Latest volume in the Key
Debates series for
Press, in which we explore
a range of current issues
affecting 'storytelling in the
digital era' - notably
transmedia stories, long-
form television formats
(Twin Peaks, Game of
Thrones, Dickensian et al),
graphic storytelling, and
the potential of cognitive
and bio-cultural studies to
explain 'how stories work',
and what happens to us
as they do.
This page is about events and
activities I'm involved in outside
regular teaching at Birkbeck. For
details of recent publications and
longer-term research projects see
About Me (if the tab is working).
You can also follow me on Twitter
as @ianchris. IC
27 Jan - Gresham College lecture: 'Powell & Pressburger's Island
Stories', French Institute, West London, 18.00, followed by
screening of I Know Where I'm Going!
29 Mar - 'The Forgotten Showman' exhibition finishes at National
Science and Media Museum, Bradford
6-7 Apr - Audiences Conference, Oxford Brookes
16 Jun - Talk about 'Highgate on screen' at Highgate Festival
8 Apr - Gresham College lecture: 'London Belongs to Us: street life
and new wave British cinema of the 1960s', Museum of
London. More info at: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-
3 Apr - Seminar on Robert Paul at St Andrews University
25 Feb - Gresham College lecture: 'Taking London to the World:
Robert Paul shows his native city in motion'.Museum of
London. More info at https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-
16 Feb - Local History day at Bruce Castle, Tottenham: announcing
the Robert Paul exhibition Animatograph!
30 Dec - Panel on Powell & Pressburger, at Torino International Film
23 Nov - Keynote lecture on 'Why we need archives and why they
must change', conference on Film Archives at Istanbul Sehir
11 Nov - Posted defence of Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old
on Sight & Sound digital edition: https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-
10 Nov - Study day on Powell and Pressburger, New Park
25 Oct - Lecture at Queen's Film Theatre Belfast, 'Seeing in the
Dark', on the history and mysteries of projection - part of QFT's 50th
10 - 13 Oct - Pordenone Giornate del cinema muto
9 Oct - Annual Birkbeck Magic Lantern show, with Jeremy Brooker
28 Sep - keynote at Durham University conference on post-Soviet
and Georgian cinema
24 Sep - 'Gothic London: recreating the ancient city on screen' -
fourth of my lectures as Visiting Professor of Film and Media History
at Gresham College, at the Museum of London, now viewable on
22 Sep - 17 Moments of Spring - took part in a discussion on the
cult Soviet TV series at Pushkin House, London
14 Sep - 'Breaking the bounds of cinema: reclaiming innovative
aspiration of the 1940s and 50s', Lecture at Pittsburgh University for
the Framing/Unframing Cinema symposium in honour of Lucy
20 Aug - Talk on Ingmar Bergman's reputation, for the centenary
cycle of his films showing in the Chichester International Film Festival
9 Jul - Opening of the V&A Censorship exhibition, in which I make
a brief appearance, recalling some high- and lowlights in Britain's
film censorship history (continuing until Jan 27 2019)
29 Jun - Launch of Storytelling in the Digital era book, co-ed for
Amsterdam University Press by me and Annie van den Oever, at
NECS Conference, Amsterdam
21-22 Jun - 'Eisenstein for the 21st century' conference, Monash
University campus, Prato, Italy
11-16 Jun - Domitor conference, George Eastman Museum,
Rochester, New York
12 Apr - 'Cheating at Caravaggio' - public lecture at University of
Malta for Valetta European City of Culture programme
10 Mar - Eisenstein Day, at Stonehill House, Abingdon
3 Mar - Talk on Early Photographic Media in the Ottoman Empire, at
Cinema of the Arab World conference, American University Cairo
26 Feb - The 19 c Craze for Stereoscopic Photography Gresham
College lecture at Museum of London
15 Feb - Making the movies Soviet: new directions in Russian film
part of Roaring 20s in Russia lecture series at Dorich House
Museum for GRAD.
2-5 Nov - European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, BAFTA London
28 Oct - day-school on the course of Soviet cinema at the New Park
cinema in Chichester
26 Oct - Eisenstein's OCTOBER at the Barbican, with the original
orchestral score by Edmund Meisel played by the LSO.
21 Oct - Alma-Tadema and Cinema; final day of conference linked to
the Leighton House AT exhibition
17 Oct - Talk at Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast on Eisenstein's
October and Soviet cinema commemorating 1917
10 Oct - Birkbeck's annual MAGIC LANTERN SHOW, with Jeremy
and Carolyn Brooker. 18.00 in the Cinema
25 Sep - 'Multimedia 1900' - first of my lectures as new Gresham
College visiting Professor of Film and Visual Media
25 Sept - First screening in the new London Screen Studies
Collection series - Designing London: Ken Adam's brilliant anti-
Swinging London for The Ipcress File (Sidney J Furie, 1965).
9 Sept - Production Design event at the V&A
17 Aug - Chichester Int'l Film Festival: talk about how the Soviets
planned filmic commemoration of 1917 in 1927.
29 Jul - Magic Lantern Society meeting in Deal, to see David
Francis's new Kent moving image museum, and give a show about
the Lantern in South America.
29-30 Jun - NECS conference, Paris: part of a great panel on new
Eisenstein research, and responding to others. Hats off to the
organisers at Paris 3 in Censier for bringing off such an impressive
conference - and all in English!
24 Jun - Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna - cinephile heaven, enlivened
this year by Dave Kehr's revelation of William K. Howard. How could
we have not noticed him?
14/18 Jun - Crouch End Festival film show: Round and About
Crouch End, with new discoveries and old favourites in local film
1 Jun - LSSC screening of Edward Dmytryk's 1949 claustrophobic
noir masterpiece Obsession, with Robert Newton and Sally Gray.
25 May - London Screen Studies show at Birkbeck Cinema: Suspected Person, a little-known 1942 thriller by Lawrence Huntington, starring Ratricia Roc and David Farrar - yet to blossom
in P&P films.
20 May - Introduced P. T. Anderson's Inherent Vice at the British Museum, as part of both The American Dream film series and the British Academy's Literature Week.
18 May - In conversation with Jane Barnwell at the launch of her
new book Production Design for Screen, at Westminster Uni.
16 May - Hosted Jeremy Brooker's 'Spectacle of Science' Magic
Lantern show as part of Birkbeck's Art Week, at 43 Gordon Square.
17 Feb - Introduced Max Reinhardt and his Instant Orchestra, accompanying Eisenstein's BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, to launch
Kino Klassika's World to Win screenings at Regent Street Cinema. See my preview of the series at http://www.russianartandculture.com/article-ten-calls-for-revolution-by-ian-christie/
9 Feb - Revealed 'the unknown R W Paul' at Abingdon Film Society
17, 24, 31 Jan - gave a short series of doctoral seminars for Paris
III at the Institute National d'Histoire de l'Art. as part of the Chaire Roger Odin programme
3 Dec - Contributed to a panel on #Kentridge @The _Whitechapel gallery, about his revival of early cinema and 60s avant-garde techniques in his own screen work. Stimulating work at a time
when so much of the avant-garde seems intent on proving its own ineffability.
2 - 30 Nov - Travelled around Brazil, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, finishing with a magical week in the Galapagos islands...
9 Nov - Gave a keynote at conference on The Intermedial History of Brazilian Cinema at São Carlos University, Brazil. My contribution:
'Getting film in perspective: visual spectacle before and after animat-ed photography', in which I was talking about the rich culture of
visual media that preceded mechanical moving pictures.
13 Nov - took part in Arica Nativa film festival in Northern Chile, as a jury member and with a talk on Raul Ruiz during the years of exile in Europe.
18 Oct - Conversation with artist Ruth Maclennan at Farnham University for the Creative Arts, http://www.visitsurrey.com/whats-on/ruth-maclennan-the-faces-they-have-vanished-p1330931 The Faces They Have Vanished, http://www.ruthmaclennan.com/biography.html
16 Oct - Discussed Eisenstein's IVAN THE TERRIBLE Pt 1, as part of the Institute of Psychoanalysis 'Framed Lives' series, at ICA, London
10 Oct - Autumn London Screen Study Collection started with THAT HAMILTON WOMAN (Korda, 1941), first in a short season of 'the
High Forties' in British cinema, when London appeared in melo-dramatic studiobound guise as a backdrop to strong passions.
6 Oct - was Robert Paul day at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, with new discoveries from the archives and a session at the Collegium. See my article 'Disappearing Act' in http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/september-2016-issue
28 Sep - 'The Great 3D scandal: how stereoscopy got written out of history'. Public talk with demonstrations from the collection, at the Bill Douglas Museum, University of Exeter, marking the 25th anniversary of Bill Douglas's death. http://www.bdcmuseum.org.uk/news/public-lecture-the-great-3d-scandal-how-stereoscopy-got-written-out-of-history-by-professor-ian-christie/.
27 Aug - Talk about 'The Many Faces of Andrey Tarkovsky' at Chichester International Film Festival, as part of their complete Tarkovsky retrospective.
31 Jul - Spoke about John Box and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS at Bristol's Watershed, as part of the Cinema Rediscovered festival. See my backstory at http://www.watershed.co.uk/projects/journal/a-film-for-all-time-a-man-for-all-seasons/
17 Jul - London archive films presentation at the Phoenix Silent Film Festival.
7 Jul - Joined Gabriel Prokofiev to present ALEXANDER NEVSKY for Kino Klassika at the Regent St Cinema, as part of our continuing Eisenstein celebration.
24 Jun - Posted in Facebook this morning:
Cameron opened a Pandora's box and it all flew out... Europe has always been a Tory project, right from Churchill onwards. But always bitterly contested within the Tory party by 'little Englanders' living in the imperial afterglow and believing themselves 'great Britons'. Labour was slow to embrace Europe, and was little help in this referendum; although the whole character of Political Europe changed after 1989 and German unification. It's this 'new Europe' that the young instinctively feel part of, and voted for massively. They'll need to organise to defeat the raggle-taggle alliance that's been handed power...
25-30 Jun - Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna: aptly termed 'cinephile heaven'. I introduced a conference on ABCinema, a film literacy project, at the Cineteca and chaired a European Film Forum workshop on the value of film heritage. I also introduced Scorsese's own 35mm print of Minnelli's glorious BAND WAGON in the Piazza Maggiore.
18-19 Jun - I presented STARRING CROUCH END II, a programme of films from and about Hornsey, Harringay and Muswell Hill, as part of the Crouch End Festival. Including a look at Crouch End Gothic...
10-12 Jun - First-ever DOMITOR Graduate Workshop, codirected with John Fullerton in Stockholm, before DOMITOR Conference, 14-17 June. Here, members of the workshop visited Stockholm's unique Biologiska museet, with its 1893 panorama. Media archaeologist Erkki 29-30 Jun - NECS conference, Paris: panel on new Eisenstein research, and chairing others.Huhtamo (on right) was one of our contributors.
