Phil Wickham
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Don Boyd and the business of art cinema
in British art cinema
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This chapter makes the case that the art cinema that has formed something of a parallel enterprise to the British film industry has survived, and at moments prospered, not just through the talents of the nation’s film-makers but also the efforts of producers and others who have brought their vision to audiences. Don Boyd’s forty-year career offers an illuminating insight into this process. From the late 1970s his work at the helm of Boyd’s Company, and many subsequent ventures, has combined art cinema with more commercial productions. As a director himself, Boyd has been very keen as a producer to enable film-makers to create challenging and distinctive work in an industry that was not conducive to making mainstream films, let alone art cinema. This is demonstrated through his work with Derek Jarman on The Tempest and The War Requiem and his portmanteau film, Aria, showcasing film-makers including Godard, Jarman and Roeg. In telling this story the chapter utilises extensive material from Don Boyd’s archives, held at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter. His career has seen great highs and lows and the archives show his desire and struggle throughout good times and bad to get art cinema to the screen and to maximise its audience.

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British art cinema

Creativity, experimentation and innovation

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