Catalogue


Shadows of progress: : documentary film in post-war Britain /
edited by Patrick Russell & James Piers Taylor.
imprint
Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave MacMillan ; London : on behalf of British Film Institute, 2010.
description
xii, 429 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
1844573214 (Paper), 9781844573219 (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave MacMillan ; London : on behalf of British Film Institute, 2010.
isbn
1844573214 (Paper)
9781844573219 (Paper)
general note
"A BFI book published by Palgrave Macmillan"...t.p.
catalogue key
7354080
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Patrick Russell is Senior Curator (Non-Fiction). BFI National Archive, UK. He is the author of 100 British Documentaries (2007) and co-editor of The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon (2004) and a regular contributor to BFI Screenonline. James Piers Taylor is an independent curator and film historian. He has worked previously in several film archives, including those of the BBC, the BFI, the Imperial War Museum, ITN, ITV and Reuters.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-06-01:
Like Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane's The British "B" Film (CH, Oct'10, 48-0760), this is a work of impeccable scholarship that will have limited appeal in the US since so few Americans will have any familiarity with the films discussed. The period the book covers, from 1945 to roughly the end of the 1960s, is generally thought to be one of "decline" in the British documentary; however, as Russell and Taylor are at pains to demonstrate, the movement was still rich and strong. The book is divided into two parts. The six essays in the first, "Between the Tides," meticulously lay out distribution, production, and sponsorship conditions that shaped the documentaries of the period. In this section, the essay of most interest to US readers will be the last, which looks at the themes that emerge from the films as a whole. The second part, "The New Explorers," comprises 16 essays on individual filmmakers, the most familiar of whom (to US readers) will be Lindsay Anderson, whose career started with documentaries. Thanks to Russell and Taylor's exhaustive treatment, this will remain the standard work on postwar British documentaries for a long time. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals. W. A. Vincent Michigan State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'In future years, this book… may be seen as a turning point in documentary study.' - David Rolinson, Journal of Historical Film, Radio and Television 'an exhaustive look at the post-war documentary boom' - The Digital Fix '...lively, interesting and important.' - Viewfinder 'A major addition to the literature on the history of the documentary film, and to the history of british cinema...Shadows of Progress brings to wider public and academic attention a category of films that would otherwise be hidden from view. No other book of this scale has been published on the specific topic of British film documentary history in the post-war period, and thanks to its publication there now exists an accessible resource that can both define an area of documentary production, and provide the basis for further study.' - Reviews in History
'an exhaustive look at the post-war documentary boom' - The Digital Fix '...lively, interesting and important.' - Viewfinder 'A major addition to the literature on the history of the documentary film, and to the history of british cinema...Shadows of Progress brings to wider public and academic attention a category of films that would otherwise be hidden from view. No other book of this scale has been published on the specific topic of British film documentary history in the post-war period, and thanks to its publication there now exists an accessible resource that can both define an area of documentary production, and provide the basis for further study.' - Reviews in History
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
From out of the shadows of the British Documentary Movement pioneered by revered figures such as John Grierson, Humphrey Jennings and Paul Rotha, there appeared a new generation of filmmakers that has never received due recognition ' until now. Shadows of Progress: Documentary Film in Post-War Britain is an insightful reappraisal of documentary history and introduces forty years of filmmaking that historians have almost entirely neglected. In this enlightening collection, leading scholars of documentary cinema examine the shifting relationships between documentary forms and subjects, in addition to considering how filmmaking and public relations interact and how industry and society relate to one another. In providing a historical context, this pivotal study also reveals a number of issue that resonate with contemporary debates such as the rise of environmentalism, the balance of state and industry, the role of the individual in the community and a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. Britain emerged from the Second World War as a transformed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition ' defined and established in the 1930s and 1940s ' continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of commercial sponsors with generous budgets. Although thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide, the received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of the television documentary. Shadows of Progress challenges this assumption, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. In comprehensive overview, Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor uncover the reasons why the British documentary was neglected, and provide an insightful analysis of its sponsorship, production, distribution and themes. They paint a vivid picture of institutions ' from public bodies to multinational industries ' constantly defining and redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. The social study film and the industrial film both come into sharp focus, revealed as post-war documentary's yin and yang. In the second part of the book, twelve authors from the curatorial and academic worlds pick up the story from the viewpoint of the filmmaker, as the varied career stories, and contrasting personalities, of over a dozen directors are told. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected filmmakers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of myriad relationships of craftsman to sponsor. With over one-hundred pictures, many never before seen, Shadows of Progress also contains a valuable resource of information on how films from the period can be viewed, and is published in tandem with the BFI DVD box-set: ? Patrick Russell is Senior Curator (Non-Fiction), BFI National Archive, UK. His job encompasses both the collections management and interpretative aspects of the curatorial role. In the latter capacity, he is author of 100 British Documentaries (BFI, 2007) and co-editor of The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon (BFI, 2004). He is a regular contributor to BFI screenonline, and to other web resources. His programming work has included the following major National Film Theatre / BFI Southbank seasons: John Krish - Shooting the Message (2003), Michael Grigsby and the Documentary Tradition (2004), Documentary Centenaries (2007). The latter fed into the highly acclaimed 2008 DVD release Land of Promise: The British Documentary Movement 1930-50 , to which he also contributed many of the booklet notes.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Shadows of Progress' combines an overview of British documentary cinema from 1945 to the early 1980s with profiles of major filmmakers of the period.
