Searching the BFI

The British Film Institute has issued a new version of its database, which is a huge improvement on what has been available online before now. The new service, BFI Collections Search, for the first time combines its bibliographic, filmographic and technical databases, something the BFI has been trying to engineer for years (decades even). ThisRead More

Travelling hopefully

Highlights from NRK’s ten-hour Nordlandsbanen train journey programme In December the Norwegian broadcaster NRK put on a ten-hour transmission of a train journey. Filmed from the front of a train cab travelling along the Nordlandsbanen line between Trondheim and Bodø (a distance of 438 miles), the programme gained one million viewers, or a fifth ofRead More

The newsreel man

A recent article by Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books has caused quite a stir. Written in the aftermatch of the Jimmy Savile scandal, it exposes a culture of child abuse from past decades perpetrated by various BBC personalities. One of these was the commentator and producer Lionel Gamlin. As a historian ofRead More

Changing channels

I spent a fascinating, exhausting and illuminating two days last weekend attending the conference of the Federation of International Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA), which was held at the British Library. FIAT/IFTA is a representative body for those archives, commercial and public sector, that care for the world’s television heritage (its film equivalent is FIAF, the internationalRead More

Being Bean

Rather by accident, I saw the feature film Mr Bean’s Holiday yesterday. Catching the opening credits while channel-hopping, I imagined that I’d stay with it for a few minutes and ended up, well, almost captivated. It’s a well-constructed comedy about Mr Bean’s haphazardous trip through France in the company of a lost child. It adroitlyRead More