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BIC Excellence Award

Young And Innocent?
The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930

Edited by Andrew Higson

Young And Innocent?
Hardback, 432 pages £75.00
Published: 2002
ISBN: 9780859896597
Buy this Book

Paperback, 432 pages £27.50
Published: 2002
ISBN: 9780859897174
Format: 234mm x 156mm
Buy this Book

Subjects: Film History
Series: Exeter Studies in Film History

This book brings together the study of silent cinema and the study of British cinema, both of which have seen some of the most exciting developments in Film Studies in recent years. The result is a comprehensive survey of one of the most important periods of film history. Most of the acknowledged experts on this period are represented, joined by several new voices. Together they chart the development of cinema in Britain from its beginnings in the 1890s to the conversion to sound in the late 1920s. From these accounts the youthful British cinema emerges as far from innocent. On the contrary, it was a fascinatingly complex field of cultural and industrial practices. The book also includes guides to bibliographical and archival sources and an extensive bibliography.

Contributions by
Charles Barr, Stephen Bottomore, Neil Brand, Jon Burrows, Frank Gray, Jenny Hammerton, Michael Hammond, Sylvia Hardy, Andrew Higson, Nicholas Hiley, Alex Marlow-Mann, Luke McKernan, Roberta E. Pearson, Simon Popple, Lise Shapiro Sanders, Emma Sandon, Jamie Sexton, Gerry Turvey, Mike Walsh, Haidee Wasson and Michael Williams

Contents: SECTION A -Putting the pioneers in context - films and filmmakers before the First World War: "But the khaki-covered camera is the latest thing" - the Boer War cinema and visual culture in Britain, Simon Popple; James Williamson's rescue narratives, Frank Gray; Cecil Hepworth, Alice in Wonderland and the development of the narrative film, Andrew Higson; Putting the world before you - the Charles Urban story, Luke McKernan; "It would be a mistake to strive for subtlety of effect" - Richard III and populist, pantomime Shakespeare in the 1910s, Jon Burrows. Section B Going to the cinema - audiences, exhibition and reception from the 1890s to the 1910s: "Indecent Incentives to Vice"- Regulating Films and Audience Behaviour from the 1890s to the 1910s, Lise Shapiro. "Nothing more than a 'craze'" - cinema building in Britain from 1909 to 1914, Nicholas Hiley; Letters to America: a case study in the exhibition and reception of American films in Britain, 1914-18, Mike Hammond. Section C A full supporting programme - serials, cinemagazines, interest films, travelogues and travel films, and film music in the 1910s and 1920s: British series and serials in the silent era, Alex Marlow-Mann; The spice of the perfect programme - the weekly magazine film during the silent period, Jenny Hammerton; Shakespeare's country - the national poet, English identity and British silent cinema, Roberta E. Pearson; Representing "African life" - from ethnographic exhibitions to "Nionga" and "Stampede", Emma Sandon; Distant trumpets - the score to "The Flag Lieutenant" and music of the British silent cinema, Neil Brand. Section D The feature film at home and abroad - mainstream cinema from the end of the First World War to the coming of sound: Writing screen plays - Stannard and Hitchcock, Charles Barr; H.G. Wells and British silent cinema - the war of the worlds, Sylvia Hardy; War-torn Dionysus - the silent passion of Ivor Novello, Michael Williams; Tackling the Big Boy of Empire - British Film in Australia, 1918-1931, Mike Walsh. Section E - Taking the cinema seriously - the emergence of an intellectual film culture in the 1920s: The Film Society and the creation of an alternative film culture in Britain in the 1920s, Jamie Sexton; Towards a critical practice - Ivor Montagu and British film culture in the 1920s, Gerry Turvey; Writing the cinema into daily life - Iris Barry and the emergence of British film criticism in the 1920s, Haidee Wasson. Section F Bibliographical and archival resources: A guide to bibliographic and archival sources on British cinema before the First World War, Stephen Bottomore; A guide to bibliographic and archival sources on British cinema from the First World War to the coming of sound, Jon Burrows; Bibliography - British cinema before 1930.

"Two themes in particular stand out, which draw on the interdisciplinary pattern of much current early media work. One is to locate moving pictures in a wider fabric of popular culture . . . The other new and welcome trend apparent in this collection is a move away from directors and even from individual films towards a consideration of industrial issues . . . [this collection] testifies to a lively culture of research and discovery around early British cinema which is a welcome change from the self-flagellation of earlier generations." (Sight and Sound, June 2002) "This book is both necessary, and important . . . A collection of introductory essays such as this has not before been undertaken, and it provides an invaluable reference point to students of this neglected period . . . The greatest value in the book lies in its final section, in which Steve Bottomore and Jon Burrows give a comprehensive overview of the resources available to those interested in the period . . . The silent period in Britain can be daunting, given its lack of secondary source material, but the two pieces between them provide an opening into the period to any interested party, and should be recommended reading on all film history courses. These are backed up by an impressive bibliography which is well organised, thorough and completely indispensable. There is no doubt that this is a book which every film student should have on his or her shelf . . . What comes across most is the variety of approaches available and the wealth of work yet to be done, as well as the community and the enthusiasm of the academics, archivists, students and historians who are undertaking it. The message is clear; grab a notepad and join in. There is much to do. Essential." (Viewfinder, No. 47, June 2002) “The Exeter Studies in Film History are a valuable and growing collection of works on the development of cinema on both sides of the Atlantic… The volume includes a fine bibliography and two valuable essay-guides to research materials and procedures.” (Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2004)

Andrew Higson has been a member of the Film and Televisions Studies academic staff at the University of East Anglia since 1986, and was made a Professor of Film Studies in 2000. From 1991 to 1998, he was chair of the Film Studies sector; in August 2002, he took over as Dean of the School of English and American Studies. When this School was dissolved in 2004, he became the inaugral Head of the new School of Film and Television Studies. He is the author of Waving the Flag: Constructing a National Cinema in Britain (OUP, 1995), and editor of Dissolving Views: Key Writings on British Cinema (Cassell, 1996).

Young And Innocent?
Young And Innocent? - The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930 - Hardback cover

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 432 pages

 Paperback , 432 pages
 234mm x 156mm

BIC Code:
  HIS054000, PER004000
 University of Exeter Press


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