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.

British art cinema

Creativity, experimentation and innovation

Editors: Paul Newland and Brain Hoyle

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