British Life on Film: History and the Film Archives

I love the BFI's BRITAIN ON FILM website and all the fab material held in the regional archives which it showcases. So much so that I've organised a little symposium about it, which invites folk who have discovered films there and gone on to do research on the films themselves or the events/people/organisations they depict, … Continue reading British Life on Film: History and the Film Archives

Armistice Day in ‘Art’ and Popular Culture

It is a hundred years since the Armistice Day on 11th November 1918. To mark it, here’s a discussion of how people responded to that day from the opening of my book Before Journey’s End: The Great War in British Popular Cinema of the 1920s [NB cheaper copies can be found second hand]. The final … Continue reading Armistice Day in ‘Art’ and Popular Culture

Armistice Day in the Cinemas

As part of their rather wonderful Making a New World exhibition (running until 31st March 2019) the Imperial War Museum in London have a number of immersive installations which focus on Armistice Day in 1918 and on the nature of the silences ceremoniously incorporated into Armistice Day celebrations since. Their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit introduces … Continue reading Armistice Day in the Cinemas

They Shall Not Grow Old (2): The Abject Archive… The Sacred Archive

The Abject Archive One of the things I find most fascinating about the pre-release advertising for They Shall Not Grow Old, is the way that it seems unable to argue for the project without at the same time rendering the archive footage from which it is constructed abject. To erase, in fact, the role and … Continue reading They Shall Not Grow Old (2): The Abject Archive… The Sacred Archive

Guy Newall and Ivy Duke in ‘The Garden of Resurrection’ (Arthur Rooke, 1919)

A few weeks ago I introduced a screening of this little known film at the Kennington Bioscope’s ‘Silent Cinema Weekend’ at the Cinema Museum in London. The Garden of Resurrection stars a couple who are barely remembered today but who were, for a brief period in the late 1910s and early 1920s, the darlings of … Continue reading Guy Newall and Ivy Duke in ‘The Garden of Resurrection’ (Arthur Rooke, 1919)

‘Broken in the Wars’ and the King’s Fund

One of the films shown at the recent Kennington Bioscope ‘Silent Weekend’ at the Cinema Museum was Cecil Hepworth’s Broken In the Wars. Henry Edwards plays a cobbler who has to give up his business in order to go to war. When he returns injured, his wife learns about the ‘King’s Fund for Disabled Officers … Continue reading ‘Broken in the Wars’ and the King’s Fund