What was the ‘last book to be banned in the UK’ and what else could we learn?

Artplayer would like to draw everybody’s attention to a fascinating documentary being made later this year by one of our channel holders. With your help, hopefully.

The Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books are collaborating with filmmaker Clara Casian to produce an experimental documentary exploring the history of alternative publishing in Manchester. They have launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign towards the research and production costs of the film. Please watch the campaign video and join the quest!
This new film will trace a recent history of experimental publishing in Manchester and the UK via the history of Savoy Books. Savoy Books are an independent publishing house based above a locksmith shop in the South Manchester district of Didsbury, founded and run by Michael Butterworth and David Britton. In 1989 they published Lord Horror, the last book to be banned in the UK under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act; in part a response to Britton’s time spent in Strangeways prison, and Savoy’s constant persecution by the corrupt Police force at the time.

An experimental and innovative approach to storytelling will utilise previously unseen footage dating from the 1980’s and 1990’s, featuring visual records from Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, John Coulthart, Michael Butterworth along with found and archival footage sourced from the BBC and Northern film archive.

The film will also necessarily approach censorship debates, considering the cultural and political context of the sensationalism around obscenity trials. There are a range of exciting one-off rewards for donating including original limited run screen-prints, early Corridor publications, Savoy titles and t-shirts. Special rewards packages to arts organizations!


Text by Kati J├Ągel