H. E. Fowler, ‘A guide to the appreciation of
the historical photoplay Victoria the Great ’, Photoplay
Studies 3:8 ( 1937 ), pp. 8–9.
Christopher Robbins, Empress of Ireland. A
Memoir of Brian Desmond Hurst (London: Scribner, 2004 ), p. 320
Sarah Bernhardt, Queen Elizabeth and the development of motion pictures
See Sarah Bernhardt’s comments about this ‘band
of students’ called the ‘Saradoteurs’ in Paris in Sarah Bernhardt,
Ma Double Vie: Mémoires de Sarah Bernhardt (Paris: Eugène
Fasquelle, 1923 ), p. 290. See also Suze
Rueff, who relates in her biography of Bernhardt that Bernhardt
‘drew to the Odéon the students, the midinettes and the artisans of
the rive gauche ’. Suze Rueff
, Abe had
continued his battles for social rights and civil rights, often being
pursued by the FBI. Then, at the age of sixty he had returned to Spain
(still under Franco), to make a film on the civil war he called Dreams
and Nightmares. The film was not just a memoir, but as he told me,
was made to protest against US aid to Franco.
And so the two men talked, actually way past cocktail time. But
who cared. It wasn’t just their stories that captured us, but something
about their spirit. Afterwards I tried to analyze what that something
was, and then it hit me. It wasn
the ‘authentic’ and the ‘inauthentic’, the ‘honest’ and
the ‘contrived’, and between ideas of documentary and reality
television as good and bad objects respectively.
Chapter 3 uses research among audiences for Touching the Void,
the highest grossing British documentary in history, adapted from
a best-selling climbing memoir. It examines the film’s form (which
intercuts interviews and reconstructions), and interrogates a mode
6/28/2007, 10:27 AM
of engagement that treated the film as an ‘inspirational’ story of
(male) suffering and
appreciated that openness’.34
Beyond the resonances of Jennings’ work within specific films and
other cultural productions, his legacy can also be gauged in terms of the
forms he helped establish and popularise, among them the reconstruc
tive mode of the story-documentary. Caryl Doncaster’s claim, published
in 1956, that the ‘dramatised story documentary is one of the few art
forms pioneered by television’ overlooked the development of the form
during World War II in the work of Harry Watt, Pat Jackson and, in
particular, Humphrey Jennings.35 Writing in his memoir
any responses other than pity, regret, or horror,
even when we know of authentic testimony to the contrary such as that of
Henry Williamson, the author of Tarka the Otter and the Chronicle
of Ancient Sunlight sequence of novels, or that of the German Ernst
Jünger, who wrote the memoir Storm of Steel . Owen himself
experienced the exultation of battle (‘I lost all my earthly
faculties, and fought like an angel’) 20 and
Movies from Austerity to Affluence , London : Faber & Faber .
Farber , Manny ( 1962–63 ), ‘ Elephant Art vs Termite Art ’, Film Culture, 27 , Winter, 9 – 13 .
Fowler , Christopher ( 2009 ), Paperboy: A Memoir , London : Doubleday .
Geraghty , Christine ( 2000 ), British Cinema in the Fifties: Gender, Genre and the ‘New Look ’ , London : Routledge .
Gilliatt , Penelope ( 1973 ), Unholy Fools: Wits, Comics, Disturbers of the Peace: Film & Theatre , London : Secker & Warburg .
Goodwin , Cliff
-seat. Soon afterwards, the import of the hallucinations
pushes Deric to breaking-point. In Longden’s memoir Diana’s Story the
night of his breakdown is related in a mixture of first- and third-person
narrative to convey his alienation,49 and the film is able to reproduce
this perfectly through a mixture of point-of-view and omniscient shots.
As Deric drives to Bradford alone, we see a close-up of his frozen face
through the car windscreen, and on the soundtrack hear the choral
music that Aileen plays at home while she writes. We then see from
Deric’s viewpoint another
serious is the writers’ over-dependence
upon Isadora’s autobiography and Stokes’s memoir as their main
primary sources, rather than the more objective overview of a scholarly
biography. Even Margaret Drabble admitted that My Life is extremely
unreliable, ‘dictated through emotional and financial stress,
doctored, inaccurate, it does her less than justice’. 21 Similarly, Stokes knew Isadora for less than
eighteen months, so
45 ‘It was wrong to have an orgasm, it was base, shameful’ … ‘I was sure of one
thing, of being a temp. … My love affairs too have just been temporary’ (Lozerec’h
1984: 100, 189).
write a memoir (‘Mémoires d’une jeune fille dérangée’46 (Lozerec’h 1995:
181)) and then a novel (which becomes L’Intérimaire itself) in which
she moves beyond unconsciously repeating the past by deliberately
restaging scenes of shame so that she can now gain some control over
and distance from them.
Solange’s writing has enabled her to understand that her true