This film is part of Free
Join the original Naked Civil Servant in his London bedsit for a lesson on life, love and gender politics
1970 27 mins
Five years before the TV adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant made him a household name, Quentin Crisp - dandy, raconteur, life model and former prostitute - welcomed celebrated filmmaker Denis Mitchell into his dusty London bedsit. Crisp recalls the violence and fascination his extraordinary appearance once provoked, offers tips on avoiding housework and subsisting on a diet of stout and meal replacement powder, and ruminates on life as a "minority within a minority - an effeminate homosexual".
In a fittingly eccentric touch, the film was broadcast in Granada's current affairs strand World in Action. John Hurt's immortal 1975 portrayal helped place Crisp in the pantheon of English eccentrics, though Crisp's outspoken views put him at odds with the burgeoning gay rights movement. Crisp lived in the flat on Beaufort Street in Chelsea from 1940 to 1981, when he moved to New York City, having taken his successful one-man show there. He died in 1999, aged 90.
Documentary 1969 52 mins Location: Vauxhall
Scintillating look at the 1960s drag renaissance, with a visit to London's Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Magazine and Review show 1983 25 mins Location: Bloomsbury
The Gay Black Group - reasserting culture and identity on two levels.
Drama-documentary 1976 38 mins Location: Lewisham
A lonely gay man discovers friends, love and activism in this rediscovered educational film made by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality
Current affairs 1980 26 mins Location: Hay-on-Wye/Y Gelli Gandryll
Transgender pioneer April Ashley appears in this moving look at the challenges faced by the trans community in 1980s Britain
Drama 2016 9 mins
Struggling with the pressures of homophobia when her partner is taken away by a hateful mother, a young gay woman struggles to cope with the traumas and anxieties of her life.
Drama 1980 54 mins
Sao Paulo-set love triangle drama, featuring a rare TV depiction of bisexuality.
Amateur film 1967 6 mins Silent Location: Chelsea
Hang out with the ‘dedicated followers of fashion’ down the King’s Road in the Swinging Sixties.
Government sponsored film 1971 14 mins Location: Chelsea
Engrossing 1970s TV profile of Lady Allen of Hurtwood - passionate campaigner for every child's right to play
Non-Fiction 1914 6 mins Silent Location: Westminster
A revealing tour of London's notable buildings - some now lost for ever - which uncovers their intriguing histories.
Musical 1964 70 mins Location: Liverpool
An incredibly joyous TV musical about a young woman's search for her long-lost cousin.
Drama 1971 11 mins Location: Chelsea
After breaking out of jail, a young woman struggles to hold down a job and eventually becomes a very unlikely nun.
Documentary 1967 30 mins Location: Chelsea
Potter Ted sells his work in London, to keep the wolf from the door, but practises his art at Felin Wen, his home-cum-studio at Pontrug, Gwynedd.
Travelogue 1907 9 mins Silent
A grand tour of Japan’s major cities, offering scenic views of the streets and daily life.
Interest film 1913 3 mins Silent
This ethnographic film offers a brief overview of the traditional culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in Japan.
Documentary 1905 4 mins
The performance of a masked dancer is followed by a scene from a kendo match, contrasting grace and ferocity.
Non-Fiction 1904 2 mins Silent
In a school gymnastic festival, boys and girls demonstrate their physical rigour through exercise and dance.
Interest film 1909 5 mins Silent
A vibrant festival with parades of fishermen and geisha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.
1912 5 mins Silent
Pathécolor’s mechanical stencil colouring is put to good use illustrating a festival at an ancient shrine.