The Pleasure Principle
From Victorian voyeurism to Soho striptease: how a hidden film industry emerged to satisfy the sexual appetites of (male) viewers.
Sex and cinema have been bawdy bedfellows almost since the first flickering frames hit a screen. As early as 1896, saucy shorts were already being cranked out to titillate voyeuristic - and invariably male - Victorian viewers. Time and tastes have moved on, and taboos have been swept away, but sex remained a constant preoccupation, and filmmakers continued to explore, enact and exploit our deepest, darkest desires - often attracting the attention of the censor in the process. This highly-combustible collection revisits and contextualises these sometimes scandalous, oft-disreputable films, incorporating 'mondo'-style exposés of Soho striptease, voyeuristic studies of British nudists and tragic tales of good girls gone bad - and much more besides.
Animation & Artists Moving Image197912 mins
A relationship liable to blow up at any moment is at the heart of this animated short about a man and an inflatable sex doll
Talent Contest (Fun Palace outtakes)
Amateur film196310 mins Location: London
A compelling glimpse inside an unnamed East End pub in 1963 where a talent show takes place featuring singers and strippers.
Documentary drama192939 mins Location: Welwyn Garden City
This striking female-focused silent drama muses on the long-term perils of sexually transmitted diseases
Once Upon a Sunday
Amateur film196910 mins Location: Leeds
The disappointment of youthful love, as the gritty realism of the early 1960s stands in stark contrast with the fantasies of the later 1960s.
Stranger in the City
Documentary196122 mins Location: London
Pay a voyeuristic visit to the striptease bars on some of London's shadow-shrouded backstreets in this 1961 short film