Discussion Group: Soviet Film and British Documentary Film

Our discussion group in this, our final, term will focus on the impact of Soviet film in Britain, particularly in relation to the British documentary film movement. We’ll be reading materials that will provide background to the term’s final event, a screening at the Ultimate Picture Palace of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and John Grierson’s Drifters. These two films, both pioneering in their fields, were shown together on 10 November 1929 by the Film Society, along with The Fall of the House of Usher, directed by James Sibley Watson and The Barn Dance, a Mickey Mouse cartoon. That screening is one of the most important in the history of British film.

We’re delighted to be joined by Professor Emma Widdis (University of Cambridge) and Professor Jo Fox (School of Advanced Study, University of London), who bring expertise in Eisenstein’s and Grierson’s work. They will be introducing the discussion group readings and the evening screening.

Readings will be available to download from this website at least two weeks before the discussion group.