2 Jun - Introduced Melvyn Stokes on Spielberg's LINCOLN in first of the British Academy's 'With Great Power' series of public events.
12-13 May - Conference to launch new AUP book in the Key Debates series, Screens, at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
27 May - took part by telelink in a Scorsese panel discussion at ACMI Melbourne during their current exhibition, looming alarmingly above...
28 Apr – Lecture at GRAD gallery: Hopes and fears: the Soviet New Wave of the 1960s
24 Apr - Eisenstein in Mexico: thinking about birth, death and the rebirth of film works. Three versions of Eisenstein's nevermade film, at the Regent St Polytechnic cinema, presented by A Nos Amours and Kino Klassika. Speakers included Erika Balsom, Sophie Fiennes, Owen Hatherley and Laura Mulvey.
15-16 Apr – Eisenstein Conference at Courtauld Institute, London - with Ada Ackerman, Oksana Bulgakowa, Igor Kadyrov, Joan Neuberger and Antonio Somaini on new frontiers in Eisenstein research; also filmmakers Laura Mulvey and Sally Potter reflecting on Eisenstein's reputation today. Plus screening of Renny Bartlett's valuable 2000 biopic and Sally Banes' reconstruction of 'The Last Conversation'.
12 Apr - 31 May – History of British film course - a first for the V&A
7 Mar – Introduced Powell’s Peeping Tom for Passport to Cinema at BFI Southbank
25 Feb – GRAD lecture: Maxim and co: creating the new heroes and heroines of the 1930s
18 Feb – GRAD lecture: Besides Eisenstein: Protazanov, Barnet and the new Soviet cinema of the 1920s
16 Feb – Unexpected Eisenstein exhibition opened at GRAD London! see links to coverage above right
8-10 Feb – Hands On History: new methodologies for media history, London conference
1 Feb – Introduced Fellini’s Otto e mezzo for Passport to Cinema at BFI Southbank: apparently every filmmaker’s wet dream…
31 Jan - Radical Documentaries of the 30s – Raphael Samuel History Centre talk and screening at Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley
From the impact of the Wall St Crash on workers around the world to Hitler's consolidation of power and the Spanish Civil War, there were many causes in the 1930s that attracted filmmakers with something urgent to say. This selection of mainly British radical films focused on challenging militarism and the arms industry, showing the influence of Soviet cinema, but also a willingness to question 'how we live now'.
7 Jan – Introduced P&P’s I Know Where I’m Going! for British Museum Celts film programme
17-22 Dec - helped adjudicate Fresh Wave short film competition in Hong Kong, with producer Shôzô Ichiyama and documentarist Ruby Yang, with guest of honour Hsien-hsien Hou
4 Dec – Introduced Doctor Zhivago at BFI Southbank (twice!)
3 Dec – Took part in ICA discussion about urban terrorism as portrayed in Buñuel’s films
30 Nov – Launched my BFI Classics book on Doctor Zhivago at
Manchester’s new Home.
6 Nov - Exploring the Intersections of Fashion and Film Studies:
symposium at Stockholm University. I was talking about Phyllis Dalton and
the 'invisible art' of costume design in 60s British cinema.
31 Oct - Discussion with Andrey Zvyagintsev about his LEVIATHAN at European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, BAFTA London. Also an intro by me to Eisenstein's reconstructed BEZHIN MEADOW, and a discussion of Pawlikowski's IDA, plus the final day's debriefing session. Quite a weekend!
17 Oct - Presented Marc Evan's Patagonia (2010) as the first in a series of films accompanying the British Museum's Celts exhibition
5 Oct - Introduced Ford's The Searchers for NFTS Passport to Cinema at BFI Southbank
1 Oct - Magic Lantern show at Birkbeck, with Jeremy Brooker and Stephen Horne
29 Aug - 'Whatever happened to Russian cinema?' - talk at the Chichester Film Festival.
22 Aug - Proms Extra interview for Radio 3 about the centenary of the Lumiere bros, but not forgetting our very own moving-picture pioneer R W Paul - see podcast link on right
7 Aug - talk about early Russian cinema at the Courtauld Institute Summer School
30 Jul - Introduced Vertov's The Man With a Movie Camera, opening DocHouse's programme of doc classics at the Curzon Bloomsbury
28 Jul - Introduced P&P's immortal Life and Death of Colonel Blimp at BFI Southbank, for the National Film School's Passport to Cinema
26 Jul - 'Investment proper': Beckett and film - talk at the Happy Days
Samuel Beckett festival in Enniskillen NI, with a screening of David Clark's 1979 re-make of Film
5 Jul - Breaking the Peace : Programme of historic films about protest and demonstrations at the Phoenix Cinema, for Raphael Samuel History Centre.
26 Jun-2 Jul - Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna
20 Jun - 'Learning to be an audience' - took part in a panel at the NECS conference in Lodz, Poland, put together by Wanda Strauven
17-19 Jun - Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image conference at Birkbeck: I was part of a plenary panel with David Bordwell, Laura Mulvey and Ed Tan about spectatorship.
5 & 14 Jun - Local film presentation at the Crouch End Festival: Starring Crouch End
15 May - Introduced del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth as part of the British Academy Literature Week on folk and fairy tales
12-13 May - Lecture about my current research on audiences, space and place, plus a dialogue with Laura Mulvey about our memories of the emergence and history of Film Studies, at Gothenburg University
6-7 May - hosted final lectures in Re-presenting the Past, at Palacky University Olomouc, by philosopher of history Frank Ankersmit from Groningen
28 Apr - Moderated panels at ICA for BFI Lighthouse shorts screening and discussion
25 Apr - Launch at Birkbeck of Feminisms, edited by Laura Mulvey and Anna Backman Rogers. latest book in the AUP series that Annie van den Oever, Dominique Chateau and I edit:
30 Mar- Introduced Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky for Passport to Cinema at BFI Southbank
22 Mar - Phoenix Cinema East Finchley: Travelling around London: the film record of London transport - London on the move has been a source of filmic fascination from the start of cinema, providing a record of the shift from horse-drawn to motor vehicles, and all the subsequent changes. I surveyed how transport has been portrayed, and what part in plays in the history of London cinema. Second event in a collaboration between the Phoenix Cinema and Raphael Samuel History Centre at Birkbeck/Queen Mary/UEL
25-26 Feb - Lectured on new voices and figures in history - inc women and workers, as part of Re-presenting the Past at Palacky University, Olomouc
28 Feb - Hay-on-Wye Festival of British Cinema: I presented a programme of Britain's forgotten women filmmakers, including films by Ruby Grierson, Jill Craigie, Muriel Box and Lorenza Mazetti
5 Feb - GRAD Gallery London: censorship of the arts under Stalin - included
the film A Severe young Man by Abram Room and Yuri Olesha
25 Jan, Phoenix Cinema: 'What was showing at the Picturedrome during World War One? A programme of extracts, including Quo Vadis? (below) of the hits from the 'teens that made picturegoing the most popular entertainment in Britain.
Where Is History Today? New Ways of Representing the Past is available for download from Olomouc Representing the Past website http://www.re-prezentaceminulosti.cz/en/.
Drawing on postmodern and other contemporary approaches to historiography, it tests these in the Central European context, offering new insights into the relations between history, media and audiences. Edited by me and Marcel Arbeit, it links scholars from Palacký University and beyond (Mulvey, Odin et al).
print - online - screen - television - radio
I've started a Robert Paul blog to
pave the way towards my book on
Paul, which will be published by
Chicago University Press in 2019,
to mark his 150th anniversary:
R W Paul new discoveries at
Newly discovered Paul films from the Swedish
and Australian archives were shown at
Pordenone, with a discussion at the Collegium.
See also my article 'Disappearing Act' in the
September 2016 Sight & Sound.
GRAD London, Feb - Apr 2016
links to media coverage
28 Dec - Thanks to BBC pre-records and I-player, you could hear me on the Soviet James Bond at Radio 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04v59h9. And in Matthew Sweet's very entertaining Palace of Great War Varieties on 6.45pm on Sunday 28 December, as the BBC Radio 3 ‘Sunday Feature’.
15 Dec - Managed to introduce Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin for NFTS Passport to Cinema at BFI Southbank.
A chapter on the 'long history of stereoscopy', in Annie van den Oever's Techne (AUP, 2014)
My chapter on The Red Shoes in the new
edition of the Norton Film Analysis reader: P&P making another inroad into the canon.
The Ancient World in Silent Cinema, ed. Pantelis Michelakis and Maria Wyke (CUP), has my chapter 'Ancient Rome in London: classical subjects in the forefront of cinema's expansion after 1910'
Also, later on 30 Oct, took part in a panel discussion at Stratford East Picturehouse with Noel Clarke and Shola Amoo, as part of a programme curated by The New Black on 'Afro-futurism', for Black History Month. Great discussion after watching Noel's no-holds-barred The Anomaly and Shola's terrific short Touch with Tanya Fear, viewable at http://vimeo.com/62367468
16-19 Oct - Chaired the jury of the 'Brno Sixteen' short film festival, celebrating its 54th edition in the Czech Republic. http://brno16.cz/o-festivalu/ and the film we gave the main prize to, The Chicken by Una Gunjak from Croatia, was later voted the best European short of 2014.
28 Sep - Introduced Walter Ruttman's influential Berlin, Symphony of the City (1927) at the Barbican Cinema with live accompaniment by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne; part of the Barbican series City Visions.
1-3 Oct - Start of the final year of Re-Presenting the Past, the ESF project at Palacky University, Olomouc, in the Czech Republic. I gave a talk about 'Big Data and Small Data' and the significance of digital sources for doing history today. http://www.re-prezentaceminulosti.cz/en/
1 Oct - First film in the new London on Screen series, London Lives, and a tribute to the late Richard Attenborough: Sidney Gilliat's disconcerting comedy-thriller London Belongs to Me (1948). At the Birkbeck Cinema,
43 Gordon Square. Free admission - note screenings on Wednesdays
this term and see new website at www.londonscreenstudy.com
18-20 Sep - Took part in Cambridge University conference on New Directions in the study of Russian cinema, held to mark the retirement of Julian Graffy from teaching at SSEES (not that he's giving up inspiring enthusiasm for Russian cinema!)
17 Sep - Chaired the panel discussion after BFI Southbank screening of Andre Singer's powerful new Holocaust documentary Night Will Fall.
1 Aug - Spoke at Loops and Splices: changing media technologies conference, at Victoria University Wellington, NZ - on 'Denying Depth: the hidden history of 3D in photography and film'
9 - 28 Jul - In Australia, for a Research Fellowship at ANU in Canberra, and the conference History, Cinema, Digital Archives.
