Movies on Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema
Editor: Ian Craven
Date Of Publication: Nov 2009
Movies on Home Ground: Explorations in Amateur Cinema offers a critical response to the still under-explored mode of amateur cinema, as a particular sphere of British film practice. Concentrating upon a roughly fifty-year period (1930–1980), during which such filmmaking grew rapidly as a significant leisure activity in Britain, the volume shows how popular ‘cine’ assumed distinctive institutional and ideological forms, and some remarkable aesthetic emphases, grounded in consistent technical and critical apparatuses.
Although an outline history of such filmmaking is certainly implicit, the priority of Movies On Home Ground is to offer a series of overlapping perspectives on amateur movie-making, with a view to locating such filmmaking as a component of the broader shape of British film culture. Emphasis is thus given to institutional contexts, technical determinants, and the social formations of practising filmmakers, as well as to concerns with the construction of amateur outlooks, understandings of amateur aesthetics, and the remarkable diversity of amateur genericity. The anthology thus supplies a text offering support to study courses dealing with the many varieties of non-professional participation best understood as truly ‘amateur’, rather than as ‘independent’ or ‘alternative’ filmmaking. By granting the amateur a place within the acknowledged range of significant interventions, the recognised canon of British filmmaking is widened in fascinating new directions.
Ian Craven teaches Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. His research interests include Australian cinema and television, and film technology, as well as British amateur cinema. His edited publications include Australian Popular Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1994), and Australian Cinema in The 1990s (Frank Cass, 2001), and he has authored articles dealing with postcolonial screen culture, transnational television drama, and the theory and practice of area studies, which have appeared in journals including Australian Studies, Antipodes, Continuum and Studies in Australasian Cinema. Until 2002, he acted as editor of Australian Studies, the journal of the British Australian Studies Association. He is currently completing a study of the South Australian Film Corporation, and a forthcoming monograph on British amateur cinema in the 1930s.
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