Robert Shail
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The parameters of British art cinema
A case study of John Krish
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The work of John Krish provides a useful means of examining the multi-layered patchwork that is British art cinema. Krish made documentaries for public and private clients. He made public information films, ‘B’ movies, adverts, and even a religious film, as well as working for the Children’s Film Foundation and for television. Whatever the format or genre, he pushed at the boundaries of what was acceptable, resulting in a number of his films being banned. The range of his work is startling and reflects the fragmentary nature of British film production from the 1950s to the 1970s. Nonetheless, a highly coherent body of work emerges, characterised both by dark humour and pessimism at human folly, and by a natural warmth towards his subjects, from lonely old men to deprived children. This chapter considers Krish’s auteur credentials and cult status, acknowledging his embodiment of the diversity and contradictions which characterise British art cinema.

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British art cinema

Creativity, experimentation and innovation

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