LGBT History Month and the Library


LGBTHM is held in February each year. The library is currently highlighting its diverse collections in a display at the front of the library, just inside the main turnstiles. Here, we’re displaying seminal texts, both literary and academic, and films. Examples include ‘The Bell’ by Iris Murdoch and ‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf, as well as ‘Mysterious Skin’, directed by Gregg Araki and ‘Happy Together’, directed by Wong Kar-Wai. Each item can be borrowed and we will be frequently updating the selection of resources on display.

The library has an extensive number of academic titles on LGBT themes on the first floor – 306.76 would be a good starting point. Documentary films on similar themes would be held at a similar classmark in the second floor audiovisual area.

We’ve also created an online reading list of important titles, including novels, non-fiction books, children and young adult titles, articles, documentaries and movies. Click on a title you’re interested in and see live availability.

Through our streaming platforms, Film Platform and Kanopy, we also have access to a number of documentary films on LGBT themes.

Film Platform

Films on Film Platform that cover LGBT themes can be accessed here. Documentaries include ‘Before Stonewall’ (1984), which explores the homosexual experience in the US from the 1920s onwards, to the Academy Award-winning documentary ‘The Life and Times of Harvey Milk’ (1984), a portrait of the changing social and political climate in 1970s San Francisco.


There are over 200 documentaries and feature films on Kanopy in its LGBT collection. Feature films include Jean Genet’s ‘Un Chant D’Amour’ (1950) and Cheryl Dunye’s ‘The Watermelon Woman’, originally produced in 1996, but restored in high definition in 2016. Documentaries are listed by sub-theme, such as LGBT History, LGBT Issues and Religion, Transgender Studies, LGBT Media Representation and more.

Films on both streaming platforms can be accessed in full, for free – you just to sign in with your Goldsmiths username and password.

For more information on LGBT History Month, visit their website or their Twitter page, or for more local interest, Spread the Word are celebrating London’s LGBT Writers and Writing.


New Audiovisual Resources: Film Platform and Kanopy

Following successful trials, the library has now subscribed to two new audiovisual resources; Film Platform and Kanopy. Both provide access to rare documentary films that might otherwise never be seen beyond the festival circuit, whilst Kanopy also provides access to arthouse film as well. Both platforms are well used by US universities but Goldsmiths is one of the very few UK universities using either, let alone both.

Film Platform


Film Platform works with leading filmmakers to provide educational access to international documentaries that introduce new concepts, expose students to fresh perspectives and enhance classroom discussions. They work with distributors, such as Cats & Docs, First Hand Films and The National Film Board of Canada. Films are accompanied by study guides, including press kits, articles and interviews with both filmmakers and their subjects.

Film Platform works with academic advisory boards to ensure the films in their collection are suited to universities and their students. Chris Berry, formerly of the Media and Communications department at Goldsmiths, now at King’s College, is a board member.

You can search by film titles or browse by collections, and there are two ways of doing this:

  • Curated collections (curated by academic staff, researchers, festival directors), including collections on Perfomative Documentaries and Media/Activism
  • Subject collections, including Human Rights, International, Social and Political Affairs and Gender Studies

Films can be shared via social media/email and clips/playlists can be easily created. Academic notes and information about the film’s festival appearances and awards are also available.

To access Film Platform and start streaming, just visit the E-Resources A-Z list, choose ‘F’ and click on the link to Film Platform. Alternatively, use this link, ensuring you sign-in with the usual username and password.

You can see their latest trailers here. Information on how to stream films is also available here.



Kanopy works with over 3,000 universities worldwide, distributing documentaries, indies and foreign films, classics and the odd blockbuster movie too! They work with distributors such as California Newsreel, Criterion, Documentary Educational Resources and Kino Lorber.

There are over 26,000 films in the Kanopy collection. You can search for titles (and Kanopy starts predicting results once you enter words) or browse by a range of subjects, including:

  • Film and Popular (including documentaries, early film, foreign language film)
  • Global Studies and Languages (including African studies, Asian studies, Latin American studies and more)
  • The Arts (including design, literature, music, performance art, photography, visual art)

Much like Netflix, results can be arranged by theme, e.g. race and class studies, gender studies, etc. Or when you search by topic, e.g. Russian film, there are numerous filters you can use to further narrow your search, e.g. suppliers, filmmakers, year of production, etc.

