Cult Movies and Big Screen Idols: Covers to ‘Films and Filming’ magazine
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Joe Dallesandro, April 1971.
Films and Filming was a middle-brow, high-quality monthly movie magazine published in the UK between October 1953 to March 1990. It was a special interest magazine for film-lovers who thought “Picturegoer unsatisfying and Sight and Sound unintelligible.” Set up by publisher Philip Dosse Films and Filming was a stablemate to his other mags like Books and Bookmen, Dance and Dancers, Plays and Players, Art and Artists, and so on. It was, in many respects, one of the best and most subversive film magazines around as Dosse had an agenda of promoting difficult and controversial subject matter, in particular, homosexuality which was then a criminal offense in Britain punishable by imprisonment or chemical castration.

Films and Filming or rather F&F’s first editor was Peter Brinson, a smart young man who made no attempt to disguise his sexuality. He successfully edited the magazine to woo the gay market by including pictures of beefcake actors and personal ads for lonely bachelors to hook-up. It was the magazine’s second editor, Peter Baker, that moved F&F away from a coded gay film zine to a thoughtful, glossy, and well-written magazine that became the must-read of every serious cinephile.

I knew fuck all about any of this fascinating backstory when I picked secondhand copies of F&F up in the seventies and eighties from Bobbies Bookshop. I bought the magazine because it featured the movies, writers, and directors I liked: Ken Russell, Lindsay Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, Fellini, Derek Jarman, and Martin Scorsese. It also boasted several great photospreads per issue usually lifted from some of the strangest movies on release that month and some very good writing by the likes of Raymond Durgnat—though there were some reviewers who always seemed to focus on every movie having a homosexual subtext whether it was valid or not. F&F’s covers eschewed the usual box office fodder—though occasional they did feature the odd one like Star Wars—and instead focused on gay/cult films like Myra Breckinridge, The Night Porter, Lisztomania, Loot, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Last Detail, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Salo: 120 days of Sodom.

I have a stack of old F&F’s stored away, and have previously shared some of the magazine’s photospreads of my favorite films/directors, but the following largely comes from the Twitter feed of Films and Filming, which I suggest you follow if you have an interest cult and classic films, big screen stars and memorabilia from a golden age of movies.
Monica Vitti, April 1966.
Donald Sutherland, May 1975.
Bridget Bardot and Jeanne Moreau, March 1966.
Batman and Robin, October 1966.
Sophia Loren, September 1966.
More classy covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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