by Peter Hopkinson
“In this new work Peter Hopkinson writes not only of the history of the motion picture now more than a century old, but also in detail of his own now more than fifty years personal involvement and commitment to its entire spectrum. The point of departure is ‘Film and Fiction’. which describes film-making in the heyday of Hollywood before television took away its mass audience: how it really was to work alongside such giants as Alexander Korda and King Vidor and on the film which led to Vivien Leigh’s casting as Scarlett O’Hara.
Based in the main on the author’s assignments as cameraman-reporter for The March of Time, ‘Film and Politics’ and ‘Film and Personality’ relate the struggle for controversy on the screen and the emergence of such as Ed Murrow’s See It Now as its natural successor.
The manipulation of combat coverage from the 1898 Spanish-American war over Cuba to Vietnam and Northern Ireland is the subject of ‘Film and War’, while ‘Film and Race’ surveys the portrayal of ethic minorities on the screen and ‘Film and the National Image’ how governments and peoples have liked to project themselves to each other and the world at large.
Finally what a screen of change might be able to do to help arrest the rape of planet earth is explored in ‘Film and the Environment’ – with particular reference to Iraq.”
SCREEN OF CHANGE, Chapter 2 ‘Film and Politics’ , published by BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council), with kind permission of the author: