Gone With the Wind: Scarlett’s Women
Film and Talk on Sun 22 Nov
Join us as we celebrate LOVE – part of the BFI LOVE season, a nationwide series of events this autumn
Gone With the Wind is the most successful film of all time; described by Steven Spielberg as “one of the greatest American movies ever made”. The film has enjoyed huge influence on film-makers, popularity with generations of audiences, and impact on everyday language with phrases such as ‘tomorrow is another day’.
Female audiences adore that extraordinary epic heroine, Scarlett O’Hara played by British actress Vivien Leigh, and the tantalizingly complex three-way love story with Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard).
Alongside screenings of this digitally restored tour de force, Helen Taylor – author of two books on the subject – will discuss that, with its dubious racial politics, Gone With the Wind set the agenda for more than a century’s film representations of slavery and the Civil War, and that later films have been compelled to engage with and challenge it.
Drawing on new archival material about Vivien Leigh, and scholarly and popular culture references, she will discuss its particular appeal to female audiences.
Helen Taylor, Emerita Professor, University of Exeter, has published widely on American and British literary culture. She has focused on a range of Deep South figures from Tennessee Williams to Maya Angelou. Her 1989 study of women’s fascination with Gone With the Wind, entitled Scarlett’s Women, has been updated by her 2015 BFI Film Classic about the film.
To find out more about the BFI LOVE season visit bfi.org.uk/love