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Phillip French Memorial Lecture: Pamela Hutchinson

Philip French Memorial Lecture: Pamela Hutchinson

In an industry consumed by the latest hot take on each film release or celebrity accolade, what is the place and potential for new writing about the almost 130 years of filmmaking that came before?

Pamela Hutchinson - author, critic and film historian for publications including The Guardian, Sight & Sound, Financial Times and Little White Lies - has a wealth of experience and understanding in writing about films from the past for a contemporary context, whether that’s in her role as editor of the Silent London website and writing essays for DVD and Blu-ray releases from labels such as Criterion Collection, Indicator, Arrow Academy, BFI, Artificial Eye and Masters of Cinema; or through her own publications, including a monograph on Pandora’s Box (as part of the BFI Film Classics series) and 30-Second Cinema.

For the opening night of Cinema Rediscovered, Pamela will explore the role of film critics in rethinking and reframing film heritage and the importance of looking back to understand and explore what’s happening in film culture right now. With an increasing number of distributors, cinemas, festivals and online platforms dedicated to repertory and archive films, there are plenty of opportunities for more and diverse film writers and critics to offer their perspectives, none more perfectly placed than Pamela.

Philip French was Britain’s foremost film critic – well-informed, widely-read, with a deep understanding of the practicalities of filmmaking and a taste for elaborate puns – and legions of readers of his regular reviews in the Observer and essays in Sight and Sound were devoted to his work. French was educated at Bristol Grammar School, and his first job as a professional journalist was on the Bristol Evening Post. Bristol was important to him in developing his love for and knowledge about cinema and Bristol Festival of Ideas and Watershed are delighted to be organising and hosting this annual lecture devoted to his memory.

This special event presented in partnership with Festival of Ideas and the Observer opens the 5th edition of Cinema Rediscovered (22 - 26 July), a festival dedicated to the rediscovery of great films at the cinema, also home to the Film Critics’ Workshop, bringing together established, aspiring and early career film critics to reflect on film criticism, both now and in the future.

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Get 20% off 6 O'Clock Gin & Tonic, our opening night drinks sponsor in the Café & Bar, with any Cinema Rediscovered festival ticket (valid throughout the festival)

Audio Description
Baby screening
Cinébites meal deal
Descriptive Subtitling
Introductory Talk
Q&A Session
Partially Subtitled
Times TBC
To be confirmed
Certificate to be announced