6 Jul - The film series I curated for the British Museum, Germany Divided, accompanying a Prints and Drawings exhibition, ended with Goodbye Lenin (2003), an acerbic comedy about 'ostalgie' for the GDR.
29 Jun - 3 Jul - Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna. As always too much to see.. but so much to enjoy and learn from! Silent dance films brought to life by John Sweeney's accompaniment; Germaine Dulac revealed anew in Tami Williams' retrospective, Polish 'scope films of the 60s, Mariann Lewinsky's eclectic 1914 round-up - all great.
21-25 June - DOMITOR conference at University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Theme was 'the image', and I spoke about early scientific imaging in film,and moving pictures' place in the larger history of optical instruments and devices.
13 Jun - In Warsaw for Kertesz Colleg's international conference on State Repression in Socialist Central Europe, discussing Borys Lankosz's black comedy Revers (2009) with its director.
22-25 May - Spoke at the Korean Film Archive 40th anniversary conference on archiving, access and audiences in Seoul.
12-14 May - Robert Rosenstone was in Olomouc, for a lecture and screening of Glory, as part of Re-Presenting History.
12 May - King and Country (1964) with Tom Courtney and Dirk Bogarde
Introduced Joseph Losey's searing account of an alleged WW1 deserter's court martial as part of the Ralph Samuel History Centre London at War series.. http://www.raphael-samuel.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloadables
6-8 May - Conference on film literacy in Ljubljana: Film Education in Cinema: International Approaches, at Kinodvor.
4 May - Introduced Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun, with extracts from Sirk and Straub in the British Museum's Germany Divided series.
1 May - Spoke about Walerian Borowczyk on Radio Four Film Programme and at BFI Southbank, introducing the hallucinatory Goto Isle d'amour.
29 Apr - New 'London on Screen' screening series started at Birkbeck, with London The Modern Babylon (2012) followed by Q&A with director Julien Temple (see rest of programme below right).
15-17 Apr - Hosted Annette Kuhn's visit to Academia Film Festival in Olomouc http://afo.cz/index.php?lang=en
14 Apr - 'You, me and the audience: what makes us go to the cinema?': talk for Creative Europe at BIO OKO, Prague
11 Apr - Introduced Aelita as part of 'Bringing Mars to Earth – An Interplanetary Perspective', at 29-31 Oxford Street, London
6 Apr - 'Germany Divided: A Time of Troubles' - introduction to a screening of the collective Germany in Autumn (1977: Antigone section below), with extracts from work by W & B Hein, Conradt, Syberberg to set the scene.
5 Apr - 'All things Powell & Pressburger' - talk at University Square, Stratford East as part of the Powell-Pressburger series at Stratford East Picturehouse.
2-3 Apr - Udine Film Studies Conference: took part in a panel on Experimental Media Archaeology, with John Ellis and Annie van den Oever. My paper: 'Do you see what I see? The neglected issue of capturing and evaluating spectator experience'.
13-15 Mar - Re-Presenting History conference, Palacky University, Olomouc:
WHERE IS HISTORY TODAY? USES, ABUSES, INVENTIONS
Keynote speakers Jane Gaines, Laura Mulvey, Roger Odin and Daniel Pick
12 Mar - Talking about stereo history at the 3D Summit, BFI Southbank. and showing extracts from the long-unseen 1951 Festival of Britain programme, as seen in the Telekinema [below], forerunner of today's BFI Southbank.
8-9 Mar - London University Screen Studies Group Conference: Location London, co-organised with Roland-Francois Lack. Senate House, Birkbeck and UCL: programme at http://www.locationlondon.net/conference-programme.html My contribution: 'Drab Streets: the London screen crime scene, here From Hell
2 Mar - Introduced first part of a film programme, Dark Times, accompanying major post-WW2 prints exhibition at the British Museum, featuring Rossellini's Germany Year Zero.
12 Feb - Leeds University World Cinema Research Seminar Series: 'Antique worlds: how production design shapes our sense of the past'.
17 Feb - Attended unveiling of the Blue Plaque for Powell & Pressburger at their former office in Dorset Place, off Marylebone Road, with Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese, hosted by Christopher Frayling.
...and with sincere thanks for Steve Crook, without whom it wouldn't be there!
19-21 Feb - Hosted visit to Olomouc by architect Robin Nicholson of ultra-ecological practice Cullinan Studio www.cullinanstudio.com
27-28 Jan - Audiences panel for Creative Europe/MEDIA at Rotterdam Festival
7 Jan - New London Screen Study Collection screening series 'Men About Town' started with Sebastian (David Greene, 1968), starring Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York, a rare Swinging London comedy-thriller with a security theme, co-produced by Michael Powell from an original story by Peeping Tom creator Leo Marks (himself an ex-spy) [see www.londonscreenstudy.com and below right for full series]
12 Dec - Conference at EYE Institute, Amsterdam, to launch a new book in the AUP Key Debates series, Techne, ed. Annie van den Oever. My chapter is: 'Will the 3D Revolution Happen?', and I also spoke about this at the University of Groningen on 13 Dec.
[Below: Viewing 3D at the 1951 Festival of Britain Telekinema, forerunner of today's BFI Southbank]
9-10 Dec - Consultation at the University of Malta. Also a public lecture in Valetta, '"You mean we could shoot it all in Malta?": how production design shapes screen worlds'. Managed to visit Fort Ricasoli, setting for many ancient world films, from Gladiator and Troy to Agora and Game of Thrones, and to see Popeye Village, a one-time outdoor set that's become a theme park!
30 Nov - Keynote at Screen Industries Conference, Olomouc:
'The Past is a foreign country?' (re)creating vanished worlds in European production design'. Some 'pasts' are better known than others, often through a combination of historical sources and persuasive visualisations. Others have been entirely, and prolifically, imagined by illustrators and film designers (from the Roman Empire and Arthur's Camelot to the Crusades). But what about the periods and places that lack such literary accreditation? This presentation will explore some pioneering attempts to create convincing 'vanished worlds', especially in the Central/East European context.
5-6 Dec - 'Mobile, creation, mediation': Paris III-IRCAV conference. My talk traced the evolution of thinking about mobility and media from McLuhan to the present: "Pour une ethnographie personnalisée des communications mobiles: Mobile Learning et autres usages". Online at http://epresence.univ-paris3.fr/1/watch/305.aspx
2 Dec - Introduced Bergman's The Seventh Seal at BFI Southbank for
the NFTS Passport to Cinema series.
27 Nov - Hosted Stephen Bann's very successful visit to Olomouc
18-21 Nov - Derry/Londonderry City of Culture - I presented extracts
from the restored Photo-Drama of Creation (below) and three films about Northern Ireland by Michael Grigsby. Also spoke at the 'Teaching Divided Histories' conference at the Nerve Centre in Derry - and saw Willie Docherty's great exhibition.
29 Nov - Cognitive Science and film event at Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image. My talk was entitled: 'Psychology in the dark: just what is it we want to know?'.
8 Nov - 'Is this the way the world ends?': Future histories after World War 1 After the Great War, many responded to its carnage by predicting worse to come, with a series of great 'predictive histories' from Wells, Huxley and Čapek. How has this this new dystopian tradition shaped our thinking, before and since World War 2 - with the added factor of nuclear apocalypse looming over the post-war years? [Re-Presenting the Past Project]
6 Nov Imagining the End... The late 19th century saw an upsurge of fervent religious belief, with many sects proclaiming that 'the end is nigh' - taking their ideas from the Book of Revelation, and its apocalyptic prophecies. New visual media proved highly effective in communicating this vision, with groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses producing their own highly ambitious religious spectacles. But the mainstream films industries also responded to a sense of impending doom, underlined by the catastrophic scale of the Great War. The lecture will investigate the symbiosis between new media and a 'new apocalypse'. [Re-Presenting the Past Project]
31 Oct-3 Nov - 7th European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, London. The theme was 'Secrets', and I was in conversation with Valeria Sarmiento, talking about the ingeniously secretive worlds of Raul Ruiz, her late husband, including The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting and Colloque de chiens (below).
24-25 Oct - Conference at Kinodvar, Ljubljana: 'What is the place of cinema today?' Also introduced a screening of Dial M for Murder.
17 Oct - 'Old Dogs, New Tricks: the many modern forms of film and their audiences', a lecture on behalf of Creativeworks London at the British Academy. See link to online version at right.
9 Oct - Memorial for Michael Grigsby at St Martin in the Fields
2-4 Oct - 'Re-Presenting History' Project at the Palacky University, Olomouc - Year Two began with a lecture and workshop on
contemporary war films by American film scholar Robert Burgoyne
1 Oct - New free screening series began at Birkbeck: Overlooked London, featuring rarities and discoveries; and Victoriana, with films inspired by Victorian motifs. See full listing below right. The first film was Ealing's neglected story of suburban London girls Dance Hall (1950)
24 Sept - Blimp is all around... My contribution to the week-long BBC Radio 3 series Praising Powell and Pressburger was about the Archers and the Colonel, and my essay on Blimp appeared online in Senses of Cinema (see links at right). 'Gad sir, there seems to be some sort of dastardly plot here - someone in authority needs to get a grip!!!'
24 Sept - In conversation with John Smith, as part of an Architectural Foundation event in the Barbican Cinema's Urban Wandering season.
[above: the looming presence of The Black Tower]
12-15 Sept - Miskolc Festival - I was talking about Emeric Pressburger in his home town, where Cinefest holds a ceremony each year in front of the house where Imre Pressburger was born in 1902. The Archers' A Matter of Life and Death was enjoyed by a large audience. My video from Miskolc on Facebook
30 Aug - 'Reading the digital Babel: memory and history on the internet', a fascinating workshop at Edinburgh University organised by Ninian Dunnett and Simon Frith.
27-28 Aug - Walked a stretch of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland: unexpectedly strenuous stuff, but spectacular. And the Vindolanda tablets include the earliest writing by a woman found in Europe!
14 June - Stereoscopy Day at Birkbeck's Institute of the Moving Image, started with my talk about Eisenstein's enthusiasm for stereoscopy, 'Seeing Depth', and ended with an up-to-date panel on '3D today and tomorrow', with Adam May of Vision3, Chris Auty (NFTS) and filmmaker Amy Mathieson. And later...
14 June - I introduced Eisenstein's The Strike (1924) at the British Library, with live music from the Cabinet of Living Cinema
19 May - Europa Cinemas in Cannes: General Assembly, followed by open meeting for all network members. I've stepped down as president, while remaining vice-president, due to pressure of other commitments.
