BFI London Film Festival review: Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes

Latest 22 Oct 2020

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Still of Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes, dir. Caroline Catz

Priyanka, a member of Film London's Equal Access Network, watched Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes as part of the BFI London Film Festival. Here she shares her review as well as her role within the film industry.

Passionate about sharing distinctive and diverse stories, I'm an aspiring Development Producer. I love working with stories which give audiences something to think about beyond the screen. In addition to producing short films, I am proactively working to champion diversity through my role as Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at Casarotto Ramsay. I am also a freelance reader, providing regular coverage for film, television and theatre for various production companies and broadcasters.

I joined Film London's Equal Access Network (EAN) as I wanted to connect with people who were actively working to ensure the film and television industry was representative of its audiences.

Since joining EAN, I have been able to continue to build my network in the industry and have access to opportunities that I may not have come across.

The EAN has helped me connect with several established producers and individuals working in development, allowing me to grow my professional relationships. Through this, I have also gained a mentor, who has been incredibly helpful in giving me advice as I navigate my career in the industry.

Still of Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes, dir. Caroline Catz

The extraordinary career of Delia Derbyshire is explored in this docudrama that showcases her life, character and legacy. Told through a series of interviews, archive footage and dramatisation the film is cleverly accompanied by music composed by Cosey Fanni Tutti using Derbyshire’s tapes.

However, the film does hastily push past the sexist encounters Delia experienced within the music industry by bosses who could not understand her passions. Instead, forcibly navigating her towards administrative roles. The reconstructed dramatisation allows the audience to briefly gain an insight into what may have occurred, and how her determination finally broke down barriers.

Writer and director, Caroline Catz also plays Derbyshire in the reimagined scenes, where they mirror the experimental work to really give audiences a sense of the sounds being created.

Famous for her work at the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, and now truly recognised for creating the Doctor Who theme tune, the film's focus lies within those walls. Beyond this, we aren't given much of her life once she left. Similarly to the sexist encounters, her later life is hastily narrated towards the end. Delia continues to remain somewhat of a mystery. However, Catz gives enough of a glimpse into Delia's life, leaving the audiences wanting to know more about her fascinating life and the legacy she left behind.

Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes is part of The Create Strand of BFI London Film Festival, supported by the Mayor of London and Film London.