Ian Aitken

The work of Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer makes up the core of what is here referred to as the intuitionist realist tradition in film theory. Most of this work has, generally, been classified as falling into the frame of’ ‘classical’ film theory, although this is an all-embracing term, often used to consign most film theory appearing before the rise of the Saussurian paradigm within one general ‘early

in Realist film theory and cinema
Abstract only
The Films of Glasgow Corporation 1938-1978
Elizabeth Lebas

Glasgow Corporation had been sponsoring films for almost twenty years when in 1938 its Public Health Department commissioned seven silent films. This marked new relations between the Corporation and the emerging Scottish documentary film movement and a change of approach towards the films’ audiences and the city itself. The essay traces the Corporation‘s film sponsorship from the late 1930s to 1978 when the final images of Glasgow‘s Progress, the Corporation‘s last sponsored film - on its urban renewal projects were taken. By then the Corporation had been amalgamated into Strathclyde Regional Council, the century-long social project of reform had come to an end and television had made its own documentary impact. It argues that over time Corporation films served a variety of political and institutional purposes and often prefigured the fortunes of the city and its people.

Film Studies
The nineteenth-century Lukácsian and intuitionist realist traditions
Author: Ian Aitken

This book embraces studies of cinematic realism and nineteenth-century tradition; the realist film theories of Lukács, Grierson, Bazin and Kracauer; and the relationship of realist film theory to the general field of film theory and philosophy. It attempts a rigorous and systematic application of realist film theory to the analysis of particular films, suggesting new ways forward for a new series of studies in cinematic realism, and for a new form of film theory based on realism. The book stresses the importance of the question of realism both in film studies and in contemporary life.

Scott Anthony

extravagances would became ever more assured, unforced and sophisticated. 7KH(0%·VFRQWULEXWLRQWRVFLHQWLÀFDQGHGXFDWLRQDOÀOPV One Family‘s failure encouraged the Board to concentrate on professional and educational films aimed at non-commercial audiences.19 This was a pragmatic intervention. ‘If the Civil Service, or any other public service must have its illegitimate children’, Tallents approvingly quoted Grierson, ‘it is best to see that they are small ones’.20 The EMB began administrating scientific grants at a point in time when interest in the science film had begun to

in Public relations and the making of modern Britain
Yulia Ryzhik

‘In no poetry more than the religious did the English genius in the seventeenth century declare its strong individuality, its power of reacting to the traditions and fashions which, in the Elizabethan age, had flowed in upon it from the Latin countries in Europe’, announced Herbert Grierson in the introduction of his 1921 Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems . 1 One of the ‘traditions and fashions’ to which Grierson alludes is of course Petrarchism: from Donne’s choice of the sonnet as a locus of repentance to Herbert’s or Quarles’s amorous

in Spenser and Donne
Abstract only
Girls in the news
Peter William Evans

As Carol Reed began to make his way in films the British cinema in the 1930s was already characterised, on the one hand, by the rise of the documentary tradition epitomised by Grierson and Cavalcanti and, on the other, by popular genre-based, star-studded films and studio production headed by moghuls like Alexander Korda. Reed’s films, like those directed by Victor Saville, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael

in Carol Reed
Abstract only
Robert Murphy

Critical enthusiasm for realism in British cinema, from Grierson to Ken Loach, has obscured the fact that the majority of British films pay little regard to a realist ethos. Melodramas and crime films have traditionally made up a significant and substantial part of British cinema and a section of these films can be related to film noir. As film noir is a critical category constructed to deal with a

in European film noir
Abstract only
Keith Beattie

, traditionalists within the Griersonian documentary movement disliked Spare Time.1 The example says a great deal about Jennings’ filmmaking and its relationship to the tradition of British documentary. The British documentary film movement under Grierson’s steward­ ship emphasised a rhetoric of social persuasion grounded heavily in an expository mode in which images were aligned with, though frequently subservient to, a stentorian voice-over. Grierson argued that documen­ tary was, from its inception, an ‘anti-aesthetic’ medium overtly intended as a tool of social ‘betterment

in Humphrey Jennings
Abstract only
Des O’Rawe

1 Suspended animation I’m a film-­thinker, otherwise uncultured. (Len Lye)1 The GPO Film Unit is the most iconic of the various state-­ sponsored and independent organisations that comprised the British Documentary Movement of the inter-­war period. Its outline history tends to go as follows: in the middle of economic recession, social unrest, and the spread of fascism, Stephen Tallents and John Grierson salvaged a dedicated public-­ service film unit from the recently defunct Empire Marketing Board (EMB). Funded through the General Post Office, the unit

in Regarding the real
Abstract only
Keith Beattie

. Jennings’ sense of the visual gained from his painting, his poet’s understanding of the power of language, and his background in acting and stage design were perfect complements for the demands of the documentary filmmaker made by John Grierson, his new boss at the GPO Film Unit. Jennings’ outstanding talents as a documentary filmmaker were initially developed within the GPO Film Unit, and subsequently within its successor, the wartime Crown Film Unit. In 1950, the year of his untimely death at the age of forty-three, Jennings was working for the independent film company

in Humphrey Jennings