3 May - Film and Antiquity screenings at the Bloomsbury. Two rarely seen silent features from the Netherlands Film Archive, accompanied by Stephen Horne. The Odyssey (Italy, 1911, dir. Fr. Bertolini). Introduced by Pantelis Micheledes; and (below)
1-3 Aug - At the Summer Film School festival in Uherské Hradiště, Moravia, I was talking about the circulation of European films in cinemas today, the neglect of production design by film scholarship - and the reception of Wojciech Has's wonderful The Saragossa Manuscript (1965, below) back in the 1960s.
21 July - to Latitude Festival, where our Isabel was 'in conversation' with Marcus du Sautoy on neuroscience as part of the festival's science strand.
29 Jun - 5 Jul - Europa Cinemas Workshop at Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, plus book launch for Archival Film Festivals (to which I contributed), and a symposium on Ancient World epics from 1913 (see new book details above right).
28 June - Symposium on Screen Architecture organised by the Architecture Space and Society Network at Birkbeck, My talk, 'Sound, Light and Stone: Bringing Buildings to Life', was about son et lumiere as part of the tradition of 'environmental media.
16 June - More local North London films at Melange Restaurant, Middle Lane N8, as part of the Crouch End Festival, presented by Mick Kidd and me.
15 June - Discussed Svankmajer's Surviving Life (2010) with Andrea Sabbadini at the Institute of Psychoanalysis
Julius Caesar (Italy, 1914 dir. Enrico Guazzoni) introduced by Maria Wyke See www.ucl.ac.uk/classics/research/research
27 Apr - Afternoon talk at Merton Historical Society about local London films - which has prompted valuable local research on wartime amateur filming.
24-26 Apr - Olomouc lectures: 'Where am I, and how did I get here?' on theories of space and place; screening of A Canterbury Tale (Powell-Pressburger, 1944); 'Olomouc Observed: first steps towards a narratology of the city', with thanks to De Certeau and Massey.
23 April - New season of 'London on Screen' at Birkbeck Cinema opened with Our Man in Havana (Carol Reed, 1959) - first in a series 'Home and Away', films about being and not being in London (see below r. for rest of programme)
17 Apr - Talk at Belsize Library: 'Something stirring in the stack? Why filmmakers love libraries'.
27 Mar - Presented Robert Paul films at Bruce Castle Museum,
Haringey's local history centre
26 Mar - Tribute to Mike Grigsby on BBC Radio 3 Night Waves, with Rebekah Tolley, his collaborator on We Went to War (below), and yrs truly.
17 Mar - Cinema and Psychosis at the Barbican: an ambitious and rewarding afternoon of presentationsorganised by Sal Anderson
13-15 Mar - Olomouc Lectures, including Jerome De Groot (Manchester)
4-8 Mar - meetings in LA, including a visit to the Academy Library, to inspect a rare 1905 letter from Robert Paul's company - offering to distribute Selig's films in Britain 'if no-one else was'
3 Mar - 'Hollywood-Berlin' talk as part of the Weimar weekend in the Southbank festival The Rest is Noise - before heading to the airport for LA. Wonderful audience!
21- 29 Feb - Olomouc 'Representing History' lectures
17 Feb - Presented Elvey's miraculously re-discovered Life Story of David
Lloyd George (below) at the Barbican Cinemas, with live accompaniment by the incomparable Neil Brand.
14 Feb - Lectures on 'Archives and Audiences' and 'The Film Archive as a Research Tool', at Groningen University, the Netherlands.
9 Feb - Chaired an afternoon devoted to Laura Mulvey's influence on film studies, at Birkbeck Institute of Humanities.
5 Feb - 'Conjuring the City': talk about London portrayed in film from the 40s to the 80s, as part of a conference on Production Design at Lancaster University
4 Feb - Presented A Matter of Life and Death and A Diary for Timothy (Jennings) at BFI Southbank for NFTS series on what should have been in Sight & Sound's Greatest Films poll (yes, you can get young Tim on a mug, at BFI Filmstore , but why no Jennings in the top 100?)
29 Jan - Official opening of Lights, Camera, London! at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden, which ran until early 2014
23 Jan - Piccadilly (Dupont, 1929) Introduced a screening at the Stratford East Picturehouse, as part of Birkbeck-Picturehouse series 'London's Communities'.
18 Jan - Launch of the London Screen Study Collection as part of Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image, at the Birkbeck Cinema. With Jerry White, Patrick Keiller, William Raban and Laura Mulvey - and all those who made it despite dire snow warnings!
17 Jan - Interval talk in a concert of Polish music by Szymanowski and Lutoslawski on Andrzej Wajda, 'Voice of a Generation', Radio 3, still accessible at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pskvb
13 Jan - Talked about Murnau's glorious Sunrise at the Uckfield FilmSociety.
And well before sunrise that day, I turned up on a number of BBC Local Radio Sunday Breakfast shows around the country to talk about the legacy of Mary Whitehouse's campaign against the BBC broadcasting 'explicit content' - after Top of the Pops had played Chuck Berry's 'My Ding-a-ling' - which a number of the stations proceeded to do. Any complaints, I wonder?
17 Dec - Introduced Scorsese's Taxi Driver at BFI Southbank, in superb new 4k scan version, looking and sounding magnificant.
13 Dec - Launch of the book Audiences at EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam, with contributors Raymond Bellour, Torben Grodal and Annie van den Oever. Also a round-table discussion about future trends in media research with speakers from all Dutch Universities.
8 Dec - Cold War Film Fast Forward: a whistle-stop tour around Eastern Bloc cinema of the Cold War era, Southbank Centre, London.
Below: The Fall of Berlin: Chiaureli's fairy-tale of Stalin winning WW2 singlehandedly
6 Dec - More brain stuff... Introduced P&P's immortal A Matter of Life and Death at the very committed ABC Film Society, Abington.
1 Dec - Panel discussion after a screening of Simon Pummel's remarkable exploration of the life and mind of Daniel Schreber, in Shock Head Soul (2011), in which I appear, along with a number of distinguished psychoanalysts. At Cinecity, part of the Brighton Film festival/Cinemas of the Mind, at the University of Brighton.
23-25 Nov - Europa Cinemas 20th anniversary Conference, Paris. For report,
23 Nov - Queen Victoria Superstar! Monarchy and Media at the turn of the 19th century. Talk at SSG Monarchy and Film conference, Senate House, London University
18 Nov - Presented London archive films at the Phoenix East Finchley, as part of thecinema's Heritage Day
9 Nov - launch of my new book Audiences (AUP) in Paris. at a Paris I Conference, 'Direction des Spectateurs', organised by Dominique Chateau, at Cite Universitaire, Paris 14.
2-7 Nov - More lectures at the Palacky University Olomouc: 'Photography will tell the truth!' and 'Bringing History alive c. 1900: birth of the modern media mashup'.
22-26 Oct - At the Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, for two opening lectures in a series: 'Then and Now: Mediation, Meaning and the Historical Record'. (below: Bond-like Engineering Faculty - Film is in an18th century Jesuit university building)
20 Oct - Bloomsbury's frustrated love affairs with cinema: screenings of
Finding Neverland and Peter Pan (1924) and at the Birkbeck Cinema, the latter packed out - with a well-attended talk in between.
19 Oct - Presented Truffaut's Les 400 coups as part of National Schools Film Week, at the Finchley Phoenix.
12-14 Oct - Europa Cinemas Experts Committee and Board Meeting, Madrid - included a tour of Madrid member cinemas.
2 Oct - launch of the new London on Screen programme at Birkbeck Cinema: Mysteries of London started with Hitchcock's first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
1 Oct - introduced Hitchcock's Under Capricorn - elaborately photographed by the great Jack Cardiff (see above, plus my chapter in BFI's 39 Steps to Hitchcock on H and cinematography) - at BFI Southbank.
29 Sept - A few words about Chris Marker before screening of two rarities A Bientot and 2084, at the Raindance Festival, London
22 Sept - Led a walk round East London film sites as part of the Haggerston 'I Was Here' festival. (Yes, we found the pub where Joe Strummer sang in Aki Kaurismaki's I Hired a Contract Killer, as well as a few other atmospheric locations in and around Columbia Road.)
21 Sept - Introduced Protazanov's Aelita as part of the Cambridge Film Festival. Open-air screening had to move indoors, but still a capacity crowd for this fascinating insight into the culture of the early Soviet 20s, fantasy and all...
My collection of new essays on audiencehood, considered historically and methodologically, now downloadable from:
1 Sept - to Sweden, for a month of teaching audience studies and production design history at Stockholm University
26 Aug - What shaped Alfred Hitchcock? Illustrated talk at the Chichester Film Festival.
12 July - Our Town: I presented three rare documentaries from Haringey's Bruce Castle collection at Hornsey Library, recently digitised through Film London's Screen Heritageproject. These and many hundreds more local London films can be viewed at the London Screen Study Collection in Birkbeck. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
10 July - Hitchcock's Sabotage: last film in the Writing Victorian London series, free at the Birkbeck Cinema. Next series begins 2 Ocober.
9 July - Getting local - a presentation on local archive film for sixth formers, at the first London Metropolitan Archives Summer School.
23-27 June - Europa Cinemas workshop on developing youth audiences for European cinema, at the Cinema Ritrovato festival, Bologna. Also interviewed Thelma Schoonmaker about the restoration of Blimp, and following a screening of David Hinton's wonderful South Bank Show about Michael Powell. And for the festival's series of panels on 'cinephilia', I appeared with Jim Hoberman (see left).
22 June - 'The End of Representation? Beginning with the audience' - keynote lecture at the Second Annual London Film and Media Conference, Logan Hall, Institute of Education.
18-22 June - DOMITOR early cinema studies conference, for the first time in the UK, hosted by Brighton University. My paper on 18 June, was about stage performers as stars of very early synchronised sound film. Overall, conference was a great success, thanks to Frank Gray's discreet but firm hosting.
17 June - Discussion of the current Writing Victorian London film series at Stratford Picturehouse.
14 June - Took part in a Film Education conference at Cinema Farnese in Rome, and helped introduce (with Alberto Moravia's widow) the first Italian screening of Godard's Le Mepris in its original version, with subtitles and Delerue's music - yes, the first, apparently, since 1963!
12 June - Attending launch of independent exhibitors' Manifesto at Watershed, Bristol.
6-8 June - Led a workshop on promoting specialised cinema today, for Europa Cinemas Mundus, hosted by the Cineteca Nacional, Mexico City, which is now building an impressive multiplex of its own under the inspiring leadership of Paula Atorga. Also managed to visit one of Eisenstein's key locations for Que Viva Mexico in 1931! Watch this space for more...
26 May - Marvellous programme of rare Moholy-Nagy short films as part of the Barbican Bauhaus programme, which was followed by a conversation with his daughter Hattula Moholy-Nagy, and the artist Aura Satz, who performed her Lost Manifesto for a Universal Language.
