Archive for publications, October 2013

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[ecrea] New book on the amateur fiction film

Wed Oct 23 03:43:47 GMT 2013

Small-Gauge Storytelling: Discovering the Amateur Fiction Film is an edited collection which features case studies from Austria, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the former Yugoslavia.


Edited by Ryan Shand and Ian Craven

Edinburgh University Press, 2013

Storytelling in film has never been an activity confined to the domain of the professional movie maker. Ever since the introduction of small-gauge equipment in the 1920s, numerous amateur ‘lone workers’, independent-minded collectives, and more leisure-oriented clubs have attempted to create fictional worlds through film. Working across a wide range of genres, and addressing controversial topics as well as lighter-hearted themes, the resulting output remains largely unexplored by a film history which has tended to privilege the cine enthusiast’s engagement with films of record, or ventures onto more experimental terrains.

In this context, Small-Gauge Storytelling pioneers new approaches to amateur film practice, the imaginative horizons of its surrounding ‘social world’, and the distinctive forms and aesthetics favoured by the non-professional maker of movie dramas, comedies and thrillers. Contributors raise a series of recurrent questions. What can amateur fiction films bring to our sense of the cinematic past? What has the significance of such enterprises been for their producers and audiences? How might attention to the amateur filmmaker’s work in fiction inform critical debates concerning the social meaning of such movie-making more generally?

These concerns and others are explored in depth by Small-Gauge Storytelling, which brings together international perspectives and localised case studies to re-examine some of the forgotten ways and means by which amateur filmmakers have created often remarkable fictional worlds. Covering a broad range of historical eras, identifying amateur takes on several different genres and recognising diverse production methods, its contributors demonstrate the importance of amateur film-making beyond the ‘home movie’, and illustrate often intimate relationships between amateur and professional film history.


Introduction: Ambitions and Arguments – Exploring Amateur Cinema through Fiction
Ryan Shand

Part I: Framing Fiction

1 Historical, Aesthetic, Cultural: The Problematical Value of Amateur Cine Fiction
Guy Edmonds
2 Sewell, Rose, and the Aesthetics of Amateur Cine Fiction
Ian Craven
3 Crafting Life Into Film: Analysing Family Fiction Films From The 1930s
Martina Roepke
4 Framing the Welfare State: Swedish Amateur Fiction Film 1930-1965
Mats Jönsson

Part II: Studio Sensibilities

5 Occupying a Distinguished but Lonely Place in the Amateur Movement: Ace Movies 1929–1964
Francis Dyson
6 ‘High Art’ Locally: The Screen Adaptations of IuG-Film
Maria Vinogradova
7 Brazilian Amateur Cinema and Fictional Films from Foto-Cine Clube Gaúcho
Lila Foster

Part III: Single-Minded Scenarios

8 'This is not Hollywood!': Peter Watkins and the Challenge of Amateurism to the Professional
John R. Cook
9 'Start as You Mean to Go On': Ken Russell’s Early Amateur Films
Brian Hoyle
10 The Nocturnal Affairs of Mr Miletić: Authorship, Genre and Cine-Amateurism in Yugoslavia
Greg de Cuir, Jr.

Part IV: Genres and Genericity

11 The Aesthetic of the Possible: The Green Cockatoo as Bricolage of Heterogeneous Traditions
Siegfried Mattl and Vrääth Öhner
12 The Fragile Magic of the Home: Amateur Domestic Comedies and the Intimate Geography of Childhood
Karen Lury
13 The Spence Brothers: Amateur Sci-Fi and Cine Culture in Northern Ireland
Ciara Chambers


EUP page:

Dr Ryan Shand
Film&  TV Studies
School of Culture&  Creative Arts
University of Glasgow
9 University Avenue
Glasgow, G12 8QQ.

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