Portrayal of women in musicals gets spotlight at Bradford's National Science and Media Museum

Anna Smith, far right. Credit: National Science and Media Museum.
Anna Smith, far right. Credit: National Science and Media Museum.

The portrayal of women in the musicals genre will be discussed as three film screenings are also shown over a weekend in Bradford.

As part of Widescreen Weekend at the National Science and Media Museum, tickets are now on sale for Girls On Film (Sunday October 13), a podcast hosted by film critic and
journalist Anna Smith, who discusses classic movies and new releases from a female perspective and has sold out live events at Edinburgh and Cannes film festivals.

Film historian and guest curator of Widescreen Weekend at the National Media Museum in Bradford, Sir Christopher Frayling, with Matthew Jeffrey. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Film historian and guest curator of Widescreen Weekend at the National Media Museum in Bradford, Sir Christopher Frayling, with Matthew Jeffrey. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

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Widescreen Weekend’s screenings of The Sound of Music, Carmen Jones and West Side Story form the backdrop for a special edition of the podcast at the festival, during which musicals, and in particular the contribution and representation of women, will be discussed with special guests and the audience.

The musical screenings and Girls On Film podcast are part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a major celebration of film musicals, running at venues across the UK until
the end of January.

Ms Smith has previously interpreted The Sound of Music from a feminist viewpoint, and she will be expanding on her analysis of what has been described as the most popular
musical of all time, along with other films which feature "strong and notable female characters," said the museum.

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Festival director Kathryn Penny said: “Simply screening these classic musicals is already a joy for Widescreen Weekend, but discussing the genre in a live podcast promises to be a lively,
entertaining, as well as insightful event. We think it will be a big hit with any musical fans along with the festival goers.”

In addition to the Girls on Film discussion, the screenings will each have their own individual introductions.

Dr Lisa Shaw, Professor of Brazilian Studies at the University of Liverpool, introduces West Side Story on October 11, Ms Smith will introduce The Sound of Music on October 12 and
composer Gary Gershon introduces Carmen Jones on the same day.

Other guest introductions will feature throughout Widescreen Weekend.

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Sir Christopher Frayling, the festival’s regular guest curator, introduces closing night film Ben-Hur and also Pillow Talk starring Doris Day.

Journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed introduces another Doris Day film, Love Me or Leave Me, and VFX editor Carin Anne Strohmaier will introduce Forrest Gump, a film she worked on with director Robert Zemeckis.

Two films marking the moon landing anniversary, First Man and Apollo 11 will be introduced by Apollo 11’s Archival Producer, Stephen Slater, while A League of Their Own is introduced by the Interim Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Melanie Iredale and Annabel Grundy from the BFI Film Audience Network.

Damian Murphy, Director of XR Stories, a £15 million investment for Yorkshire-based academic and cultural organisations to target the potential of immersive and interactive
technologies, will open the festival with an introduction to Ready Player One.

Girls On Film is produced by Hedda Archbold at HLA Agency.

For more information about the festival and to get tickets, visit www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk