The Appreciation of Film
The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain
Finalist Theatre Library Awards August - 2017
Subjects: Film History
Series: Exeter Studies in Film History
This book offers the first full account of the film society movement in Britain and its contribution to post-World War Two film culture. It brings to life a lost history of alternative film exhibition and challenges the general assumption that the study of film began with university courses on ‘Film Studies’.
Showing how film societies operated and the lasting impression they made on film culture, The Appreciation of Film details the history of film education in Britain. The book illuminates the changing relationship between volunteer-run societies and professionalised agencies promoting film art such as festivals, specialist commercial distributors and public bodies such as the British Film Institute.
Drawing on original archival research and oral history interviews the book acknowledges the vigour and dedication of volunteer film society activists and presents contemporary readers with a record of their achievement.
Written in an accessible style, this is a study of 16mm projectors, associational life and the making of film culture in Britain. It reclaims the marginalised civic cinephilia of volunteer film society activists whilst providing an alternative narrative of the emergence of film study in Britain.
List of Illustrations
1 Enthusiasm and Civic Duty: The Emergence of the Film Society Movement
2 The Postwar Transformation of the Film Society Movement
3 Popularising Film Appreciation: Roger Manvell’s Film
4 The British Film Institute, the Film Archive and Film Society Programming
5 Making the World Our Home: Affirmative Internationalism and Film Societies
6 Film Society Criticism, Middlebrow Taste and New Cinemas
7 Film Societies, Universities and the Emergence of Film Studies
Conclusion: What Was Film Appreciation?
‘This is an interesting project, based on thorough research, dealing with a topic that deserves to be better known and better documented.’ (Professor Andrew Higson, Dept. of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)
‘This book serves as a valuable companion to an emerging literature on the history of film studies, both internationally and specifically within Britain.’ (Professor Richard Maltby, Dept. of Screen and Media, Flinders University)
Richard Lowell MacDonald is a lecturer in the Media and Communications department at Goldsmiths, University of London. His specific research interests include the history of cinema and visual culture, institutions of film criticism and pedagogy, the aesthetics of documentary and ethnographic film, and historic and contemporary modes of moving image exhibition beyond the cinema theatre.
Richard Lowell MacDonald
Exeter Studies in Film History
- 'Film Europe' And 'Film America' - Cinema, Commerce and Cultural Exchange 1920-1939
- Alternative Empires - European Modernist Cinemas and Cultures of Imperialism
- Alternative Film Culture in Interwar Britain
- The Appreciation of Film - The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain
- The Big Show - British Cinema Culture in the Great War (1914-1918)
- British Cinema and Middlebrow Culture in the Interwar Years
- Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911
- Celluloid War Memorials - The British Instructional Films Company and the Memory of the Great War
- Charles Urban - Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897 - 1925
- A Chorus Of Raspberries - British Film Comedy 1929-1939
- Decoding the Movies - Hollywood in the 1930s
- Going to the Movies - Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema
- The Great Art Of Light And Shadow - Archaeology of the Cinema
- Hollywood, Westerns And The 1930S - The Lost Trail
- Legitimate Cinema - Theatre Stars in Silent British Films, 1908-1918
- The Lost Jungle - Cliffhanger Action and Hollywood Serials of the 1930s and 1940s
- Marketing Modernity - Victorian Popular Shows and Early Cinema
- Multimedia Histories - From Magic Lanterns to Internet
- Parallel Tracks - The Railroad and Silent Cinema
- A Paul Rotha Reader
- Popular Filmgoing in 1930s Britain - A Choice of Pleasures
- Reading the Cinematograph - The Cinema in British Short Fiction, 1896-1912
- Silent Features - The Development of Silent Feature Films 1914 - 1934
- The World According To Hollywood,1918-1939
- Young And Innocent? - The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930