Continuous performance

As part of my Picturegoing survey of eyewitness accounts of going to see pictures, I have been reproducing what is among the best pieces of sustained writing on the process of cinemagoing, the ‘Continuous Performance’ essays written by Dorothy Richardson for the film journal Close Up. Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957) was a British novelist, a pioneerRead More

Lumière forever

Most true histories are untidy; early film history especially so. The first years of cinema were a complex field in which the different elements that would make up the medium were ‘invented’ at different stages, in which the many participants engaged in its creation held widely different understandings of just what the medium meant, andRead More

Shooting Stars

The opening sequence of Shooting Stars is a hesitant but nevertheless ambitious crane shot swooping over an active film studio. The location is the Stoll Film Company studios, Cricklewood, and through this opening vista the self-reflexive theme is introduced. This is a film about the process of making a film. It is constructed as aRead More

It speaks for itself

‘A million minutes of filmed history’ – someone in the communications team of the AP Archive must have been mightily pleased when they came up with that tag line for promoting their release online of the entire British Movietone newsreel archive onto YouTube. For that is what the have done. Apparently every story from everyRead More