Parker Cinema Collection

Processing the A.G. Parker Cinema Collection is almost complete.  A few fragile volumes await conservation and cataloguing and a residue of journal runs are currently being added to the catalogue, but the end is clearly in sight.

Glynne Parker (second from right) in the Periodicals Department in August 1963, when located on South Wing 1.

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Film resources trial


Four film resources are currently on trial until 31 March 2016:

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

An archival research resource containing the essential primary sources for studying the history of the film and entertainment industries, from the era of vaudeville and silent movies through to 2000. The core US and UK trade magazines covering film, music, broadcasting and theater are included, together with film fan magazines and music press titles. Magazines have been scanned cover-to-cover in high-resolution color, with granular indexing of all articles, covers, ads and reviews.

FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals

The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) brings together institutions dedicated to rescuing and preserving films. FIAF’s editorial staff, along with its Affiliates, produces the International Index to Film Periodicals which offers in-depth coverage of the world’s foremost academic and popular film journals. This database contains FIAF’s “Treasures from Film Archives”; a detailed index of the silent-era…

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Eisenstein’s Ivan : sensory thinking from Machiavelli to Disney

Professor Joan Neuberger (University of Texas at Austin) gave the final CamCREES seminar of the 2015 Lent term.  She spoke about the film cycle Ivan Groznyi (Ivan the Terrible) and the particular influence Walt Disney and his work had on its director and screenwriter Sergei Eisenstein.  This post explores the University Library’s Eisenstein holdings, including a book of his drawings.

Sergei Eisenstein (the anglicised version of Eizenshtein is used here), the subject which started off the first seminar of the 2014 Michaelmas term, reappeared in more detailed focus as the subject of the last of the 2015 Lent term seminars.  This time, it was his work on Ivan Groznyi which was under examination.  Eisenstein, the screenwriter as well as director, planned three films on Ivan the Terrible.  Only the first two were ever produced, and only the first of these released in his lifetime.  Professor Neuberger talked about interpretations of Eisenstein’s Tsar Ivan before moving on to Disney’s influence on the films and the film-maker.


Cover and internal page of Eisenstein’s screenplays for the first two Ivan Groznyi films (415.d.94.41)

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Spanish cinema resources at the University Library

El cine sonoro en la II República (1929-1936), by Román Gubern. Classmark: 415.d.97.207

The 2014 Norman MacColl Symposium, organised by the Spanish and Portuguese Department of Cambridge University and convened by Prof. Brad Epps, was held on the 1st of November at Clare College under the title “Canon, contra-canon y cinefilia: Historias del cine español en un contexto internacional.

The symposium encouraged debate around key trends and issues of Spanish cinema. The distinctive style of Spanish cinema, deeply rooted in the Spanish tradition of the sainete and the esperpento (the farce and the absurd), gradually evolved to become an open space where popular cinema grew alongside sophisticated styles inspired by Hollywood or Paris. Although Spain’s political isolation under Franco prevented film makers from fully absorbing European new waves, the death of Franco in 1975 saw a burst of creativity and experimentation that placed Spanish cinema back on the international arena. Continue reading

Luis Buñuel: international iconoclast

Former University Library staff member Glynne Parker died in October 2011, and after his death his wonderful collection of printed matter and ephemera on film was presented to the Library. At the time of writing, about 50% of the 2800 items have been catalogued. The general collection will feature in a future blog post, but some material is particularly worthy of mention.

A young Luis Buñuel (top right) with friends, including Federico García Lorca (bottom right), Madrid, 1923. ((source))

A young Luis Buñuel (top right) with friends, including Federico García Lorca (bottom right), Madrid, 1923. (source)

The A.G. Parker Film History Collection contains several books about Luis Buñuel (1900-1983), an artist and man of great contrasts and contradictions: he was arguably the best-known and most significant Spanish filmmaker of the 20th century, but almost all of his most famous films were produced outside Spain; he achieved international fame (and infamy) with his first two features, Un chien andalou and L’âge d’or, but then took 20 years to get his filmmaking career properly underway again; he was a leader of the international Surrealist movement, but made one of cinema’s most critically acclaimed and influential realist works in Los olvidados.

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