Ryan Shand
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Attitudes towards experiment in British cinema
The amateur art films of Enrico Cocozza
in British art cinema
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Enrico Cocozza was one of Britain’s most innovative amateur film-makers. Like Norman McLaren, he was an aspiring professional: entering his provocative shorts into the Scottish Amateur Film Festival in order to gain recognition and notoriety, before moving into professionalism. During a thirty-year career he made fifty films, wrote numerous articles and produced a full-length novel. He also set up a film society, built his own cinema, formed a production unit and made a professional documentary for Films of Scotland. He won many prizes, but his work was often controversial. Making fantasy films, especially ones eschewing the usual modesty and self-restraint expected in amateur productions, ensured that Cocozza would be a divisive figure in the Britain amateur film movement. Reference to the so-called ‘Wishaw Estate trilogy’, Fantasmagoria (1948), The White Lady (1949) and The Living Ghost (1959), will form the main body of the chapter.

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British art cinema

Creativity, experimentation and innovation

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