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Meaning and practice, 1927–77

Amateur film: Meaning and practice 1927–77 traces the development of non-professional interests in making and showing film. It explores how amateur cinematography gained a following among the wealthy, following the launch of lightweight portable cine equipment by Kodak and Pathé in Britain during the early 1920s. As social access to the new hobby widened, enthusiasts began to use cine equipment at home, work, on holiday and elsewhere. Some amateurs made films only for themselves while others became cine club members, contributors to the hobby literature and participated in film competitions from local to international level.

The stories of individual filmmakers, clubs and the emergence of an independent hobby press, as well as the non-fiction films made by groups and individuals, provide a unique lens through which contemporary responses to daily experience may be understood over fifty years of profound social, cultural and economic change. Using regional film archive collections, oral testimony and textual sources, this book explores aspects of family life, working experience, locality and social issues, leisure time and overseas travel as captured by filmmakers from northern and northwest England. This study of visual memory, identity and status sets cine camera use within a wider trajectory of personal record making, and discusses the implications of footage moving from private to public spaces as digitisation widens access and transforms contemporary archive practice.

Mark Neumann and Janna Jones

earliest amateur films still in existence. 2 Within a decade, other amateur filmmakers moved through this region as well as other parts of Maine and New England. The numbers of amateur filmmakers increased after Eastman Kodak’s introduction of direct reversal 16mm safety film in 1923. 3 The newly formed Amateur Cinema League published the Amateur Movie Makers magazine in

in Cinematic countrysides
Editor: Robert Fish

Staging an encounter between cinema and countryside is to invoke a rich and diverse spatial imagery. This book explores the reciprocal relationship between film and the rural: how film makes rural and rural makes film. Part I of the book explores the idea of the nationhood and relatedly, how cinematic countrysides frame the occupancy and experience of border zones. It covers representations of the Australian landscape and the spatial imagery behind the 'inculcation of political ideology' of North Korean films. European 'films of voyage' are a cinematic tradition that articulates representations of the countryside with questions of boundaries and cultural diversity. The 'pagan' landscape of British cinema and the American and British war films are also discussed. Part II focuses on the role that countrysides play in mediating national self-image through globalising systems of cinematic production. Films such as The Local Hero and The Lord of the Rings, the latter in the context of New Zealand as a shooting location, are discussed. The third part of the book focuses on two key markers of social identity and difference - 'childhood' and 'masculinity' - which serve to amplify how embodied identities come to inflect the idea of rural space. A family's relocation to the countryside from the city serves to emphasise that they are isolated from the moral structures that might contain their deviant behaviour. Part IV of the book deals with, inter alia, the Amber Film and Photography Collective, and amateur films on the former coalfields of Durham.

The amateur art films of Enrico Cocozza
Ryan Shand

Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper. Jean Cocteau In 1937, B. Vivian Braun, of the Experimental Film Exchange, wrote, ‘At one time or another every film director has said “If only I could make the film I want.” To the amateur film director that is no hopeless wish. He can […] For every amateur who takes into his hand a motion picture camera becomes a film director, an artist, and an

in British art cinema
Heather Norris Nicholson

amateur filmmaking in Britain. Directors, critics, actors and other film professionals praised how the amateur film movement had contributed to the development of national cinema. ‘Amateur filmmakers are a stimulus to the professional film industry, and provide a growing audience for whatever we endeavour to do that is mature, imaginative and experimental’, enthused John and Roy Boulting, the prolific twin-brother director

in Amateur film
Open Access (free)
Amateur film, civic culture and the rehearsal of monarchy
Karen Lury

dignified you know!’ 1 This chapter will explore a range of amateur rather than professional film production: in this context, ‘amateur film’ serves as a broad category which includes a diverse number of films made by individual hobbyists, cine clubs and the more commercially minded directors of various ‘local topicals’. 2 While the majority of amateur

in The British monarchy on screen
Heather Norris Nicholson

Linking up with like-minded people was the next step for some new cine enthusiasts, once family and friends had been tried out as both subject and audience. Many converts trace their own discovery of amateur filmmaking to attending a meeting where amateur films were being shown and talked about. The impetus varied: a local advertisement spotted by chance, an invitation to accompany someone else to a club or

in Amateur film
Heather Norris Nicholson

) issued the first British serial publication aimed at amateur filmmakers. George H. Sewell, founding editor of Amateur Films ( AF ), sought readers and contributors for a specialist magazine on technical and topical aspects of taking, making and showing motion pictures. AF grew from a twelve-page newsletter into a well-illustrated thirty-six-page monthly by 1934 when it was replaced by Amateur Cine World ( ACW ). Written

in Amateur film
Heather Norris Nicholson

, demonstrators’ banners, empty wharves during a strike or scenes of unemployed people, point to the sensibilities of time and place captured in personal footage. Alongside films concerned with public rather than private concerns, this chapter links imagery to contemporary opinion and public mood evidenced by the hobby press. Listed amateur film shows to raise funds or entertain in prisons, hospitals, care homes and other needy settings

in Amateur film
Heather Norris Nicholson

later.’ Further on, quotations from Macaulay, General Gordon and ‘Ramsay Macdonald, the first socialist prime minister’ construct a self-assured overview of British imperial endeavour. The historically sensitive nature of colonial film material – for both the colonised and the colonisers – has led to its relative neglect until recent years within the study of amateur films. 52 Yet these private records

in Amateur film