War triumphs over sex in British films, according to new archive

Brunilde Fioravanti
Settembre 21, 2017

TODAY (SEP 20), the BFI launched the BFI Filmography, the world's first complete and accurate living record of United Kingdom cinema that means everyone - from film fans and industry professionals to researchers and students - can now search and explore British film history, for free.

Filmography is created to be used by fans and industry professionals alike, and is segmented into 130 genres. Additionally, the numbers reveal that when it comes to film, laughter is almost four times more popular with filmmakers than love, with 2,347 Comedy films versus 625 Romance films. Comedy, and romance are other key categories, while more films have been made about war than any other subject, the data shows, and, as the United Kingdom heads for Brexit, more made about Europe than Britain.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has looked at its new archive of more than 10,000 United Kingdom films, from the first released in cinemas, in 1911, to the present day. Queen Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond are, in that order, the characters who have appeared most in British film, while war is the subject covered most.

And UK filmmakers are shown to have been more interested in Europe than Great Britain, with 527 films having Europe as a subject.

The BFI Filmography launches with new and revelatory findings about the gender imbalance in United Kingdom films, both in on-screen and off-screen roles.

Filmography reveals that women are still not accurately or proportionally represented on film and that "Man" is the most often-recurring word in British film titles. Majority-female crews remain very rare, though there has been a marked improvement in recent years in films with all-female director and writer teams. Documentary remains the category of film most made by women in modern times, but, ironically, it is also one of the categories whose films featured women the least.

Whilst the BFI Filmography launches with a detailed look at gender, it is the intention to continue to build on the data, to provide a greater understanding of representation on and off screen. "At a time when the United Kingdom film industry is burgeoning, the BFI Filmography is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in film, providing evidence that can help inform policy, the future of the industry and its workforce".

The Voice is celebrating its 35th birthday this year.

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