All entries for Thursday 12 August 2010

August 12, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the UKFC

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Cinema vanClint Eastwood's recent appeal to the British Government to save the UK Film Council allowed the nation's sub-editors to dust off its Dirty Harry / spaghetti western puns, and served as another reminder of the close but often troubled relationship between the British film industry and government.

In the 1920's and 1930's all political parties saw the new medium of cinema as way of reaching out to a mass audience, the majority of whom would have had no access to other broadcast media. This image shows a small audience investigating the 'Touring Talkie Daylight Cinema Saloon', a converted van which toured the country and broadcast short topical films promoting the Labour Party. The Conservatives had a rival 'Touring Conservative Unionist Cinema'.

The Modern Record's Centre's online exhibition on ''The Power of the Cinema': Film in the 1920s and 1930s' also includes a 1932 memorandum to the government from the CBI and TUC on the importance of the British film industry - concern is expressed over "the menace of Americanisation by means of the film", and the perceived threat from Hollywood imports to Britain's financial interests, "English speech, customs, and cultural standards".

Click on the 'thumbnail' for a larger image.

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