The British Film Institute, the government and film culture, 1933-2000
Edited by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Christophe Dupin
Subject Area: Film and Media
BIC Category: Film, TV & radio
Published: May 2012
234 x 138 mm
Publisher: Manchester University Press
The British Film Institute (BFI) is one of the UK’s oldest and most important government-supported cultural institutions. From a modest start in the 1930s it grew rapidly after the war to encompass every kind of film-related activity from production to archiving to exhibition to education. At the beginning of the twenty-first century its turnover was approaching £30m and it had become a central point of reference for anyone whose interest in film stretched beyond what’s on at the local multiplex.
There was nothing straightforward about this rise to prominence. It was achieved in the face of government indifference, active obstruction from the film trade, internecine warfare within the organisation and fierce contestation on the part of the BFI’s own core public.
Based on intensive original research in the BFI’s own voluminous archives and elsewhere, this book examines the interplay of external and internal forces that led to the BFI’s unique development as a multi-faceted public body.
This volume will be a treasure trove for anyone interested in film and the workings of cultural institutions, or more generally in twentieth century British film history.
List of illustrations
Foreword by Sir Denis Forman
Foundation and early years - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
Post-War Renaissance - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
'Je t'aime – moi non plus': Ernest Lindgren and Henri Langlois - Christophe Dupin
The BFI and Film Exhibition, 1933-1970 - Christophe Dupin
The Vanguard of film Appreciation: the Film Society movement and film Culture, 1945-1965 - Richard MacDonald
From the 1964 Labour government to the 1970 BFI Crisis - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
The view from the regions - Melanie Selfe
Paddy Whannel and BFI Education - Terry Bolas
The 1970s - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
The Smith years - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
The BFI and film production: half a century of innovative independent film- making - Christophe Dupin
The BFI and television - Richard Paterson
The Sight and Sound story - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
A public showcase for the BFI: the Museum of the Moving Image - Lorraine Blakemore
Towards the Millennium - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
"The book is wide ranging in scope, covering not only the BFI, but 75 years of British cultural life, including film societies, the film archive movement and the Museum of the Moving Image." "This volume will be a treasure trove for anyone interested in film and the workings of cultural institutions, or more generally in 20th century British film history." ...a lively account
...the editors have produced a well-organized overview of the institution, its historical ups and downs, and most intriguingly of all, the shifting power relationships between the BFI and the succession of British goverments that have affected its fortunes for good or ill. ...this book does provide a balanced and incisive insight into the range of its activities, its institutional relationships (both internal and external) and its organizational development.
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