25 May - In conversation with Thomas Tode, on the Bauhaus legacy in film, as part of the Barbican's Bauhaus exhibition programme.
(below, Guido Seeber's KIPHO (1925)
25 May - Introduced a gloriously restored The Life and Death of Col. Blimp (Powell and Pressburger, 1943) at BFI Southbank.
20 May - Europa Cinemas AGM and exhibitors forum at Cannes,
celebrating our 20th anniversary, although sadly without our late President, Claude Miller (see above left). Also a presentation at the UK Pavilion on 22 May based on recent studies of the film audience, including Opening Our Eyes (see above right).
11-15 May - Introduced a British Film Week in Munich, which included Unmade Beds, Nowhere Boy and Slumdog Millionaire.
6 May - Presented a programme of London archive films from the London Screen Study Collection as part of the 2012 Bread and Roses Film Festival in Lambeth, including We Are United, an extract from March to Aldermaston (below), at Bread & Roses Festival http://www.studiostrike.com/london-screen-study-collection/
30 Apr - Introduced Alexander Korda's Thief of Bagdad at BFI Southbank for the National Film and Television School's Passport to Cinema series.
25 Apr - Panel at British Academy panel about the future of public service broadcasting, with David Elstein and Jean Seaton. http://www.britac.ac.uk/events/2012/Public_service_broadcasting.cfm
22 Apr- Gave the Rachael Low Lecture at the British Silents Festival in Cambridge: Britain could make it! Fifteen years of British Silents discoveries, and why we need to dig further into the mysterious 'teens.
And Pam Hutchinson picked this up in her Guardian posting on the festival http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/apr/23/five-things-british-silent-film-festival?intcmp=ILCMUSTXT9386
24 Mar - Took part in a panel on the history of copyright organised by Eric Hoyt at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in Boston.
20 Mar - Plenary talk at the XIX Udine International Film Studies Conference, which posed the question: 'Can we teach film?' My contribution was to reconsider received opinion about how a film culture emerged in the UK, drawing on research by some of my PhD students at Birkbeck - 'Beyond The Film Society: the process of shaping a film culture in Britain in the 1920s'.
17 Mar - Took part in 'War and Film' symposium at St Andrews University. My paper was on 'The Memory of War', taking Truffaut's La Chambre verte (below) and Tavernier's La Vie et rien d'autre as points of reflection.
To download Where is History Today? go to http://www.re-prezentaceminulosti.cz/en/novinka/history-between-media-and-audiences/
*Proms Extra interview for the 1895 series on the Lumiere Brothers and their contemporaries - downloadable as podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b066zjm5
Interview and clips online from 54th Brno 16 short film festival, where I chaired the jury
6 Dec - Talk about mobile media at
Paris conference http://epresence.univ-paris3.fr/1/watch/305.aspx
17 Oct - Lecture on understanding audiences at the British Academy
Professor Ian Christie questions the received
wisdom about audience and consumer
interaction in relation to film.
New essay on The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp for Senses of Cinema http://sensesofcinema.com/2013/cteq/seventy-years-ago-the-return-of-the-life-and-death-of-colonel-blimp/
Also my BBC Radio 3 Essay talk about Powell, Pressburger and Blimp listenable at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bfqnd
Obituary for the great documentarist, Michael
Grigsby, in the online Guardian
Tribute to the late Alexei German for the web
My commentary on the 2012 Sight & Sound Ten Best poll - at http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time
Bologna 2012: Cinema Ritrovato debates Cinephilia - my conversation with Jim Hoberman is online, at http://www.cinetecadibologna.it/cinemaritrovato
Barbican Gallery: Bauhaus: Art as Life - Screentalk with Aura Satz, Hattula Maholy-Nagy, 21 June 2012 http://shelf3d.com/bMeiuWSdWok#Bauhaus:
Claude Miller, the French director who was also founding President of Europa Cinemas, has died. I added to the Guardian obituary on-line:
'When Noel met David' - my essay for the Criterion box set of Lean-Coward films, Mar 2012 http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/2218-when-noel-met-david
Report by Pam Hutchinson on the British Silents Festival in Cambridge, mentioning my Rachael Low lecture on the 'teens - 'Britain could make it!' http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/apr/23/five-things-british-silent-film-festival?intcmp=ILCMUSTXT9386
Following Wikipedia's day of protest against new US legislation that could damage the freedom of the internet, I wrote an 'op-ed' piece for the British Academy's Public Policy web pages - viewable at http://www.britac.ac.uk/policyperspectives/christie.cfm
Part of my conversation with Aleksandr Sokurov at BFI Southbank in October 2011 online at http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/823
My report on the 5th Cinema Digital Festival in Seoul, South Korea, was in Sight & Sound online at http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/newsandviews/ festivals/cindi-2011.php Also articles on the 'long history' of 3D in the November print edition of S&S; on Sokurov's Faust in the December issue.
Interview with Alexei Popogrebsky after the screening of How I Ended Last Summer at BFI Southbank http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/609
I interviewed the Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky for Open Democracy, and the result is now on-line at http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/prof-ian-christie/meeting-with-andrei-konchalovsky-part-i
On the screen
SHOCK HEAD SOUL (2011) I make several brief appearances in Simon Pummell's highly original study of the German jurist Daniel Schreber, subject of one of Freud's celebrated analyses
CAMERAMAN (2010) Back in 1995, Craig McCall filmed me (in Martin Scorsese's viewing theatre) for his documentary about Jack Cardiff, since triumphantly finished and still showing internationally and in the UK after its 2010 Cannes premiere. For screenings, see www.jackcardiff.com.
On the box
Late Aug - Interview on BBC World TV for anniversary of the Crown Film Unit and a tribute to Humphrey Jennings (whose daughter Mary Lou sadly died recently)
12 May - appeared in BBC 1's One Show featurette on A Matter of Life and Death
8 Sept - BBC TV World News - a comment on the Italian documentary Sacro GRA winning the Golden Lion at Venice. Are documentaries finally getting a fair deal?
3 Mar - I appeared briefly in BBC4's look back at Boxing the Movies: Kings of the Ring
24 Dec - BBC4 Timewatch on Epics! A supporting role among a cast of - well - dozens, discussing mainly the golden years of the Ancient World epic in the 50s and 60s (although with a flash forward to Mongol and Avatar)
Walking with dinosaurs... I had a bit part in BBC 4's survey of dinosaurs on screen: Rex Appeal
21 Aug - 11 Sept: BBC4's The Story of British Pathe had contributions from me, and lots of great archive.
28 Feb - I commented on the Academy Awards, and what they mean for British cinema, on BBC World TV
Recent radio pieces
7 Aug - Obituary for George Cole, protege of Alastair Sim and versatile actor before becoming Arthur Daley in Minder. The Last Word
1 May - Obituary for Andrew Lesnie, cinema-tographer of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and George Miller's Babe. The Last Word, BBC R4
28 Dec - Supporting role in Matthew Sweet's Palace of Great War Varieties as the BBC Radio 3 ‘Sunday Feature’.
14 Dec - on Radio 4, talking about The Soviet James Bond at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04v59h9.
25 Mar - Joined Matthew Sweet, Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, S F Said and Alexander Jacoby
for a discussion about the enduring appeal of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai - which I released on BFI's Connoisseur Video label back in the 90s.
26 Feb - Obituary for Harold Ramis, the scholarly Ghostbuster, and director of immortal Groundhog Day, for BBC R4 Last Word.
Reviewed Fyodor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad in IMAX 3D for Front Row, 21 Feb 2014
French film music traditions discussed with Muriel Zahga on BBC Radio 3 Night Waves on 25 Sept, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bfqlx
27 Jan - Spielberg's Lincoln provided an occasion
to review Honest Abe on screen, with Karen
Krisanovich, on Radio 4's Film Programme We're after Steven at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q03kx
7 Jan - Reviewed the disappointing Gangster Squad and discussed what gangster movies tell us about different societies. Night Waves, R 3
27 Nov - Reviewed Tarkovsky archive material bring auctioned at Sothebys, in conversation with Alexei Popogrebsky. Night Waves, BBC Radio 3,
Talking about Ealing's 'dark side', in It Always Rains on Sunday, on The Film Programme, BBC Radio 4, 1 Nov.
Guest on Michel Ciment's film programme on France Culture, from the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato Festival, tx 1 July
You and Yours special on the cost and value of British Cinema (with Michael Grade, Tim Richards, Amanda Neville, and others) on BBC Radio 4, 4 June
Reviewed Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerising Once Upon a Time in Anatolia on Radio Three's Night Waves on 21 March
Cinema and that vertiginous feeling - interview for a Front Row piece prompted by Man on a Ledge.
Contributed to an obituary of Theo Angelopoulos on Radio Four's Last Word.
16 Jan - Reviewed Ralph Fiennes' highly effective Coriolanus on Radio Three's Night Waves, and took part in discussion of the new Film Policy Review with Chris Smith
29 Dec/1 Jan - I helped to play the old year out and the new in on Radio Four's Film Programme, talking about what 'silent cinema' means today, with Maestro Neil Brand in the studio to illustrate effects.
7 Dec - Reviewed Raul Ruiz's haunting and magical Mysteries of Lisbon on Night Waves.
12 Oct - reviewed Danfung Dennis's Afghan doc To Hell and Back Again on Radio Three's Nightwaves
9 Sept - Reviewed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for Radio Four's Film Programme
24 June - Obituary on Gunnar Fischer for Radio Four's The Last Word.
23 May - Night Waves, Radio 3: I reviewed Martin Scorsese's new documentary on Elia Kazan
22 May - BBC World Service: I talked about the Cannes Palme d'or winner, Terrence Malick's Tree of Life
20 May - The Film Programme, Radio Four: I reviewed Karel Reisz's Isadora, newly reissued on DVD
¶ '"Suitable Music": Accompaniment Practice in Early London Screen Exhibition from R. W. Paul to the Picture Palaces', in Julie Brown and Annette Davison, eds, The Sounds of the Silents in Britain, Oxford University Press, 2012
¶ 'Crafting Worlds: the changing role of the production designer', chapter in Framing Film: Cinema and the visual arts, ed. Steven Allen and Laura Hubner, Intellect, 2012)
¶ 'Hitchcock and cinematography', in 39 Steps to the Genius of Hitchcock (BFI Publishing, 2012)
¶ 'A disturbing presence? Scenes from the history of film in the museum', in Angela Dalle Vacche, ed. Film, Art, New Media: Museum without Walls? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
¶ 'What is a Picture? Film as defined in British law before 1910', chapter in Beyond the Screen: Institutions, Networks and Publics of Early Cinema (Libbey, 2012). Proceedings of 2010 Domitor conference.
