We are very pleased to announce the publication of a new book on Bill Douglas. Bill was one of Britain's greatest filmmakers and the collection of cinema related artefacts that he put together with Peter Jewell founded our museum.
The book is called Bill Douglas A Film Artist and is edited by Amelia Watts, who has recently completed a PhD on Bill Douglas, and Phil Wickham, who is the Curator of the Museum. It is published by University of Exeter Press and has a foreword by the leading filmmaker and writer Mark Cousins. It offers new perspectives on Bill Douglas and his work from a range of contributors:
Amelia looks at the context in which Bill Douglas worked in a declining film industry in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. She also looks at the working papers on his career that we hold here at the museum and the insights it gives us on Bill's struggles within the industry and the creative decisions he made. Phil writes on the museum collection Bill assembled with Peter, arguing that it is another aspect of his art.
Filmmaker Andy Kimpton-Nye examines the previously unseen home movies Bill made in the 1960s and interviews Peter about their favourite film, the lost masterpiece Il Mare, directed by Guiseppe Patroni Griffi.
Other chapters look at the films Bill Douglas made: Andrew Gordon traces the production of his Trilogy and its impact on Bill's home community in Newcraighall, while Jamie Chambers offers a close reading of the Trilogy and its distinctive use of film language, combining both film theory and practice.
Cara Fraser looks at the influence of Bertolt Brecht on Bill's epic on the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Comrades, while David Archibald examines his own history of watching and admiring the film at different stages of his life.
Finally Duncan Petrie considers the legacy of Bill Douglas, both in Scotland, the British film industry, and overseas.
This is the first book study on Bill Douglas and his work for 30 years and utilises a wide range of new material. Through Bill's career it also asks question on the idea of the filmmaker as artist. Can this be possible in a commercial, collaborative industry such as film and can the film industry accommodate a distinctive and personal artistic vision?
The book can be purchsed in hardback from the Press here
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