Long Description
Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition ' established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings ' continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary. Shadows of Progress demolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period's critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions 'from public bodies to multinational industries ' constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected filmmakers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor. Patrick Russell is Senior Curator (Non-Fiction), BFI National Archive, UK. He is the author of 100 British Documentaries (BFI, 2007) and co-editor of The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon (BFI, 2004) and a regular contributor to BFI screenonline. James Piers Taylor is Curator (Mediatheque), BFI National Archive, UK, in which capacity he researches, develops and produces content for the UK-Wide Mediatheques, making archive film and television publicly available across the country. Contributors: Dave Berry, Timothy Boon, Michael Brooke, Ros Cranston, Leo Enticknap, Steven Foxon, Erik Hedling, Bert Hogenkamp, Katy McGahan, Patrick Russell, James Taylor and Rebecca Vick
Description for Bookstore
This unique overview of British documentary cinema from 1945 to the early 1980s features profiles of major filmmakers of the period, including career histories and key themes of their work
Long Description
Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition ' established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings ' continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary. Shadows of Progress demolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period's critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions ' from public bodies to multinational industries ' constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected film-makers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor.
Main Description
'Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary. Shadows of Progress demolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period's critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions from public bodies to multinational industries constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism;the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected film-makers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor.
Main Description
?Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition “ established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings “ continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary.Shadows of Progressdemolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period’s critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions “ from public bodies to multinational industries “ constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson’s lesser-known early career to neglected film-makers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor.
Main Description
?Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary. Shadows of Progress demolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period's critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions from public bodies to multinational industries constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected film-makers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor.
Long Description
Britain emerged from war a changed country, facing new social, industrial and cultural challenges. Its documentary film tradition established in the 1930s and 1940s around legendary figures such as Grierson, Rotha and Jennings continued evolving, utilising technical advances, displaying robust aesthetic concerns, and benefiting from the entry into the industry of wealthy commercial sponsors. Thousands of films were seen by millions worldwide. Received wisdom has been that British documentary went into swift decline after the war, resurrected only by Free Cinema and the arrival of television documentary. Shadows of Progress demolishes these simplistic assumptions, presenting instead a complex and nuanced picture of the sponsored documentary in flux. Patrick Russell and James Piers Taylor explore the reasons for the period's critical neglect, and address the sponsorship, production, distribution and key themes of British documentary. They paint a vivid picture of institutions from public bodies to multinational industries constantly redefining their relationships with film as a form of enlightened public relations. Many of the issues that these films addressed could not be more topical today: the rise of environmentalism; the balance of state and industry, individual and community; a nation and a world travelling from bust to boom and back again. In the second part of the book, contributors from the curatorial and academic world provide career biographies of key film-makers of the period. From Lindsay Anderson's lesser-known early career to neglected film-makers like John Krish, Sarah Erulkar, Eric Marquis and Derrick Knight, a kaleidoscopic picture is built up of the myriad relationships of artist and sponsor.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Notes on Contributorsp. ix
Introduction: Whatever Happened to the Documentary Movement?p. xi
Between the Tides: Mapping Post-War Documentary
The Long Tailp. 3
Documentaty Culture: Groupings, Gatherings and Writingsp. 11
Films Nobody Sees?: Distribution and Exhibitionp. 20
Productionp. 30
Sponsorshipp. 60
Themes in Post-War Documentaryp. 108
The New Explorers: Careers in Post-War Documentary
Introductionp. 117
People, Productivity and Changep. 118
The World Still Singsp. 141
'I don't think he did anything after that'p. 156
Conflict and Confluencep. 176
Documentary on the Movep. 194
Pictures Should Be Steadyp. 205
Less Film Society - More Fleet Streetp. 216
Science and Societyp. 230
Shooting the Messagep. 246
Who's Driving?p. 274
The Passing Strangerp. 298
Meet the Pioneersp. 313
A Person Apartp. 328
Tracts of Timep. 339
Savage Voyagesp. 370
Between Two Worldsp. 389
Last Wordsp. 406
Indexp. 407
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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