One of Films and Filming's primary features was the preview section of forthcoming or new releases, usually a double-page spread of stills from a particular film. Given the magazine's penchant for nudity, quite a lot of cult and exploitation films were given exposure, like Jacopetti and Prosperi's slave trade mondo Farewell Uncle Tom from the September 1970 issue
Films and Filming had an official star-rated film review section in addition to capsule reviews found in the Documentary and Club columns. What's most valuable about the reviews is their lack of cultural baggage that comes with reviewing vintage films today. The Exorcist was famously panned, The Devils received a shrug of the shoulders while lavish praise was bestowed upon Performance. A good example of this is the December 1970 review of Night of the Living Dead which imparts some of the experience of seeing Romero's film with virgin eyes back in the day.
One of the pleasures of browsing through the magazine are the vintage film advertisements. From the July 1971 issue a rare ABC Cinema ad for The Baby Maker, a late sixties time capsule starring Barbara Hershey as a free spirited surrogate mother, coupled however unlikely with Dario Argento's early masterpiece The Cat O'Nine Tails. I could be wrong but I haven't seen this unusual ad reproduced in the various Argento books.
Among the more well known contributors to Films and Filming were the great film historian Kevin Brownlow (who wrote articles on the silent Ben Hur, and the films of Abel Gance), as well as regular staffers like House of Whipcord and Frightmare writer David McGillivray, and Michael Armstrong, director of David Bowie short The Image and more famously Mark of the Devil. Among Armstrong's best work for the magazine was a three part series which ran from March/April/May 1971 entitled Some Like It Chilled which examined some of the major motifs in Horror films.
Films and Filming's Letters page makes for especially insightful reading. Anyone with an interest in the film-going habits and attitudes of the British public during the 70's would find the views and opinions of readers quite fascinating. The tide of increasingly violent films that swept through cinemas during the tenure of British censor Stephen Murphy saw much debate in the Letters page. Films such as The Devils, Straw Dogs, Clockwork Orange, Soldier Blue generated a considerable amount of commentary which raged on and off for two years. The two letters below from the May 1972 issue are typical of the passions these films aroused.
From its inception Films and Filming catered to a gay readership in the absence of any dedicated gay magazines. The magazine was a champion of the Basil Dearden and Dirk Bogarde film Victim and as the 60's gave way to the 70's the magazine became increasingly brazen in its choice of covers - the September 1968 cover featured a male interracial kiss (from the film Two Gentlemen Sharing), and covers showing men in various states of undress would be a regular fixtures throughout the 70's. Inside the magazine there was coverage of Underground Gay Cinema, with retrospectives on Warhol and the magazine gave exposure to obscure gay films like Pink Narcissus and the films of Derek Jarman who scored covers with Sebastiane (November 1976 issue) and Jubilee (March 1978)
Other marginal film makers who appeared in the magazine included David Cronenberg, interviewed in the October 1982 issue whilst promoting Scanners, the June 1974 issue featured a Norman McLaren career overview, and below, from the August 1971 issue, a report on American Underground film makers Curtis Harrington, director of the avant-garde Horror film Night Tide, and Conrad Rooks who made the psychedelic experimental film Chappaqua.
Memories of Films and Filming
A decade by decade gallery of Films and Filming covers
Films and Filming for sale at eBay