|British Film Institute library in Dean Street in 1950s|
|BFI Library today in Stephen Street|
Today, FSFF celebrates some newly published, online, BFI resources on the subject of film appreciation and education in the 1950s. As is its wont, FSFF has supplemented these links with its own curation of online items on international film education and appreciation. All links may be found below.
But FSFF has been dismayed to hear of proposed changes to the British Film Institute National Library (still going strong after 76 wonderful years) and the Viewing Service at the BFI. The proposals are outlined here. These changes are likely to have serious implications for the field and for research opportunities in film and television in the UK. If any of FSFF‘s readers are concerned about the proposals, you may like to make your views known to the BFI – possibly through the chairman Greg Dyke. If anyone knows of an online petition to register discontent about these changes please let FSFF know and it will happily publish the link. This has now been set up: Please sign!
Selected resources made available by the BFI in the 1950s to support film appreciation and education:
- 20 Films to use in Junior Film Societies (PDF, 34.3mb) compiled by A. W. Hodgkinson (British Film Institute and The Society of Film Teachers, 1953) Identifies key feature films suitable for studying with young people. Each record includes a summary of the film, examples of critical opinion and suggested discussion points.
- Are They Safe at the Cinema? a considered answer to critics of the cinema (PDF, 3.66mb) by Janet Hills (British Film Institute) Pamphlet examining the effects of cinema on young people. Questions the notion of a causal link between sensationalist or violent films and behaviour, and outlines the potential benefits of film education and appreciation.
- School Film Appreciation (PDF, 7.1mb) by A. W. Hodgkinson, John Huntley, E. Francis Mills and Jack Smith (King’s College School and British Film Institute, 1950) Practical notes compiled by educators in the field, detailing appropriate film titles and books for study, with advice for teachers.
- The Artist the Critic and the Teacher (PDF, 1.9mb) (The Joint Council for Education through Art, 1959) Programme for a forum presented by The Joint Council for Education through Art on the relevance of the arts to education, held at the National Film Theatre. Participants included Lindsay Anderson, John Berger, Karel Reisz and Kenneth Tynan.
- Film Study Material (PDF, 850kb) (British Film Institute, 1955) Catalogue of films and extracts available from the British Film Institute for use in film study.
Other Resources on Film Education and Appreciation:
- Charles R. Acland, ‘Patterns of Cultural Authority: the National Film Society of Canada and the Institutionalization of Film Education, 1938-1941’ Canadian Journal of Film Studies/Revue Canadienne d’etudes cinematographiques, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2001
- Cary Bazalgette, ‘Analogue Sunset. The Educational Role of the British Film Institute, 1979-2007’, Comunicar, n. 35, v. XVIII, 2010, Scientific Journal of Media Literacy; ISSN: 1134-3478; pages 15-23
- Richard Berger and Julian McDougall, ‘Touching the Void?: Media Education Research in the Twenty-first Century’, Media Education Research Journal, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2010
- William J. Buxton, ‘Rockefeller Support for Projects on the Use of Motion Pictures for Educational and Public Purposes, 1935-1954’, Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports Online, 2001
- John Caughie, ‘Authors and auteurs: the uses of theory’, in Donald, J. and Renov, M. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies (London: Sage, 2007)
- Zoë Druick, ‘International Cultural Relations as a Factor in Postwar Canadian Cultural Policy: The Relevance of UNESCO for the Massey Commission’Canadian journal of communication,Vol 31, No 1, 2006
- Alexander Fedorov, ‘Media Education around the World: Brief History’, Acta Didactica Napocensia, Volume 1, Number 2, 2008
- Caroline Jane Frick, Restoration Nation: Motion Picture Archives and “American” Film Heritage, PhD Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 2005
- Gary Hoctor, The Irish Film Society from 1936 to 1956: An examination in the context of the Cultural Histories of Ireland, MA Thesis, 2006
- Elizabeth Lebas, ‘Sadness and Gladness: The Films of Glasgow Corporation, 1922–1938’, FilM Studies, Issue 6, 2005
- Toby Miller (ed), Dossier: ‘In Focus: The British Film Institute’, Cinema Journal 47, No. 4, Summer 2008
- Melanie Selfe, ‘”Doing the Work of the NFT in Nottingham” – or How to Use the BFI to Beat the Communist Threat in Your Local Film Society’, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 2007
- Michelle Spinella, Cinema in Cuban National Development: WOmen and Film Making Culture, PhD Thesis, Florida State University, 2004