Each film has a transcript and you can click to any point in this transcript to skip the film along to this part. It can be shared via social media/email and also embedded into websites/VLEs. You can also create clips if you only need to stream a certain part of the film, and you can also add to playlists.

To access Kanopy and start streaming, just visit the E-Resources A-Z list, choose ‘K’ and click on the link to Kanopy. Or just follow this link and enter your username and password.

Help on using Kanopy is available here.

Asian Film Online

Asian Film Online

The library has taken out a subscription to Asian Film Online collections I and II, which provides Goldsmiths students and staff access to a vast collection of feature films, documentaries and short films from across the entire Asian continent.

Many of these films are not available on DVD and will not be in the library already. Most films will not, in fact, have been previously distributed outside of their native country.

Asian Film Online is particularly strong for films from China, India, Iran, South Korea and South East Asia.

Award winning and internationally known directors whose films are in the collection include Darius Mehrjui (Iran), Xie Fei (China) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan (India).

Films can be accessed via the e-resources A-Z list on the library website – this link will take you to the Asian Film Online platform.

Alternatively, each film has been added to the catalogue, with links that will take you directly to the film for streaming.

To see all the films we have access to, search for Asian Film Online on the library catalogue. During other catalogue searches, e.g. Iran film, look for results that show ‘video file – recordings for streaming’ in the location field. These indicate films that can be streamed (many of which will be from Asian Film Online).

You can create playlists of films, make clips within films, share films by URL, access and search within transcripts – Asian Film Online has a very intuitive platform that allows you to use the films however you want.

To access films, you will need to create an account. When you arrive at the Asian Film Online platform, click on Sign In and create an account, which must include your Goldsmiths email address (you cannot register, or access films without this). If you have previously used Alexander Street Press streaming collections, e.g. Ethnographic Video Online, please use the same account.

If you have any issues using Asian Film Online or any streaming collections we have access to, email the Audiovisual Librarian, Kevin Wilson (

A Dozen Horrors for Hallowe’en

As it’s Hallowe’en this weekend, it’s a great opportunity to highlight our extensive AV collections once more. Below are a dozen horror films we have in our collections; some well-known, some more obscure. If you fancy a scare this weekend, why not grab one of them?

Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)

Frankenstein_poster_1931One of the first horror films made by a major American studio, the iconic ‘Frankenstein’ adapts Mary Shelley’s original story but adds a heavy dose of German Expressionism, which was starting to influence Hollywood movies at the time (hence why we’ve not included ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ or ‘Nosferatu’ in the list!). 791.43714 FRA

Eyes Without A Face (Georges Franju, 1960)

Eyeswithoutaface_posterA quite astonishing French-Italian horror film that made censors and audiences nervous. A well respected and gifted surgeon is obsessed with restoring his daughter’s face, which was badly damaged in an accident, and will go to any lengths imaginable. Co-written with the writers of ‘Les Diaboliques’ (equally terrific) and ‘Vertigo’, its impact can be seen in its heavy influence on Almodovar’s ‘The Skin I Live In’. 791.43744 EYE/YEU (for English and French titles)

The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)

The_Innocents_Poster‘The Innocents’ is a quite superb adaptation of Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’, a Gothic ghost story novella about a governess charged with looking after two strange young children. The psychological horror is subtle, mostly achieved through lighting and its black and white cinematography. as well as an early use of electronic sound, thanks to Daphne Oram. 791.43714 INN

Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)

Repulsion_(1965_film_poster)Forget the initial ‘Swinging London’ clichés, Polanski’s film is a deeply unsettling account of a young woman’s breakdown. Catherine Deneuve is a shy Belgian manicurist living with her sister in Kensington, suffering from androphobia (the pathological fear of interaction with men). Polanski uses quite exquisite imagery and effects to depict her anxieties. 791.437 REP

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jireš, 1970)

4467_print2Based on a well known Czech novel of the same name (891.863 Ne on the shelves!), this strange horror film is inspired by fairy tales and Gothic fiction and was a big inspiration for the English writer, Angela Carter. It’s difficult to know where to start describing this film, but needless to say, its young heroine has to ward off vampires, priests and all sorts of oddballs. 791.437437 VAL

Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)

Dont_look_movieposterThis is one of the most acclaimed British films and horror films of all time. Based on a Daphne Du Maurier short story, Roeg uses a highly fragmented narrative including flashbacks and flash-forwards to increase the tension and sense of unease. A grieving couple who recently lost a child travel to Venice for the husband’s work, but find themselves caught up in a fatalistic chain of events. 791.43711 DON

Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)

SuspiriaItalyNow, this is a strange film. ‘Suspiria’ is the best known giallo, an Italian sub-genre of horror which usually features lots of violence and sex. A young American girl joins a well respected ballet academy in Germany and well….none of it really makes sense. However, it’s one of the most stylish films you could possible imagine. The use of colour is exceptionally vivid, the prog-rock score pounds your ears, the dubbing is um, interesting and the camera sweeps all over the place. Seriously recommended. 791.43714 SUS

Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978)

Dawn_of_the_deadNow you might be surprised that I didn’t choose the earlier, seminal horror film ‘Night of the Living Dead’ but I think ‘Dawn…’ still resonates with audiences now as it did then. Zombies have take over the US and society is on the verge of collapsing. A few survivors head to the only place that’s safe….the mall. The target here is consumerism and Romero is merciless in his satire. 791.43714 DAW

Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981)

Possession_film_coverNow when I said ‘Suspiria’ was weird, watch ‘Possession’ to see what weird REALLY is. Set in Cold War Berlin, it follows a married couple (Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani) who’re heading for divorce. He’s a spy (we don’t know who for), she’s having a breakdown. But when he meets his son’s teacher who’s the double of his wife and she takes a lover who’s erm, very different to Sam, then you’ll understand what I mean. There are no easy explanations for what any of this is about, but it’s superb. 791.43744 POS

The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)

ThingPosterAgain, I might be deliberately obtuse with some choices here (why not Carpenter’s ‘Hallowe’en – one of the most influential horror films of all time?), but ‘The Thing’ is terrific; one of those films that will unsettle you throughout….and for a long time after. A group of research scientists in Antarctica discover something not quite human, and it can take the form of any of them. Cue loads of paranoia and gore! 791.43714 THI

Braindead (Peter Jackson, 1992)

Braindead-posterNowadays Peter Jackson is well known for directing the Lord of the Rings films. However back in the 80s and 80s he made some quite brilliant low budget horror films in New Zealand. Braindead is more comedy than horror, especially given that the home-made effects look somewhat well, home-made. A meek son lives with his dominant mother, but when she’s bitten by a rat-monkey, turns into a zombie and becomes contagious, he finds himself having to save Wellington from the zombie Apocalypse! 791.43714 BRA

Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)

Audition-1999-posterCrikey, ‘Audition’ is one creepy movie. Once you’ve seen it, scenes from it will haunt you forever. A widowed film producer uses the audition process to find a new wife. In walks a shy and hypnotic young woman whom he immediately falls for her. However, when he digs deeper when finds that her CV doesn’t quite add up, but he pursues her nonetheless. Now what is in that sack? 791.43752 AUD

Black History Month – Audio-visual resources

DO_THE_RIGHT_THINGTo support the activities of Black History Month at Goldsmiths, we’ve explored our audio-visual resources to highlight the British and American feature films that depict the histories and experiences of individuals, families and communities.

From Britain, we start with 1961’s ‘Flame in the Streets’, which looked at the tensions in Notting Hill, in the wake of the 1959 riots, and end with John Akomfrah’s 2013 documentary, ‘The Stuart Hall Project’.

From the US, we include the films of Spike Lee (‘Do The Right Thing’, ‘Bamboozled’) and a number of important films that deserve much more awareness and recognition (‘Nothing But A Man’, ‘Sidewalk Stories’).

Furthermore, we’ve looked into various archives to look into Black British History. The BFI Player has a number of free documentaries, whilst BFI InView: British History Through The Lens has documentaries that require sign-in with your Goldsmiths username/password. Both sites highlight the Black British experience from the 1940s-1990s and highlight the changes in society during that time.

We’ve also used Box of Broadcasts to create a bespoke playlist of documentaries that look at the Black History in both Britain and the US. Hall

Use the PDFs below to find out how to access these resources:

American Movies

British Movies

BFI In View