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.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers memory as a specific framework for the study of popular film, intervening in growing debates about the status and function of memory in cultural life and discourse. It examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The book explores the political stakes of cinematic discourse in its production of national memory. It also examines the discursive and institutional apparatus that has come to support the memory of Classic Hollywood in British cultural life. The book also considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory.