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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to British cinema

The British inventor William Friese-Greene patented a filmmaking process in 1890, giving Britain some claim to pioneer status in early cinema. Entrepreneur Robert W. Paul, along with Birt Acres, produced the first British film, Incident at Clovelly Cottage, in February 1895, and in 1896 manufactured the first film projector to be placed on the open market. Cinema quickly became part and parcel of a thriving music-hall tradition, with thousands of short films produced between 1896 and 1906 by, among others, Cecil Hepworth, William Haggar, Louis Le Prince, Frank Mottershaw, George A Smith, and James Williamson (the latter two belonging to the world-renowned Brighton School). Actualities, trick films, ride films, comedy, and short fictional drama were the key genres, and scenes from the far-flung reaches of the British Empire were a popular attraction. In 1912 the British Board of Film Censors was established; and by 1915, 3,500 film theatres had been built.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Britain, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 May. 2021

In the Library's collection

These guide pages cover English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh films. You can use the various subject headings to find resources in the online catalog. The call number ranges are also included. Contact me if you are not finding what you want.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

Articles and other writings about British film can be found in many publications. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie title(s)

To find more British or English film titles, search the library's online catalog.

Internet resource(s)