Film and the End of Empire

Overview

?The number of people living under British colonial rule in the two decades after 1945 shrank from 700 million to 5 million, amid the fractious and blood-soaked decomposition of the largest and most ambitious imperial venture in human history. What roles did film play across the period 1939–65, in the face of rapidly changing geopolitics? What were the varied ways in which film registered and projected colonial and neocolonial discourse and practice? What do these films now reveal about the fantasies and realities of colonial rule and its

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Overview

?The number of people living under British colonial rule in the two decades after 1945 shrank from 700 million to 5 million, amid the fractious and blood-soaked decomposition of the largest and most ambitious imperial venture in human history. What roles did film play across the period 1939–65, in the face of rapidly changing geopolitics? What were the varied ways in which film registered and projected colonial and neocolonial discourse and practice? What do these films now reveal about the fantasies and realities of colonial rule and its ostensible dissolution? Film and the End of Empire brings together leading international scholars to address these questions.

Contributors examine the enmeshing of cultural representation and political and economic control, and demonstrate the ways in which state and non-state actors harnessed film to instructional and pedagogical functions, putting media to work in order to shape the attitudes and conduct of populations to sustain colonial and neocolonial governmental order. They focus on a wide range of material, including newsreels; state-produced documentaries; corporate-financed non-fiction films; and narrative fiction films telling stories about the past and present of imperialist endeavour. At the same time, they address the institutions that were formed to foster colonial film, and develop new non-theatrical forms of global distribution and exhibition. Film and the End of Empire opens up a fascinating new area of film history and will be indispensable reading for those interested in global cinema history, didactic and non-theatrical cinema, film and geopolitics, and those interested in Britain's colonial history and its continuing legacy. This book was produced in conjunction with a major new website housing freely available materials and films relating to British colonial cinema, www.colonialfilm.org.uk, and a companion volume entitled Empire and Film.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844574230
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Series: Cultural Histories of Cinema Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

LEE GRIEVESONis Reader in Film Studies and Director of the Graduate Programme in Film Studies at University College London. He is the author of Policing Cinema: Movies and Censorship in Early Twentieth Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), and co-editor, most recently, of Inventing Film Studies (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2008), with Haidee Wasson. Grieveson is the co-director, with Colin MacCabe, of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project Colonial Cinema: Moving Images of the British Empire

COLIN MACCABEis Distinguished Professor of English and Film at the University of Pittsburgh where he has taught since 1985. He also holds a Chair in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interests include modernism in both literature and film, the history of Modern and Early Modern English and theories of language. His many publications include James Joyce and the Revolution of the Word (2nd Ed. London: Palgrave, 2002); Godard: A Portrait of the Artists at 70 (New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2008) and T.S. Eliot (Plymouth: British Council, 2005). He worked for the British Film Institute from 1985-1998 (first as Head of Production and then as Head of Research). He has produced or executive produced over 10 feature films and over 30 hours of documentaries on the history of the cinema.

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Table of Contents

Lee Grieveson and Colin MacCabe eds., Film and the End of Empire
PART I: Lee Grieveson and Colin MacCabe, Introduction: Film at the end of Empire
Paul Gilroy, After Empire on Film
War and empire
Martin Stollery, The Crown Film Unit and the challenge of representing the Empire war effort
PART II: The colonial cinema of developmentalism
Zoe Druik, Cinema and empire: from the British documentary to UNESCO
Peter Bloom, The colonial cinema of developmentalism
Rosaleen Smyth, The role of Development Film in Britain's Administration of its African Colonies
Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Legacies of the War: the 'Approved' Film, the Masterpiece, and State Policy on Indian Cinema After Independence
PART II: The contexts of exhibition and reception
Philip Zachernuk, Who needs a witch doctor? African activists and the re-imagining of Africa in the 1940s
Charles Ambler, Film and Decolonization in Kenya
PART III: Colonial film units
Hassan Abd. Muthalib, Winning hearts and Minds: the films of the Malayan Film Unit in 1950s British Malaya
Richard Lowell MacDonald, Teaching and Learning Film in the Malayan Emergency: The Legacies of the Malayan Film Unit
Tom Rice, Africans in England: The Colonial Film Unit and the Beginning of the End
PART IV: Fictions of empire
Wendy Webster, 'Hurry Up with Your Mumbo-Jumbo': Language, speech and sound in empire films, 1936-1965
Jacqueline Maingard, Colonial film production in Africa: British colonialism's civilising mission in Chisoko the African (1949) and Mau Mau (1954)
Dylan Cave, British popular cinema and the 'End of Empire' cycle
PART V: Reflections on the Colonial Archive
Terri Francis, Lost: Primer on Histories of Film and Consciousness in Jamaica
Laura Mulvey, The compilation and the Archive

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