Now in paperback

I’m delighted to be able to report that my 2013 book, Charles Urban: Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897-1925, is now available in paperback, from University of Exeter Press. Previously available in hardback at a price best suited to the specialist library market, or as an e-book (has anyone purchase Urban theRead More

Discovering Kinemacolor

Kinemacolor was the world’s first successful natural colour motion picture system. It was preceded by some trial colour systems that did not work in practice, and it competed against artificial systems which painted colours onto film stock. Kinemacolor was the first system successfully to achieve one of the primary goals of the pioneers of motionRead More

Cinema contexts

Of all the ephemeral objects we build for ourselves in the digital world, among the most precious and at the greatest risk of disappearing are databases. Databases are organised and queryable collections of data. The larger ones, along with their cousin the content management system, govern our world and manage who we are, since theirRead More

Prequels

I have been watching the latest series of Better Call Saul, the best thing on TV just now, despite some considerable competition. The series is a prequel to Breaking Bad, the 2008-2013 series about a high-school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who takes to a life of crime by manufacturing methamphetamine. The crooked lawyer Saul GoodmanRead More

Playing dead

Last weekend I sat through six hours and thirty-seven minutes of of Les Misérables (France 1925), the longest film I’ve ever experienced at a single sitting. It was shown at the Barbican in London, two comfort breaks and a supper break along the way. Neil Brand provided the live piano score, as he had withRead More

Losing the plot

Pity the New York Times‘ TV critic Mike Hales, who recently reviewed the first few episodes of Amazon’s new series Goliath. As The Drum reports, Hales complained of the series having a “needlessly complicated structure”. … presumably because the first episode leaves so much unanswered, the next jumps back in time to fill in theRead More

Lost colours

I’ve been adding more images to my Flickr pages reflecting the works of Charles Urban. Having started with pictures from his 1903 catalogue We put the World Before You, I’ve turned to another treasure among his catalogues, the Catalogue of Kinemacolor Film Subjects (1912). Copies of this catalogue are rarer than hen’s teeth, and I’mRead More