Tuesday, 20 September 2011

On Bill Douglas, Scottish Cinema and Magical Film Archives

Film Studies For Free today presents an entry about Bill Douglas, one of the most interesting Scottish filmmakers ever, and a highly likely influence on anyone interesting working in that field today -- in FSFF's undoubtedly Sassenach view, that would include, inter alia, fine film folk like Lynne Ramsay, Peter Mullan, David MacKenzie, and Gillies MacKinnon (plus, perhaps, the otherwise English Andrea Arnold and Shane Meadows).

Douglas was known especially for his amazing Trilogy (My Childhood (1972), My Ain Folk (1973), and My Way Home (1978)), as well as for the wonderful 1987 film ComradesBut his lifelong collection of cinema artifacts and memorabilia also went on to form the basis of one of the most significant cinema archives in the world, named after him, at the University of Exeter. The Bill Douglas Centre also looks after one of the most important online and openly accessible cinematic archives, too: Everyone's Virtual Exhibition (EVE). If you are so inclined, you may very much like to interact with the BDC at Facebook. 

The particular occasion for this entry is an upcoming symposium on Douglas's work at the University of Exeter taking place this week on Friday September 23. There are papers from eminent scholars Karen Lury, Andrew Noble, Brian Hoyle, Jonny Murray and Paul Newland and from filmmaker Sean Martin and the BDC's principal donor, Peter Jewell, on all aspects of Douglas's work; the Trilogy, Comrades, his unmade scripts, and his collection. There will also be the first ever screening of Charlie Chaplin Lived Here, Bill and Peter's 8mm film made in 1966. The event is free but please register in advance by email. The full programme of papers is available here.

FSFF has assembled some great, freely accessible resources below, including links to work on Scottish cinema and also on film archiving. The goodies include a highly informative and clip-filled 2006 documentary "Intent on Getting the Image" about Bill Douglas's life and career, edited by Stuart Eade and produced and directed by Andy Kimpton-Nye.

At the very foot of the post is a video about the incredibly valuable work of the Bill Douglas Centre. FSFF salutes you!

On Bill Douglas's Films, and related Scottish cinema:

    On Archive and Online Repository Matters, etc.:

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