondo-style documentary Primitive London. The drive for the slot is really to show films and TV programmes that are held in the BFI National Archive but rarely or indeed never shown in the cinemas at BFI Southbank.
"And these could be things that might not automatically be considered similar or comparable but that at some level do all sit in the margins of cinema and TV history- old Rupert Bear television episodes, the shocking horror film Corruption starring a rather blood thirsty Peter Cushing as well as genre pictures, 'curates eggs', the weird and wonderful.
"I think our favourites tend to be things that sit on genre borders. Art pictures that feature horror or exploitation elements like the film The Lifetaker, starring the old Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, that we are showing on 23 February when Peter Duncan will be a guest. We like to make our screenings enjoyable and accessible and invite the directors or actors but we don't mess around with the conventional cinematic viewing experience - there are no new soundtracks - we're also traditionalists!"
There's an excellent interview with Sam Dunn here which gives more background and you can get details of the titles on special offer via the BFI website here.
Here's their introduction to this night: Lonely Gwynn Griffiths lives in a remote farmhouse in the Welsh
countryside; his family are distraught because of the disappearance of
his beloved sister Bethan on the mountains nearby. But when his
eccentric gran (Siân Phillips) gives him five strange objects for his
ninth birthday, everything changes. ‘Its time to find out if you’re a
magician!’ she proclaims. Suddenly channelling elemental forces, he
draws upon the incredible power of a small silver spider, all in the
name of an ancient Welsh mythology to which he is heir. Life will never
be the same again. Eerie, odd and quietly powerful, this wintry,
atmospheric drama for children and adults alike (adapted by Julia Jones
from the novels by Jenny Nimmo) was originally shot in Wales before it
was broadcast nationwide in the late 1980s.