¶ 'Cinema has not yet been invented' - a condensed version of my 2006 Cambridge Slade Lectures, in The International Journey of Screendance, vol 2, Spring 2012
¶ Had a letter in The Guardian on 2 May pointing out that Charlie Booker's excellent idea about eras being remembered through the limitations of their media unfortunately recycled myths about speeded-up film from the 20s and 'lush Eastmancolor'
¶ Letter in The Guardian Review 25 Feb on 'Dickens beyond the novels', defending screen versions against the presumption that print (or even radio) is always best. Dickens was a multimedia author bridging the old (melodrama) and the new (serials, lantern slides) Victorian media.
¶ '"The Captains and the Kings depart": Imperial Departures and Arrivals in Early Cinema', chapter in Lee Grieveson and Colin MacCabe's new collection Empire and Film (Palgrave, 2011)
¶ Is it too late to save 3D? See my article in the November issue of Sight and Sound - also an article about Scorsese's Hugo and its presentation of Melies in the January 2012 issue
¶ Catalogue entries for the Pordenone Giornate del Cinema Muto on Robert Paul's newly restored A Soldier's Courtship (1896); and for the Telluride Festival on Vasily Shukshin's Pechki-lavochki (Happy Go Lucky, 1972); and for the London Film Festival on Sokurov's Faust.
¶ I reviewed Patrick Russell's and James Piers Taylor's excellent Shadows of Progress, on British post-war documentary, in the March issue of Sight & Sound.
¶ I wrote about Patrick Keiller's installation, The City of the Future, in the BFI Gallery Book
¶ My chapter, 'Knight's Moves: Brecht and Russian Formalism in Britain in the 1970s', appeared in Ostranennie: On 'Strangeness' and the Moving Image, ed. Annie van den Oever, Amsterdam University Press, 2010 [that double nn is deliberate, in case you wonder... all explained in Annie's introduction]. A Symposium based on themes in the book formed part of Birkbeck's Arts Week on Friday 28 May.
Events, links and websites
London on Screen 2015
In and Out of the Tube
7 Jan Wanted for Murder (Huntingdon, 1946)
14 Jan Underground (Asquith, 1928)
21 Jan Man Hunt (Lang, 1941)
28 Jan The Krays (Medak, 1990)
4 Feb Wings of the Dove (Softley, 1997)
11Feb Croupier (Hodges, 1998)
18 Feb Sliding Doors (Howitt, 1998)
25 Feb Tube Tales (various,1999)
4 Mar Code 46 (Winterbottom, 2003)
11 Mar The Mother (Michell, 2003)
18 Mar The Deep Blue Sea (Davies, 2011)
London on Screen 2014
London and Other Cites
29 Apr London: The Modern Babylon (Julien Temple, 2012)
Jan - Mar 2014: Men About Town
7 Jan Sebastian (David Greene, 1968) Dirk Bogarde, Susannah York
14 Jan The League of Gentlemen (Basil Dearden, 1960) Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey
21 Jan Rattle of a Simple Man (Muriel Box, 1964) Harry H Corbett, Diane Cilento
28 Jan Doctor in the House (Ralph Thomas, 1954) Dirk Bogarde, James Robertson Justice
4 Feb No Love for Johnnie (Ralph Thomas, 1961) Peter Finch
11 Feb The Servant (Joseph Losey, 1963) James Fox, Dirk Bogarde
18 Feb Sunday Bloody Sunday (John Schlesinger 1971) Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head
25 Feb The Ruling Class (Peter Medak, 1972) Peter O'Toole, Arthur Lowe, William Mervyn
4 Mar Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam, 1979) Phil Daniels, Philip David, Sting
11 Mar Rogue Trader (James Dearden, 1999) Ewen McGregor, Anna Friel
18 Mar Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012) Daniel Craig, Judi Dench
Oct-Dec 2013: Overlooked London and Victoriana
1 Oct Dance Hall (Charles Crichton, 1950) Donald Houston, Bonar Colleano, Petula Clark
8 Oct The Yellow Balloon (J Lee Thompson, 1953) Andrew Ray, Kathleen Ryan
15 Oct Beat Girl (Edmond Greville, 1960) David Farrar, Noelle Adam, Gillian Hills
22 Oct The Piano (Jane Campion 1993). Introduced by Lynda Nead
29 Oct The Picture of Dorian Gray (Albert Lewin 1945). Introduced by Cora Kaplan
5 Nov The Prestige (Christopher Nolan 2006) Introduced by Ann Heilmann
12 Nov Gone to Earth (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 1950). Intro by Ian Christie.
19 Nov The Elephant Man (David Lynch 1980). Introduced by Roger Luckhurst
26 Nov Angela and Insects (Philip Haas, 1980). Introduced by Lisa Mullen
3 Dec Woman in a Dressing Gown(J. Lee Thompson, 1957) Yvonne Mitchell, Anthony Quayle
10 Dec The Criminal (Julian Simpson, 1999) Steven Mackintosh, Bernard Hill, Eddie Izzard
April–July, 2013: Home and Away
London is, among many other things, a place of passage. Lives may begin or end within its boundaries which take place far away. And Londoners spending most of their lives far from the city may still feel connected, like Graham Greene’s exiled vacuum-cleaner salesman in Havana or Lambeth-born Charlie Chapin, whose return visit is an important episode in Richard Attenborough’s fine biopic. Mixed feelings about the metropolis is a theme running through this selection of films set only partly in London: for some it represents home or a place of safety; for others, escape is the priority. And in the case of Michael Apted’s account of the anti-slavery campaign, events in London would have a world-wide resonance.
23 Apr Our Man in Havana (Carol Reed, 1951)
30 Apr The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger,1943)
7 May The Irish in London: special screening of three short films by Thaddeus O’Sullivan, introduced by the filmmaker
14 May Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)
21 May In This World (Michael Wintebottom, 2002)
28 May Chaplin (Richard Attenborough, 1992)
4 Jun Travels With My Aunt (George Cukor, 1975)
11 Jun Before the Rain (Milo Manchevski, 1994)
18 Jun 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935)
25 Jun Black Beauty (Caroline Thompson, 1995)
2 Jul Amazing Grace (Michael Apted, 2006)
London's Secret Communities
Mysteries of London
2 Oct The Man Who Knew Too Much (Hitchcock, 1934)
9 Oct Contraband (Michael Powell, 1940)
16 Oct The Miinistry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944)
23 Oct The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll (Terence
30 Oct Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni,1966)
6 Nov Secret Ceremony (Joseph Losey, 1968)
13 Nov The Abominable Dr Phibes (Anton Fuest, 1971)
20 Nov Death Line (Gary Sherman, 1973)
27 Nov tbc
To celebrate Charles Dickens’s bicententenary, a selection of the film adaptations that have used – or more often recreated – the city that fed the novelist’s imagination. As well as many of the classic adapt-ations, this series includes rare screenings of the earliest feature-length Dickens film, Thomas Bentley’s 1913 David Copperfield, largely filmed at the novel’s locations, and of Christine Edzard’s mammoth and meticulous Little Dorrit, which will be shown over two consecutive weeks. On 14 Feb, William Raban will introduce his film inspired by Dickens’s night walks through London, made for the current Museum of London exhibition, accompanied by earlier films about Dickens’s London.
10 Jan Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946) with John Mills, Valerie Hobson
17 Jan The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947)
24 Jan Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1948) with John Howard Davis, Robert Newton
31 Jan David Copperfield (Thomas Bentley, 1913) accompanied by Stephen Horne
7 Feb A Tale of Two Cities (Ralph Thomas, 1958) with Dirk Bogarde, Dorothy Tutin
14 Feb The Houseless Shadow (William Raban, 2011); with Dickens’s London (1924)
21 Feb Little Dorrit (Christine Edzard, 1988) Pt 1: Nobody’s Fault with Derek Jacobi
28 Feb Little Dorrit Pt 2: Little Dorrit’s Story with Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood
6 Mar Scrooge (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1951) with Alastair Sim, Jack Warner
13 Mar David Copperfield (George Cukor, 1935) with Freddie Bartholomew, W. C. Fields
20 Mar Oliver! (Carol Reed, 1968) with Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Shani Wallis
All screenings in the Birkbeck Cinema at 2.30pm. Another bicentenary series, ‘Not Strictly Dickens’, runs at the Stratford Picturehouse on Wednesday afternoons at 4.00, starting on 11 Jan with A Christmas Carol (Robert Zemeckis, 2009) with Jim Carrey.
Local London ran Oct - Dec 2011
4 Oct London River (Rachid Bouchareb, 2009) + archive film of Hornsey. With Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kuyaté. Two strangers to London search for their children in the aftermath of 7/7 in this powerful plea for understanding
11 Oct Pressure (Horace Ove, 1976) +LSSC 'open hour'. With Herbert Norville, Oscar James, Norman Beaton A pioneering film about the pressures and choices facing Black youth, set in Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill
18 Oct Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock, 1972) + archive film of Covent Garden and LSSC ‘open hour’.
With Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Anna Massie. Hitchcock’s macabre return to his native London, where the necktie killer strikes in Covent Garden’s market
25 Oct Real Money (Ron Peck, 1996) + Exploring the East End on film – introduced by Ron Peck. An intimate account of the shadowy world where East End boxing and crime meet, acted by young boxers.
1 Nov The Bells Go Down (Basil Dearden, 1943) With Tommy Trinder, James Mason, Mervyn Johns
Ealing Studios’ wartime tribute to the Auxiliary Fire Service, as the Blitz hit the East End
8 Nov Bullet Boy (Saul Dibb, 2004). With Ashley Walters, Luke Fraser, Claire Perkins
Filmed in Hackney’s council estates, Saul Dibb’s debut feature explres the fascination of gun culture.
15 Nov Up the Junction (Peter Collinson, 1968) With Suzy Kendall, Denis Waterman, Maureen Lipman Nell Dunn’s exposé of the underside of Swinging London in a well-observed Battersea
22 Nov Moon Over the Alley (Despins/Dumaresque, 1975) With Sean Caffrey, Debbie Evans
Future stunt-star Debbie Evans made her debut in this off-beat musical set in Notting Hill.
29 Nov Breaking and Entering (Anthony Minghella, 2006) With Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright
Burglary leads to romance and new relationships in a multicultural Kings Cross
6 Dec It Always Rains on Sundays (Robert Hamer, 1947) With Googie Withers, John McCallum
Great British film noir, with an escaped convict returning to his old East End manor and his former love
13 Dec Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996) With Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn. Between Bethnal Green and Southgate, parallel lives begin to converge in an uplifting drama.
