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.