Criminal Acts: A Charged Past is a season to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
The programme presents a mix of British films, some that explicitly address the legal history of same-sex relationships in the UK, and others that simply reflect the condition of sexual-minority life in this country in a specific place, at a specific time.
“Nothing in the whole world is meaningless, and suffering least of all.” – Oscar Wilde
The season aims to open up discussion through a handful of landmark films that explore our collective past.
Explore the season by selecting a title below or scroll to the bottom of the page and select your local Picturehouse. Not all films are showing at all Picturehouse Cinemas.
For a deeper look at the Criminal Acts season, read Andrew Southcott’s blog post.
Sunday 28 May
Director: Jack Gold. Starring: John Hurt. UK 1975. 80 mins.
John Hurt’s BAFTA-winning performance as Quentin Crisp is widely seen as one of the finest in a long and distinguished career.
In this short film, featuring never-before seen images of Quentin Crisp, filmmaker and great-nephew Adrian Goycoolea reflects on the relationship Quentin had to the idea of family and his family’s relationship to the idea of Quentin Crisp.
Sunday 18 June
Director: Stephen Frears. Starring: Daniel-Day Lewis, Gordon Warnecke. UK 1985. 97 mins.
Stephen Frears’ iconic film is both a touching romance and a powerful depiction of the struggles of minorities in Thatcher’s Britain.
Tuesday 27 June
Love Is The Devil (15)
Director: John Maybury. Starring: Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton. UK 1998. 90 mins.
John Maybury’s daring art biopic stars Derek Jacobi as Francis Bacon and Daniel Craig as his muse, a small-time thief drawn into the painter’s bohemian circle.
Monday 10 July
Director: Ron Peck, Paul Hallam. Starring: Ken Robertson. UK 1978. 114 mins.
Often seen as Britain’s first major gay film, this is a vivid account of the London gay scene soon after decriminalisation.
Tuesday 18 July
Director: Andrew Haigh. Starring: Tom Cullen, Chris New. UK 2011. 97 mins.
Andrew Haigh’s modern classic, a breakout hit and a milestone in British cinema, sees two young men find a one-night-stand turning into something far more serious.
Monday 31 July
My Summer Of Love (15)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski. Starring: Emily Blunt, Natalie Press. UK 2004. 86 mins.
Pawel Pawlikowski’s BAFTA-winning drama, a potent depiction of girlhood, young love and endless summers, finally returns to the big screen.
Wednesday 9 August
Prick Up Your Ears (15)
Director: Stephen Frears. Starring: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina. UK 1987. 110 mins.
Stephen Frears and screenwriter Alan Bennett depict the realities of gay life in ’60s London in this classic ’80s drama.
Tuesday 15 August
Director: Basil Dearden. Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms. UK 1961. 100 mins.
Basil Dearden’s classic thriller stars Dirk Bogarde in his most daring role, as a gay lawyer fighting back against the blackmailers who dare to target him.
Find your cinema…