The London Screen Study Collection Workshop on Programming and Presenting London Archive Film took place at Birkbeck on Tue 27 March, followed by the launch of our 1950s London DVD
The Summer London on Screen series was Royal London
3 May The Young Victoria (2009, Jean-Marc Valée) Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend
10 May Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles) Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau
17 May Richard III (Richard Lonraine) Ian McKellen, Annette Bening
24 May Elizabeth (1998, Shekhar Kapur) Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, MAL 532
31 May To Kill a King (2003, Mike Barker) Rupert Everett, Tim Roth, MAL 421
7 June Nell Gwyn (1934, Herbert Wilcox) Anna Neagle, Cedrick Hardwicke, B34
14 June The Madness of King George (1994, Nicholas Hytner) Nigel Hawthorne, B34
21 June The Prince and the Showgirl (1957, Laurence Olivier) Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, B34
28 June Leo the Last (1970, John Boorman) Marcello Mastroianni, Billie Whitelaw, B34
5 July The Queen (2006, Stephen Frears) Helen Miren, Michael Sheen
. . . . . . .
The London Screen Study Centre's Spring term series was London Laughs
11 Jan The Knack... and How to Get It (1965, Dick
Lester) Rita Tushingham, Ray Brooks
18 Jan Major Barbara (1941, Gabriel Pascal)
Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison
25 Jan Drole de Drame (1936, Marcel Carne)
Louis Jouvet, Francoise Rosay
1 Feb Passport to Pimlico (1949, Henry
Cornelius) Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren
8 Feb The Lavender Hill Mob (1951, Charles
Crichton) Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway
15 Feb A Kid for Two Farthings (1955, Carol
Reed) Celia Johnson, David Kossoff
22 Feb The Ladykillers (1955, Alexander Macken-
drick) Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker
1 Mar Black Joy (1977, Anthony Simmons)
Norman Beaton, Floella Benjamin
8 Mar A Fish Called Wanda (1988, Charles
Crichton) John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis
15 Mar Riff-Raff (1991, Ken Loach) Robert Carlyle,
Ricky Tomlinson, Emer McCourt
22 Mar Bend It Like Beckham (2002, Gurinder
Chadha) Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley
Free, 2.30pm, Tuesdays, Birkbeck Malet Street, London WC1, in B 34
See below for recent programmes in this series
. . . . . . . . . . . .
During Bournemouth Media Academy's 3D week, in Nov 2010, I was talking about the success of stereoscopy in the1860s and how film pioneers from Lumiere to Eisenstein always believed that cinema would eventually be in 3D
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rethinking Media Archivism - an international workshop at the National Library of Sweden, 9-11 Nov 2010
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
London on Screen - past programmes
Autumn Term, 2010
A season of films about the experience of learning how to survive in London, and succeeding or failing. This is perhaps the archetypal 'London story', from the tale of Dick Whittington's success to the many stories of those who are defeated by London's challenge and temptations. This is also a story of London becoming increasingly multiethnic. And the films selected span the revival of British cinema in the 1930s, the 'new wave' of the 60s, and the growing importance of television in supporting British filmmaking.
12/10 Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946) John Mills, Alec Guinness
19/10 Evergreen (Victor Saville, 1934) Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale
26/10 Darling (John Schlesinger, 1965) Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde
2/11 Georgy Girl (Silvia Nazzarino, 1966) Lynn Redgrave, James Mason
9/11 Cathy Come Home (Ken Loach, 1966), Carol White, Ray Brooks
16/11 Bronco Bullfrog (Barney Platts-Mills, 1969) Del Walker, Sam Shepherd
23/11 Bleak Moments (Mike Leigh, 1971) replaced Leo the Last, previously advertised.
30/11 Sparrows Can't Sing (Joan Littlewood, 1963) replaced My Beautiful Laundrette, previously advertised
7/12 Safe (Antonia Bird, 1993) Aidan Gillen, Kate Hardie, Robert Carlyle
14/12 Brick Lane (Sarah Gavron, 2007) Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik
And previously -
A discussion on theatre and cinema during WW2 inspired by the revival of Rattigan's Flare Path (Night Waves, Radio 3, 9 Mar); a review of True Grit on Nightwaves, 9 Feb, and a double obituary for Maria Schneider and Lena Nyman on Last Word, Radio Four, 11 Feb.
18 Jan 2011 - BBC Radio Four's Film Season kicked off with the first of two programmes about early cinema history: Hollywood The Prequel and, on 25 Jan, The Sequel. I popped up in both, and also in other programmes in this season, on Exploding Cinema, Pocket Cinema, Secret Cinema, and on filmgoing round the world. more info at
12 Mar - Introduced Eisenstein's October for NFTS Passport to Cinema series at BFI Southbank.
28 Feb - Chaired New Screen Histories seminar by Peter Kramer at London University School of Advanced Studies: '"The greatest mass murderersince Adolf Hitler": Nuclear War and the Nazi past in DR STRANGELOVE', based on his research in the Kubrick Archive.
26 Feb - Co-hosted Dance Scenes on Sunday #2 with Kiki Gale at Stratford Picturehouse, which had clips from a wide range of dance styles, and featured five shorts commissioned by East London Dance in homage to Merce Cunningham.
14 Feb - Introduced The Red Shoes for the National Film & TV School's Passport to Cinema series at BFI Southbank
25 Jan - hosted a lively seminar by Tim Smith, of Birkbeck's Psychology Dept, on empirical studies of audio and visual cueing in our perception of film - using eye-tracking (below)
23 Jan - Introduced Michael Powell's 1961 The Queen's Guards, made in the aftermath of the Peeping Tom scandal, at BFI Southbank. Massey clan to the fore!
19 Jan - 'Why can't the English be modern?' - I led a Philosophy Salon discussion at the National Portrait Gallery, amid portraits of Herbert Read, Benjamin Britten and co (seen below, in 1943, with Peter Pears) as part of the NPG's Late Shift programme.
13 Jan - John Martin and the Apocalypse, at Tate Britain. I was talking about the apocalyptic tone of popular visual culture in the early 19c - and Martin's legacy among filmmakers ranging from Cecil B DeMille to George Lucas.
11 Dec - A short memorial talkabout Raul Ruiz at Watershed in Bristol, by way of introduction to Mysteries of Lisbon.
9 Dec - Cours d'introduction pour le Forum des Images, Paris et leur cycle Londres, une ville au cinéma. J'ai parlé des 'Rues de Londres' (avec extraits, dont un de Bullet Boy)
3 Dec - Symposium at BFI Southbank on Aleksandr Sokurov - my contribution was 'Sonatas, Elegies, Diaries: scoping Sokurov's non-fiction forms', plus some thoughts about Faust and the 'tetralogyof power'
1-3 Dec - Screen Culture and the Social Question: Poverty on Screen 1880-1914 - a conference at the German Historical Institute in London, organised by Trier University's Screen 1900 Project. I chaired the opening session of this ambitious attempt to span the Magic Lantern and early moving picture periods of screen culture - and contributed to the last session with ideas about placing the lantern and early film in wider histories of both social propaganda and the visual, as well as more on researching social and cultural impact of these media.
27 Nov - Dance Sunday! - dance films co-presented with East London Dance at Stratford Picturehouse. Great fun - and our Bollywood extract, fromKhan's Main Hoon Na was the surprise hit of the programme!
23 Nov - Introduced Sokurov's The Stone - in which Chekhov comes back to his old home as a ghost (below); and on 29 Nov introduced Whispering Pages, both at BFI Southb
6 Nov - London Rediscovered : introduced a programme of London films from the 50s at the Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, drawn from the recentLSSC dvd
4 Nov - Panel discussion on the recent Polish film The Reverse at the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, BAFTA, London
2 Nov - Gave the first Peter Morris Memorial lecture at York University, Toronto: Where is 'national cinema' today - and who still needs it?
30 Oct - 'Stratford on Screen' - special archive programme at the Stratford PIcturehouse, as part of a collaboration betweenBirkbeck and PicturehouseCinemas in Stratford - with an extract from Joan Littlewood's Sparrows Can't Sing
29 Oct - Interviewed Aleksandr Sokurov at BFI Southbank to launch the major retrospective of his work that unrolls across November and December, with many previously unseen documentaries and elegies.
29 Oct - 'Screen History: Beyond Cinema' - took part in the Screen Studies Group's Postgraduate Training event at Birkbeck, Researching the New.
27 Oct - Hosted the first in a new series of Screen History seminars at the School of Advanced Studies of London University, with Thomas Elsaesser speaking about German documentaries of the 1920s and 30s and their problematic status between modernism and propaganda.
24 Oct - Introduced Sokurov's Faust, and its leading actors, at the LFF (see also my article in the December Sight and Sound)
22 Oct - Took part in a symposium on 'Subjectivity and Cinema' with Laura Mulvey, at theSorbonne Pantheon in Paris, to mark the publication of Dominique Chateau's new AUP anthology.
20 Oct - When Image Matters... I talked about portraits of Emma Hamilton, Horatio Nelson and The Duke of Wellington and the origins of celebrity culture in an informal 'Philosophy Salon' at the National Portrait Gallery
14 Oct - Introduced the magnificent restored Melies Trip to the Moon and Rossellini's Machine That Kills Bad People in an archive special at the London FilmFestival
11/12 Oct - London on Screen marked Black History Month with screenings of Horace Ove's pioneering film about Black Londoners, Pressure (1976) at Birkbeck Cinema and Stratford Picturehouse.
7-9 Oct - Europa Cinemas Experts Committee met in Warsaw, where we heard from the Polish Film Institute how they're successfully managing their national cinema - an example of which shows at EPFF on 4 Nov.
18 Sept - North London's early local filmmakers - Paul, Acres etc - as part of the Phoenix Cinema's very successful Open Day, with Gerry Turvey and mein conversation.
20-21 Sep - Spoke at a conference on film education in Miskolc, Hungary, as part of the Miskolc Festival - and visited Emeric Pressburger's birthplace (photos to follow...)
28 Sept - I talked about 'Early Film Stars in Europe' at the Deutsches Filminstitut-Trier University conference, Importing Asta Nielsen, in Frankfurt.
29 Sept - Introduced Marleen Gorris's Mrs Dalloway at Cambridge Arts Cinema, as part of an event on Virginia Woolf and Cinema
30 Sept - Chaired a session at UCL Conference on Surveillance and Cinema, with some great papers on law and film, and on how YouTube is blowing apart courtroom secrecy and decorum.
1 Oct - Took part in BFI Southbank-RHUL conference on Ken Loach, speaking mainly about Land and Freedom.
2-4 Oct - Pordenone Giornatedel cinema muto - showed, among much else, the newly discovered original Soldier's Courtship of 1896 by R W Paul - Britain's first fiction film made for the screen - and full of inventive business by the actors!
