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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

British Colour Cinema

Practices and Theories

ISBN 9781844574148
Publication Date June 2013
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher British Film Institute

British Colour Cinema: Practices and Theories is one of the outcomes of a major research project on colour and British cinema. This project was one of the last opportunities to gain an insight from surviving practitioners who worked with film colour in one of the most fascinating periods of its history. Created as a companion volume to a major history of colour in British Cinema (Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation 1900–55, by Sarah Street), British Colour Cinema is based on a series of interviews with practitioners who worked in the UK with Technicolor and/or Eastmancolor during the 1930s–50s.

The book charts a significant period of film history, when working with colour was both difficult and expensive, and frequently involved experimentation of the highest degree. Adjusting to new systems required ingenuity and resourcefulness. The practitioners featured in the book provide a rich resource of experience and reflection on these challenges. Simon Brown, Sarah Street and Liz Watkins talk to specialists renowned for their innovative work with film colour, who provide first-hand accounts of working with major directors, including Michael Powell and John Huston, and with celebrated art directors and special effects teams.

Many of the films discussed have acquired special interest in recent years with the advent of DVD and the restoration of many colour film classics. In recognition of this development, the book's final section also features interviews with those involved in film preservation and restoration, and asks ethical questions concerning how best to prepare new prints for today's audiences.

SIMON BROWN is Director of Studies for Film and Television at Kingston University. His work has been published in the journals Film History, Film Studies, Science Fiction Film and Television, Early Popular Visual Culture and Critical Studies in Television. He is co-editor of Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (2012) (with Sarah Street and Liz Watkins) and author of the Technical Appendix in Sarah Street's Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation 1900–55 (2012).

SARAH STREET is Professor of Film at the University of Bristol. She is the author of a number of books on British cinema, including Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation 1900–55 (2012), and is co-editor of Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (2012) (with Simon Brown and Liz Watkins), publications which, in addition to this volume, resulted from a research project funded by the AHRC. Sarah Street is co-editor of Screen and the Journal of British Cinema and Television.

LIZ WATKINS is a lecturer at the University of Leeds. She has been published in a number of film journals, including Parallax, Paragraph and the British Journal of Cinema and Television. She is co-editor of Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (2012) (with Simon Brown and Sarah Street).

About the Authors
1. Introduction
2. Interview: Chris Challis
3. Interview: Pat Jackson
4. Document: Jack Cardiff, 'Shooting Western Approaches', The Cine-Technician, Nov-Dec 1944
5. Interview: Ossie Morris
6. Interviews: Guy Green, Erwin Hillier, Douglas Slocombe, Paul Beeson, Stan Sayer
7. Document: Ronald Neame, 'A Talk on Technicolor', The Cine-Technician, May-June 1944
8. Introduction
9. Interview: Syd Wilson
10. Interview: Dave Davis
11. Interview: Bernard Happé
12. Interview: Frank Littlejohn
13. Interview: Les Ostinelli
14. Introduction
15. Interview: Paul De Burgh
16. Document: 'Preservation of Films', Kinematograph Weekly, 13 March 1952
17. Interview: Jaoa de Olivera
18. Interview: Keiron Webb
19. Interview: Sonia Genaitay
20. Document: Robert M. Fanstone, 'Experiences with Dufaycolor Film', British Journal of Photography, 7 June 1935
21. Document: 'Gasparcolor Explained to the R.P.S.', Kinematograph Weekly 31 January 1935
22. Interview: Paolo Cherchi Usai
23. Interview: Ulrich Rüdel and Daniela Currò
24. Interview: Giovanna Fossati
25. Introduction
26. Document: Adrian Cornwell-Clyne, 'The Future of the Colour Film' in Colour Cinematography (London: Chapman Hall, 1951)
27. Document: E.S. Tompkins, 'In Defence of 'Glorious' Colour', British Journal of Photography, 3 Mar 1944,
28. Document: Paul Nash, 'The Colour Film' in Charles Davy (ed.), Footnotes to the Film (London: Lovat Dickson Ltd, Readers' Union Ltd, 1938)


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