Are you old enough to remember the innocence of holding a new boyfriend's hand in the cinema, or perhaps sneaking a quick kiss when you thought nobody was watching? You're probably thinking that is so last century. Film has graduated from the na´ve dreams of love and romance and a world where married couples shared single beds; now young people can watch full on pornography on their smart phones. But what's wrong with a little romance? If you want to return to a simpler period and be reminded of how love used to be portrayed on film (often in black and white) you can catch up with a few oldies this Valentine's Day.
The BFI Southbank is screening a few antiques from the 1940s and 1950s. Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor star in the 1951 tragedy romance A Place in the Sun. In From Here to Eternity Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra and Montgomery Clift (again) live and love in Hawaii at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour. Powell and Pressburger's 1947 A Matter of Life and Death stars a very English WW2 airman, David Niven, who is shot down and given a chance to choose between life and death. For a little bit of balance Weekend is a modern gay love story of two men.
The beach scene from From Here to Eternity
The Rooftop Film Club on Kensington High Street will be the venue for two more classics. The black and white 1942 tear jerker, Casablanca that made Humphrey Bogart a heart throb will be shown after When Harry Met Sally, the film with the famous faked orgasm. Tickets include a glass of champagne, a snack and a firework display.
Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal: the Famous Scene in Katz's Deli from When Harry Met Sally.
Casablanca is also the Valentine's film of choice at the Riverside Studios, where you can enjoy a meal washed down with a glass of Prosecco. I dare you to leave the cinema with dry eyes.
Casablanca: Play it Sam
The Prince Charles Cinema won't be serving breakfast, but you have two opportunities to enjoy Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, and a cat named Cat if you choose to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. If my memory is correct this is the very same cinema that screened Last Tango in Paris in the 1970s, a film that had nothing at all to do with love and romance, and everything to do with sex and lust.
A Happy Ending for Breakfast at Tiffany's
Love can make you laugh and cry and I guarantee that these films will have the same effect.