16 Sept - Launch of Opening our eyes: how film contributes to the Culture of the UK, a report I co-authored, published by the BFI and hopefuly feeding into the current re-think of UK film policy. For the report and full data, see
13 Sept - Launch of the new London's Screen Archives website portal, at the Royal Institution, now viewable at http://www.londonsscreenarchives.org.uk/Londo/Main/
12 Sept - Took part in a roundtable at the EYE Institute in Amsterdam, to launch Subjectivity, the second book in our new AUP Key Debates series, edited by Dominique Chateau. Next up will be Audiences, ed by yours truly.
2-3 Sept - I led a workshop on attracting youth audiences to arthouse cinema and spoke about film education and exhibition in Europe, at the Japan Community Cinema Association annual conference in Hiroshima. Also visited Europa Cinema members in Tokyo and Kyoto.
17-23 Aug - I waon the Blue Chameleon Jury at the Cinema Digital Festival in Seoul, South Korea, where we gave our prize to Sanjeewa Pushpakumara's tough and ambitious first feature Flying Fish (Sri Lanka, 2011, below) with a special mention for Xu Tong's equally striking documentary Shattered (China, 2011).
16-17 July - I led two tours of film locations in East London by barge, on the Regent's Canal. Starting near MareStreet Bridge we travelled through cinema history, passing close to some iconic film locations (Alfie, Smashing Time, Dirty Pretty Things, Secrets and Lies), looking back at the image of London's East End on screen, and finishing beside the site of one of Britain's first important film studios. At Gainsborough, Alfred Hitchcock launched his career in the late 20s, Ivor Novello starred as 'The Rat', and some classic WW2 films were made. For highlights of the tour on film, see http://floatingcinema.info/events/#events-96
13-15 July - Participated in the Re: Enlightenment Project exchange in London, at Senate House and the British Museum. More on this exciting initiative to follow...
2 July - The Second Centenary of Cinema - I spoke at a conference organised by Andrew Shail at Newcastle University on how Italian epics transformed cinema into a popular cultural spectacle between 1912-15.
July-Aug - I advised on films to accompany an exhibition of Australian prints and baskets at the British Museum. This started on with the latest restoration of the 1906 Story of the Kelly Gang (below) accompanied by Tony Richardson's Ned Kelly , and the programmes continued into August.
25-29 June - directed a workshop at the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato festival on 'Competing for Attention andSuccess', for selected exhibitors in the Europa Cinemas netwowork to reflect on the programming and promotion of their cinemas. Outline at http://www.europa-cinemas.org/en/actions/ya/seminaire-de-bologne.php, with a report to follow, including this year's Top Ten films for young audiences. I also introduced Korda's Thief of Bagdad (below) in the Piazza Maggiore, as part of Cinema Ritrovato's Conrad Veidt retrospective. Photo on Facebook!
23 June - Introduced Pt 2 of Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible at BFI Southbank, and showed a fragment of the unmade Part 3
23 June - I convened a panel for the NECS Conference in London, on Cities and Cinema. Speakers were Ranita Chaterjee, Eleni Liarou, Peter Walsh and yrs truly, all talking about aspects of studying the city in/and cinema.
20 June - 'The Cultural Impact of Cinema' - took part in a seminar at the Irish Film Centre, sponsored by the Irish Film Board and BFI, based on Stories We Tell Ourselves.
9-10 June - Screenwriting for 3D cinema - I introduced the history of stereoscopy in a round table at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, along with screenwriter Michael Eaton.
27 May - Making Strange - Symposium on the legacy of Russian Formalism's ostranenie for film theory and the arts. Organised by the Dept of History of Art and Screen Media, at Birkbeck as part of Arts Week. Other speakers included Annie van der Oever (Groningen University), William Rowe (Birkbeck).
26 May - Talk on 'Film and 21st Century diplomacy', at Columbia University's Reid Hall, Paris
16 May - 'Truth or Dare: dilemmas for documentary', moderated a discussion at the UK Pavilion, Cannes Film Festival
14 May - Europa Cinemas AGM in Cannes: news about all our activities and initiatives - including this year's Bologna Workshop on Youth Audiences.
19 April - 'Content for the Online World': I took part in a panel with this title at the Conference on the Future of the Audiovisual Industry in Budapest, organised by the Ministry for National Development, to mark Hungary's presidency of the EU. Fellow panelists included Istvan Szabo and Peter De Maegd, and I tried to connect the on-line world with that of cinemas and audiences (in a EuropaCinemas sort of way...)
30 Mar - Artists Moving Image Network: Symposium on Cognitive Psychological and Neuroscientific approaches to studying film reception at Chelsea College of Art, with Murray Smith, Tim Smith, Steven Hinde (see 19 Jan below)
29 Mar - London Screen Study Collection Workshop on Programming and Presenting London Archive Films
Organised by the LSSC at Birkbeck as part of DFAF project. See details on London Screen History tab and above. This was followed by launch of London Rediscovered, a new DVD of London films from the 1950s.
25-26 Mar - 'Twentieth Century Girls on Screen - Three Case Studies in Modernizing Fairy Tales'. I was talking about the arc from Powell/ Pressburger to Neil Jordan and Lars Von Trier,
at a York University conference on Myths and Fairy Tales.
Below: Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes (1948)
18 Mar - 'Ancient Rome in London: Classical Subjects in Cinema's Expansion after 1910'. I gave a talk at an international conference on The Ancient World in Silent Cinema, at the Humboldt University, Berlin, in assoc. with Bristol University.
17 Mar - I was recalling Jack Cardiff and introducing Craig McCall's documentary Cameraman at Egerton Film Society in Kent.
13 Mar - 'Beyond the Screen' - Igave a talk at the Fulldome conference in Birmingham's Thinktank Science Museum about the history of 'thinking beyond the screen', from the 18c Phantasmagoria, to proposals to modify the standard cinema screen by Eisenstein and Powell, up to the success of 3Dtoday.
28 Feb - took part in a useful conference organised by Film Education at Europe House on getting more European films shown in the UK, through education iniatives, film societies - and, yes, even cinemas!
18 Feb - 'Adventures in the Hit Parade: on-line archives' - I contributed to a symposium on Archives, Museums, Media organised by Dept of History of Art and Screen Media, Birkbeck. G04, 43 Gordon Sq http://www.bbk.ac.uk/art-history/news/symposium-archives-museums-media
Feb - I didn't take part in the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, as a small personal gesture of support for the jailed Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. Panahi (below)i, director of such outstanding Iranian films as The White Balloon, The Circle, Crimson Gold and Offside, has been jailed for six years and forbidden to do any kind of film work for 20 years. What kind of 'justice' is this?
See reports in The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/20/iran-jails-jafar-panahi-films and http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/24/jafar-panahi-film-iran-prison-banned and letters http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/24/iran-filmmakers-panahi-rasoulof; and (despite the bizarre heading) my letter at http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2010/dec/27/iran-branson-sex-workers-windlesham
2 Feb - Beyond the Box-Office in Bristol, at Watershed MediaCentre: took part in a debateabout how England, and especially the South-West, has been represented on screen - from Lorna Doone to Tamara Drewe, via Gone to Earth, Straw Dogs, Jane Austen, Hot Fuzz, etc...
25 Jan - 'Illuminating Manuscripts: how graphic novels challenge the Gutenberg paradigm'. I spoke at the comparative literature conference 'Oltre la Pagina: Il Testo Letterario e le sue metamorfosi nell’età dell’immagine' at Universita degli Studi, Roma Tre (below: Raymond Briggs' Ethel and Ernest, Guido Crepax's Valentina; above: West Country modern and Hardy updated in Tamara Drewe)
23 Jan - I took part in a discussion about the future of film heritage at the Premiers Plans festival in Angers, with Olivier Assayas, Serge Toubiana of the Cinematheque Francaise and other French contributors.[Below: why haven't we seen more of the Lumiere films since theirvery successful restoration in 1995?]
19 Jan - Artists Moving Image Research Network first symposium at Chelsea College of Art. I talked about the fear of losing film's 'indexicality' in the transition from analogue to digital, and asked how this related to the long history of concern about film's 'specificity'. [Below: The Fall of the House of Usher, 1928. Jean Epstein wrote extensively about the specificity of film and demonstrated his ideas on screen]
7 Jan - Beyond the Box-Office in York - one of the UK Film Council's series of regional debates about the cultural impact of British cinema. How has the North of England been represented on screen? - with Estelle Morris and producer Andy Harries (The Damned United, Zen, The Queen etc) at the splendid new Dept of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York.
26 Nov - 'How alternative is "Alternative Content" in cinema programming?': paper at a symposium on the history of film exhibition at the University of Utrecht
19-21 Nov - Took part in a opening-day panel on 'How can Film Theatres Appeal to the Web Generation' at the Europa Cinemas Annual Conference in Paris. I also reported on this year's Bologna Workshop on attracting youth audiences to European cinema. Conference report at http://www.europa-cinemas.org/en/actions/conference/2010_Conference_Programme_Presentations.php
15 Nov - Helped to launch '3D Week' at Bournemouth Media Academy, with a talk on the first century of stereoscopy - and why it might take off this time!
12 Nov - launch of a new book series I'm co-editing for AUP at the EYE Institute in Amsterdam: the first book is Ostrannanie: On 'Strangeness' and the Moving Image, ed Annie van den Oever. See http://www.aup.nl/do.php?a=show_visitor_book&isbn=9789089640796
11 Nov - Took part in at a symposium on Archiving in the Digital Era, at the National Library of Sweden, co-organised by the University of Stockholm (where I also discovered how successful Robert Paul's films were in Stockholm in the summer of 1897! - see About Me tab)
5 Nov - Introduced a 50th anniversary screening of Powell's Peeping Tom with Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker at BAFTA. See also Powell DVD releases on About Me tab.
5 Nov - Spoke at a symposium in honour of the Russian film critic Maya Turovskaya, at Trinity College, Cambridge (see her book, Tarkovsky: Cinema as Poetry, which I edited in 1989). A recent reference to Turovskaya's work appears in John Riley's article http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2009/cteq/the-steamroller-and-the-violin/
4 Nov - 'Before the Myth' - I was talking about the cultural and industrial background to Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin at a University of Essex Film Studies seminar.
31 Oct - Took part in a discussion on music and silent film after Hitchcock's Blackmail at the Barbican, with Neil Brand's fine new score played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Timothy Brock.
27 Oct - Copyrights and Wrongs - I co-organised and chaired a symposium for the British Academy and LCACE, at the Royal Society. MP3 audio recording now available at http://www.britac.ac.uk/events/2010/2010-Copyright.cfm
21 Oct - 'Something Stirring in the Stack: Why Filmmakers Enter the Library'. I gave the annual Holden Lecture on behalf of the Friends of Senate House Library, University of London - which included paying homage to the lasting association of Ghostbusters with the NYPL: now also a videogame (below).
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