Young And Innocent?

The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930

Andrew Higson

Andrew Higson

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

432 pages | 32 illustrations | 9-1/5 x 6-2/5 | © 2002
Paper $50.00 ISBN: 9780859897174 Published January 2002 For sale in North and South America only
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.
Viewfinder

“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

Sight and Sound

“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

Contents
List of Illustrations
Picture Credits
Acknowledgements
 
Introduction
Andrew Higson

SECTION A – Putting the Pioneers in Context: Films and Filmmakers before the First World War

1. “But the Khaki-Covered Camera is the Latest Thing”: The Boer War Cinema and Visual Culture in Britain
    Simon Popple

2. James Williamson’s Rescue Narratives
    Frank Gray

3. Cecil Hepworth, Alice in Wonderland and the Development of the Narrative Film
    Andrew Higson

4. Putting the World before You: The Charles Urban Story
    Luke McKernan
5. “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

6. “Indecent Incentives to Vice”: Regulating Films and Audience Behaviour from the 1890s to the 1910s
    Lise Shapiro Sanders 

7. “Nothing More than a ‘Craze’”: Cinema Building in Britain from 1909 to 1914
    Nicholas Hiley

8. Letters to America: A Case Study in the Exhibition and Reception of American Films in Britain, 1914-1918
    Michael Hammond
SECTION C – A Full Supporting Programme: Serials, Cinemagazines, Interest Films, Travelogues and Travel Films, and Film Music in the 1910s and 1920s

9. British Series and Serials in the Silent Era
    Alex Marlow-Mann

10. The Spice of the Perfect Programme: The Weekly Magazine Film during the Silent Period
    Jenny Hammerton

11. Shakespeare’s Country: The National Poet, English Identity and British Silent Cinema
    Roberta E. Pearson
12. Representing “African Life”: From Ethnographic Exhibitions to Nionga and Stampede
    Emma Sandon 
 
13. 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

14. Writing Screen Plays: Stannard and Hitchcock
    Charles Barr
15. H.G. Wells and British Silent Cinema: The War of the Worlds
    Sylvia Hardy
16. War-Torn Dionysus: The Silent Passion of Ivor Novello
    Michael Williams
17. 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

18. The Film Society and the Creation of an Alternative Film Culture in Britain in the 1920s
    Jamie Sexton
19. Towards a Critical Practice: Ivor Montagu and British Film Culture in the 1920s
    Gerry Turvey
20. 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

21. A Guide to Bibliographical and Archival Sources on British Cinema before the First World War
    Stephen Bottomore
 
22. A Guide to Bibliographical and Archival Sources on British Cinema from the First World War to the Coming of Sound
    Jon Burrows
23. Bibliography: British Cinema Before 1930
    compiled by Andrew Higson, Michael Williams and Jo-Anne Blanco
Notes on Contributors
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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