287 Chapters
Medium 9780861967025

Mitchell & Kenyon and the Local Film Show

Edited by Martin Loiperdinger John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

Introduction

The Mitchell & Kenyon Collection is now the third largest film collection in the world relating to the output of a single company from the early 1900s. The Collection was donated to the British Film Institute in 2000 by Peter Worden a local businessman in Blackburn who rescued the films, and was researched by the University of Sheffield. Books, articles and DVDs have been produced on the Collection, and thousands of copies of the DVDs have been sold.1 The films have been shown at international film festivals, resulted in international media coverage and produced numerous articles. Shortly after its discovery and subsequent restoration by the BFI, Mitchell & Kenyon became nationally and internationally renowned and soon became the most important early film material in the national collection of BFI National Archives. Millions of people have seen the films on television and in venues from Pordenone to San Francisco, Leeds to Luxembourg and Blackburn to Boston, over half a million cinema-goers have watched the films. The films have moved from the film festival and the archival presentation format to becoming part of Youtube on the BFI’s own channel, music festivals with bands such as Lemon Jelly and In The Nursery combining modern music to the films and part of contemporary art installations.2

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Medium 9780861967155

Chapter 6 A Statement

Edited by David E James and Adam Hyman John Libbey Publishing ePub

Curtis Harrington*

The Tenth Muse still awaits its great patron. Until this person comes forth, and it has always been my conviction that such a person will eventually appear, the cinema will continue to be enmeshed in the tyranny of commercial expediency. Let us not fool ourselves: the experimental film, ostensibly free from the aforementioned tyranny, is too trifling, too in love with its petty effects, too introverted, too lazy, and most often ends as a victim, also, for its means by circumstance have been too transcribed. Ironically, the best films have been produced, whatever the consequences to the artist, and they have often been considerable (witness historically the systematic, exteriorly induced decay in the extraordinary talents of Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg and Orson Welles, as example), within the framework of the commercial cinema.

The world is like a great sea: only the few manage to walk on water. These water-walkers see far and when they manage to communicate their vision to us we receive a marvelous gift. The most marvelous gifts of which the cinema is capable have not yet been given us. Of the ways of communicating vision, surely the cinema offers the greatest challenge, and it is plainly too formidable for most. Yet I am convinced that its appeal should not only be to giants. There will one day be an Emily Dickinson of the cinema.

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Medium 9780861967254

Chapter 19

Tony Grey John Libbey Publishing ePub

The day of the hearing arrives. Marcus is led into the Great Hall which is not full as it was before. In fact it is cavernously empty. This is not a public hearing, but one held in camera by Gan who acts in the capacity of a magistrate. Colonel Chen, and four senior officers are there too. The Protector-General alone will make the decision, but he’s astute enough to know that he should have the support of the others, or if not, at least not their active opposition.

Gan and his colleagues are sitting cross-legged on the wooden dais, passive and pyramidal in their draping silks. Gan is in the middle, not on the rostrum this time. A spectral silence heightens the anxiety Marcus can’t help feeling. These men are so remote, so obdurate, that making a positive impression on them seems virtually impossible. His advocate is the only hope. He and Kang take a chair in front, at a lower level, facing the tribunal. Gan opens the proceedings.

“Marcus Velinius Agricola,” his pronunciation is incomprehensible, “we are here to consider your actions on the day of the victory celebration. Since we were all there and know what you did, a prosecutor will not be required.

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Medium 9780861966820

Beatrix Potter: 1992–1995

Marie Beardmore John Libbey Publishing ePub

 

It’s fair to say the Beatrix Potter series arrived in the nick of time for TVC. John hadn’t gone out looking to animate the much-loved books, but rather they came to him. In truth the story of the Beatrix Potter series dates back many years previous, when the original publisher Frederick Warne still controlled the author’s estate. John was sat at his desk in the TVC offices when he got “the call” from Frederic Warne. Beatrix Potter had aligned with them in the days when women found it very hard to get published, but they were a small company and somewhat on their last legs when they made the call to TVC about developing the characters for animation. So it was that John and The Snowman director Dianne Jackson went around to their offices to talk to them about converting the stories into film.

Warne were in touch with two or three studios competing to get the job of animating Beatrix Potter’s world and TVC were asked to do some character designs and prep work. They did and a long time went by, at least it seemed to John, before they heard they got the job. And then there was a much longer period of silence, lasting several years, before the project once more came to light. This was when Penguin bought out Warne in 1983, although it wasn’t until the 1990s that they contacted John about working on the project.

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Medium 9780861966967

Chapter 1 Archaeologies of Interactivity: Early Cinema, Narrative and Spectatorship

Klaus Kreimeier John Libbey Publishing ePub

It is difficult not to discuss contemporary cinema in terms of its multiple – and for some, mortal – crises: loss of indexicality, due to the transition from photographic to digitally generated images; death of the auteur cinema, even in Europe, as a creative force, overtaken once more by Hollywood’s Bat-, Spider- and Iron-Men, with their sequels and prequels; decline of the cinema as an art-form, its medium-specificity diluted by the hybridisation of a film’s textual autonomy in the DVD bonus package; appropriation of the cinema’s history and cannibalisation of its cultural memory through television and the internet serving up teasers, trailers and other pre-cooked forms of compilation and compression. Finally, some of the most persistent anxieties arising from these crises of cinema centre on spectatorship and narrative, figured as a loss of attention and the decay of storytelling. Filmmaking, according to this argument, is threatened by the impatient, hyperactive spectator, and trapped by the contradiction between ‘game logic’ and ‘narrative logic’.

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