BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Dissertation Unit: Idea Development

Having looked at
"Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film"
I was able to establish in 1939 the dominating film genre of World War II: The 'Bugle-call Film" from Nazi Germany-

"The Film maker's task: as to the faithful, to stir the blood, building determination to the highest pitch; as to the enemy, to chill the marrow, paralyzing the will to resist" (p.139)

And In Britain:

"The start of the war bought a concentration of bugle-call films. The GPO Film Unit became the Crown Film Unit; war films were its task. Thier purpose was similar to that of the German Films, but the styles were different." (p.144)

The 'Grierson Boys' (as mentioned in recent BBC Four Doc, "The Documentary Film Mob") were season film veterans eager to aid the war effort. This includes Humprey Jennings:

"He believed that the task of the documentary filmmaker was to capture the distinctive 'legacy of feeling' of the nation. In trying to capture and communicate this legacy, Jennings made considerable, and highly distinctive, use of images familiarly associated with England and Englishness, 'public' images whose power is essentially cultural and social, the result of centuries of accretion of significance." BFI Screenonline

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