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By J. Chapman

A brand new background of British Documentary is the 1st finished evaluation of documentary construction in Britain from early movie to the current day. It covers either the movie and tv industries and demonstrates how documentary perform has tailored to altering institutional and ideological contexts.

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Extra resources for A New History of British Documentary

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On the other hand the documentary impulse for social observation can be identified in films exploring the worlds of work and leisure. 30 A feature of the Documentary Before Grierson 27 Mitchell and Kenyon films is the prominence of working-class subjects, particularly in the ‘factory gate’ films such as The ‘Hands’ Leaving Work at North Street Mills, Chorley (1900), Alfred Butterworth & Sons, Glebe Mills (1901) and Pendlebury Colliery (1901). These films offer more than just visual evidence of the material conditions of the industrial working classes in the Edwardian period: they also provide some insight into social relations.

Of only the evanescent and the essentially unreal, reflecting hardly anything of the times they recorded’. ’24 It is the prevalence of Grierson’s idea of documentary in film history that is largely responsible for the marginalization of this earlier tradition of non-fiction film. Mitchell and Kenyon: ‘See yourself as others see you’ The example of Mitchell and Kenyon demonstrates how the map of early non-fiction film has been redrawn in recent years. In 1948 the pioneer British film historian Rachael Low wrote that the firm of Mitchell Documentary Before Grierson 25 and Kenyon ‘has left little trace.

It produced relatively few films but focused on quality. 58 However, Woolfe had loftier ambitions than supplying what the trade referred to as ‘interest’ subjects. In 1921 he and cameraman Herbert Lomas produced a three-reel reconstruction entitled The Battle of Jutland, using maps and models to tell the story of the major naval engagement of the war. 59 To put these figures in context, they were towards the higher end of the cost range for British features but were still less than the average Hollywood picture.

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