Each January, HOME pay tribute to a different British screenwriter, bringing to the big screen a selection of often overlooked or underconsidered film and television work. This year, to mark the centenary of his birth, curators Andy Murray, author of Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale and Andy Willis, Professor of Film Studies at University of Salford, have curated a season in tribute to legendary screenwriter Nigel Kneale.
Most famous for his work within television science fiction, the season showcases Kneale as a master of adaptation — both of his own work, and that of other authors. There are eight screenings lined up, plus Nigel Kneale: Into the Unknown, a live talk between Kneale biographer and season co-programmer, Murray, and writer, actor and stand-up comedian Toby Hadoke on Sunday 9 January.
Included in the season are Kneale-scripted adaptations of famous works, including screen versions of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954, Wed 5 Jan), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1962, Mon 17 Jan), and Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black (1989, Sun 9 Jan). In addition, there are adaptations of his own creations. The 1957 Hammer Films production of The Abominable Snowman (Mon 10 Jan) sees Kneale adapt his 1955 television drama The Creature for a Yeti hunt in the Pyrenees.
Also for Hammer Films, the 1967 Roy Ward Baker-directed film version of Quatermass and the Pit screens on Tuesday 25 January. The film is an adaptation of Kneale’s fifties BBC serial, and sees the character of heroic scientist Professor Bernard Quatermass, the writer’s most famous creation, appear on the big screen.
Lastly, away from the genre work that Kneale is most celebrated for, HOME have also lined up showings of two Tony Richardson classics. Adapted from plays by John Osborne, Kneale won British Film Award (later BAFTA) nominations for his work on 1959’s Look Back in Anger (Wed 12 Jan) and 1960’s The Entertainer (Sat 22 Jan).