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John Oliver

John joined the BFI in 1996 and has worked in the Archive, initially as a cataloguer, ever since. Areas of interest include British cinema from the 1930s to the 1960s (with particular interests in the 1930s, wartime cinema and comedy); the multi-lingual mode of production in 1930s international cinema; the development of widescreen systems in the 1950s; Italian cinema; and the science fiction, Western and musical genres.

He has worked on science fiction festivals in Trieste and Genoa, and published work includes an essay on the Aldwych farces for the book The Cinema of Britain and Ireland (Columbia, 2005) and numerous contributions to the reference works The Encyclopedia of British Film (BFI, 2003-) and Dizionario dei registi (Einaudi, 2005).
 

Articles by John Oliver

1 - 8 of 8

  • 10 great British musicals

    While Hollywood may have dominated film musicals, a newly restored version of Powell & Pressburger’s The Tales of Hoffmann proves that the UK has made plenty of bold and imaginative contributions to the genre. Here are 10 worth singing about.

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Lists

  • Why I love ... Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    A first encounter with Steven Spielberg’s wondrous alien-contact epic in a local cinema in 1978 led BFI National Archive curator John Oliver to return four more times in the following weeks – and the thrill of this most moving of sci-fi films remains today.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Features

  • 10 great British sci-fi films

    As Stanley Kubrick’s spectacular epic 2001: A Space Odyssey returns to cinemas nationwide, we fly the flag for homegrown science fiction with a list of 10 of the best British sci-fi movies.

    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    Lists

  • Rarely seen sci-fi films released on BFI Player – 10 to try

    As part of our major celebration of sci-fi cinema, we’ve just released dozens of films on BFI Player, available to watch now. Here’s a sampler.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Lists

  • Panic on the streets of London: filming The Day the Earth Caught Fire

    An all-time great London film, The Day the Earth Caught Fire sets the stage for the end of the world in real-life locations around the capital.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Features

  • Why I love... Zulu

    It’s 50 years since the premiere of the classic historical adventure that launched the career of Michael Caine.

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Features

  • Why I love... Bela Lugosi’s Dracula

    Bela Lugosi was cinema’s first official Count Dracula. Curator John Oliver remembers seeing this cobweb-strewn 1931 classic at an impressionable age…

    Friday, October 25, 2013

    Features

  • The tube at 150: 10 great films on the underground

    As the London underground celebrates its 150th anniversary, we pick 10 memorable onscreen appearances.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Lists

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