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Cinema Verite

vikiwalden | Wednesday May 13, 2009

Categories: Film, Documentaries, Cinema Verite, Other Topics

After the Second World War, most documentary filmmaking remained in the control of large institutions and corporate funding, fewer documentaries appeared in theatre programmes as the rise of television and television journalism took over. Most older documentarists become less active, Dziga Vertov supervised newsreels until his death, Robert Flaherty died in 1951 and failed to make a feature for many years before his death and John Grierson left the National Film Board of Canada in 1945 to make factual programming and docu-dramas for television.

The 1950s called for a new generation of filmmakers if documentary was to become a forerunner again and that is exactly what it got. Whilst the Cahier du Cinema in France was publishing its policies on the “auteur” theory, in Britain a series of filmmakers (to be) took note and a brief, yet incredibly influential movement called FREE CINEMA was started. Karl Reisz and Lindsay Anderson, both regular contributors to Sight and Sound and the Sequence publications had expressed their hostility to the commercial film production and the state of British Documentary.

They called for a personal innovation and films which expressed the directors’ personal voice, alongside Tony Richardson the three filmmakers become committed to expressing their commitment to their personal views and social issues, over the escapist entertainment that fiction films offered. Lindsay Anderson made “We Are The Lambeth Boys (1958), Reisz;”O Dreamland” (1953) and RichardsonMomma Don’t Allow” (1956) alongside many other FREE CINEMA films.

Lindsay Anderson - We Are The Lambeth Boys (1958)

Reisz - O Dreamland (1953)


Richardson - Momma Don’t Allow (1956)



They were all however influenced by their own documentary style and the Neo-Realism in Italy and the Nouvelle Vague movement of Godard and friends in France (coincidently influenced by DIRECT CINEMA/ CINEMA VERITE) to put their techniques into fiction becoming...

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