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Film History (2009) - Technicians of the Unknown Cinema: British Critical Discourse and the Analysis of Collaboration in Film Production




Since the early 1970s British cinema history has conventionally been characterized as an unknown landscape, a tradition for which even those who created it knew little and cared less. This essay argues instead that especially in the mid 1930s and late 1940s there was an active discourse with the film industry's technical community, a debate that was particularly concerned with issues of collaboration and authorship. Concentrating on the work of Adrian Brunel and Ivor Montagu and their associates, notably film editor Ian Dalrymple, the essay outlines one aspect of this debate, and observes its traces on the production of Berthold Viertel's Little Friend (Gaumont-British, 1934).