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The Struggle for a Scottish National Film School

  • Duncan Petrie
Chapter
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Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)

Abstract

The history of national cinemas and nationally specific film movements demonstrates time and again the strategic role played by film schools in nurturing ideas and ambition, teaching technical skills and building a critical mass of creative activity, all of which are necessary preconditions for a dynamic and innovative moving image culture and industry. Soviet montage cinema in the 1920s, Italian Neo-Realism in the 1940s, the Polish School of the 1950s, the Czech New Wave of the 1960s, the New Australian cinema in the 1970s, the Fifth Generation Chinese cinema of the 1980s, New Danish cinema and Dogme 95 in the 1990s, the Berlin School in German cinema in the 2000s—these are all examples where film schools have underpinned significant creative achievement. Perhaps even more than being a catalyst for innovation, however, the enduring value of film schools has been their contribution to the maintenance of national cinemas and their underpinning industries and institutions over time, helping them to negotiate fluctuating critical and commercial fortunes, to embrace new challenges and opportunities, and to maintain a sense of vitality and purpose.

Keywords

Creative Industry Television Drama Public Service Broadcaster Scottish Executive Film Festival 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Duncan Petrie, Screening Scotland (London: BFI, 2000).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jerzy Toeplitz, “The Creative Impulse in Film-Making,”(12th Annual Celebrity lecture given at the 19th Edinburgh Film Festival, September 4, 1965). Transcript held at the British Film Institute Library. Interview with Colin MacLeod by the author (Edinburgh, February 22, 2012).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mette Hjort, Small Nation, Global Cinema: The New Danish Cinema (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2005);Google Scholar
  4. Mette Hjort, “Denmark,” in The Cinema of Small Nations, ed. Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Ian Lockerbie, “Pictures in a Small Country: The Scottish Film Production Fund,” in From Limelight to Satellite: A Scottish Film Book, ed. Eddie Dick (London: SFC/BFI, 1990), 172–173.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    See Duncan Petrie, “British Film Education and the Career of Colin Young,” Journal of British Cinema and Television 1.1 (2004): 78–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 6.
    Alastair Scott, “What’s the Point of Film School, or, What Did Beaconsfield Film Studios Ever Do for Scottish Cinema?” in Scottish Cinema Now, ed. Jonathan Murray et al. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009). Scottish graduates of the NFTS include Steve Morrison, Michael Radford (who were all part of the first intake of students), Sandy Johnson, Ian Knox, Paul Pender, Dennis Crossan, Ian Sellar, John Kerr, Michael Caton-Jones, Gillies Mackinnon, Amy Hardie, Alex Mackie, Aileen Ritchie, Eirene Houston, Douglas Mackinnon, Paul Murton, and Lynne Ramsay.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    David Bruce, Scotland the Movie (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1996), 149.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Robin Macpherson, Independent Film and Television in Scotland: A Case of Independent Cultural Reproduction? Unpublished MA Dissertation, University of Stirling, 1991.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Colin McArthur, “In Praise of a Poor Cinema,” Sight and Sound, 3.8 (1993): 30.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Colin McArthur, “The Cultural Necessity of a Poor Celtic Cinema,” in Border Crossing: Film in Ireland, Britain and Europe, ed. Paul Hainsworth et al. (Belfast: ILS/Queen’s University, 1994), 123.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    See Nick Garnham, “From Cultural to Creative Industries: An Analysis of the Implications of the ‘Creative Industries’ Approach to Arts and Media Policy Making in the United Kingdom,” International Journal of Cultural Policy 11.1 (2005): 15–29;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Philip Schlesinger, “Creativity: From Discourse to Doctrine,” Screen 48.3 (2007): 377–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Robin Macpherson, “Shape Shifters: Independent Producers in Scotland and the Journey from Cultural Entrepreneur to Entrepreneurial Culture,” in Scottish Cinema Now, ed. Jonathan Murray et al. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), 223.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    See Margaret Dickinson and Sylvia Hervey, “Film Policy in the United Kingdom: New Labour at the Movies,” The Political Quarterly 76.3 (2005): 420–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    See Duncan Petrie, “Theory/Practice and the British Film Conservatoire,” Journal of Media Practice 12.2 (2011): 125–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Peter Meech, Professional Film and Video Training in Scotland (Glasgow: Scottish Film Council, 1987), 2.Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    Colin Young, The Scottish Arts Debate: Still Rolling, STV Txd: July 1990.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    Jonathan Murray, “Devolution in Reverse? The Scottish Executive and Film Policy 1999–2003,” Edinburgh Review 116 (2006): 62.Google Scholar
  20. 44.
    See Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie, eds., The Cinema of Small Nations (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007).Google Scholar

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© Mette Hjort 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Petrie

There are no affiliations available

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