Popular science

The birth of the popular science film – Francis Martin Duncan appears as the scientist in Cheese Mites, the notorious film he made for Charles Urban in 1903. The full film was only recently discovered by Oliver Gaycken (lurking on YouTube under a made-up title) Two books are to be published shortly which cover theRead More

Eroica

Yesterday I saw the five-and-a-half hour restoration of Abel Gance’s Napoléon (1927), which was shown at the Royal Festival Hall between 13:30 and 21:30 (there were three intervals), with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Carl Davis conducting his music. It’s the third time I’ve seen the film (not counting the DVD of the US version ofRead More

Charles Urban

On 1 August University of Exeter Press is publishing my book, Charles Urban: Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897-1925. It is based on my PhD thesis, which I completed in 2003, but it has been updated with reference to new research in the field, though equally the word-length has been cut downRead 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