A Paul Rotha Reader

Edited by Duncan Petrie and Robert Kruger

A Paul Rotha Reader
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Edited by Duncan Petrie and Robert Kruger

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

292 pages | illustrations | 9-3/10 x 5-3/5 | © 1999
Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780859896269 Published January 2000 For sale in North and South America only
Paul Rotha was one of the major figures of the British Documentary Movement, second only to John Grierson. He was also a prolific writer, beginning with his celebrated book The Film Till Now, published in 1930. This volume brings together an edited collection of some of his most important writings and addresses a variety of topics including the theoretical basis of cinema, the emergence of an intellectual film culture in Britain, the state of the British film industry and his own experience of directing and producing films.
A Paul Rotha Reader marks a major reappraisal of Rotha's significance as a theorist, critic and advocate for cinema as the most important form of mass communication in the modern world. It will be essential reading for anyone seriously interested in British cinema history
Journal of Popular British Cinema

“Rotha’s writing itself seems incredibly fresh and vibrant. A no-nonsense, clearly written personal view of filmmaking, the book is a pleasure to read and triggers off many a train of thought about the nature of documentary filmmaking . . . As a starting-point for discussion about the thinking behind documentary and the effect it can have on the viewer, it is a highly stimulating collection . . . The introductory chapters pull into focus Rotha’s aims and intentions which remind the reader what documentary has the potential to do. To make us think.” –Journal of Popular British Cinema, Vol. 4, 2001


The Early Years
      Robert Kruger
Paul Rotha and the Documentary Films
      Robert Kruger
Paul Rotha and Film Theory
      Duncan Petrie
Rotha’s Writing
1. The Art of the Film: Theory and Criticism
    The Development of the Film as a Means of Expression (1930)
    Production—Off the Studio Floor (1929)
    Rhythm—and its Creation (1929)
    The Magnificence of Fairbanks (1930)
    City Lights (1931)
    Earth (1931)
    Pabst (1967)
    Some Principles of Documentary (1935)
    Films of Fact and Fiction (1938)
    Neo-realism: Bicycle Thieves (1950)
    Umberto D (1955)
II. Cinema and Britain: Culture and Industry
    The ‘Unusual’  Film Movement (1940)
    Repertory Film Movement (1931)
    A Museum for Cinema (1930)
    The British Film (1930)
        1933 Interview
        1956 Interview
        The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)
     The Government and the Film Industry (1945)
     A Plan for British Films (1949)
    The Problem of the Short Film (1966)
III. Film Practice
    The Technique of the Art-Director (1928)
    The Art Director and the Film Script (1930)
    Making Contact 1932–33 (1973)
    Presenting the World to the World (1956)

Select Filmography
Select Bibliography
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