The CineRediscovered festival in Bristol is playing host to some 1930s classics – and then some of them are going on tour around the UK.

When someone is exploring the Pre-Code era of cinema, there is a common question that comes to mind – how can you watch the films themselves? There’s just a handful available on (kosher) streaming platforms and cinemas such as Prince Charles Cinema in London doing a couple of screenings every now and then.

However, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, why not head to Bristol for the city’s incredible CineRediscovered Film Festival? In this hot, sweltering summer there is nothing better to do then sit in an air-conditioned room and watch some hot and sweltering films.

CineRediscovered is in its sixth edition and takes place within Bristol. The aim of the festival is to bring back some incredible classic titles at venues across the weekend such as Watershed, Curzon Cinemas, and 20th Century Flicks. Taking place from Wed 20th to Sun 24th July, there will be a swathe films to dive into.

However, I am going to talk about my favourites. CineRediscovered will be showing timeless Pre-Code classic films and silent movies that you must watch if you can. So here are my highlights for this weekend’s incredible festival.

James Cagney and Joan Blondell’s sizzling romance Blonde Crazy (1931), which sees a con man and his girlfriend scam their way to the top, will screen on Wednesday.

The phenomenal Norma Shearer flirts with danger as she conducts a love affair with notorious gangster Clark Gable in A Free Soul (1931), showing on Thursday. Also on Thursday is Josef von Sternberg’s incredible Shanghai Express (1932) with the sultry Marlene Dietrich embroiled in a murderous scandal.

Friday screens Laws Of Love (1927) is a series of lectures from pioneering sexologist Magnus Hirschfield which also highlights proto-gay German film Different From The Others (1919). Also playing Friday, Kay Francis is dripping with decadence and diamonds in Jewell Robbery (1932) as an heiress is seduced by William Powell’s thief. End the day, and this scorching week, with Rouben Mamoulian’s historical epic Queen Christina (1933) which sees Greta Garbo tackle a bisexual monarch.

On Saturday, Red-Headed Woman (1932) which sees Pre-Code star Jean Harlow stars in the sultry Red-Headed Woman (1932) which sees a greedy woman seduce wealthy men away from their wives.

Finally, on Sunday, watch one of the raciest Pre-Code films ever – Baby Face (1933.) The film sees Barbara Stanwyck use her beauty and charm to sleep her way to the top.  Crucially, all of these films will be a UK Premiere! What a great way to spend this weekend!

Other films to watch at the weekend include Harold And Maude (1971), Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (1927), and Charlie Shackleton’s timely short The Afterlife (2022)

There will also be talks from critics and curators. The must-see events include Rewriting Film History (With The Women In It) with So Mayer and T A P E Collective’s Isra Al Kassi and Pre-Code Hollywood: Rules Were Meant to be Broken with Pam Hutchinson and Christina Newland.

Plus, thanks to CineRediscovered, Park Circus, Pam Hutchinson, and Christina Newland, a Pre-Code Hollywood: Rules Are Made to Be Broken Tour a tour will be taking place from August. The tour will include Blonde Crazy, A Free Soul, Red-Headed Woman, Jewell Robbery, and Baby Face. The tour, which is available to book now, has a stunning poster created by Beth Morris, which headlines this article.

What an amazing resurgence of Pre-Code films! But if you cannot wait for the tour to hit your local cinema – why not join me at Bristol this weekend for a whole heap of fantastic movies!

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