The Appreciation of Film

The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain

By (author) Richard Lowell MacDonald

Ebook (VitalSource) - £75.00

Publication date:

31 July 2019

Length of book:

248 pages


University of Exeter Press

ISBN-13: 9780859899727

This book offers the first full account of the film society movement in Britain and its contribution to post-World War Two film culture. It brings to life a lost history of alternative film exhibition and challenges the general assumption that the study of film began with university courses on ‘Film Studies’.

Showing how film societies operated and the lasting impression they made on film culture, The Appreciation of Film details the history of film education in Britain.  The book illuminates the changing relationship between volunteer-run societies and professionalised agencies promoting film art such as festivals, specialist commercial distributors and public bodies such as the British Film Institute.

Drawing on original archival research and oral history interviews the book acknowledges the vigour and dedication of volunteer film society activists and presents contemporary readers with a record of their achievement.

Written in an accessible style, this is a study of 16mm projectors, associational life and the making of film culture in Britain. It reclaims the marginalised civic cinephilia of volunteer film society activists whilst providing an alternative narrative of the emergence of film study in Britain.





‘This is an interesting project, based on thorough research, dealing with a topic that deserves to be better known and better documented.’ (Professor Andrew Higson, Dept. of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)


‘This book serves as a valuable companion to an emerging literature on the history of film studies, both internationally and specifically within Britain.’ (Professor Richard Maltby, Dept. of Screen and Media, Flinders University)