This screening is part of a mini season on the work of Carl Mayer, an unsung hero of film history who was born in 1894 in Graz/Austria and died 1944 in London. Exclusively a screenwriter, he never composed a single volume of prose or poetry. Mayer's individual stamp on the films he worked on, is maybe as profound as the mark the directors left on them.
In exile in London, Carl Mayer mostly worked as a dramatic advisor and Paul Rotha was one of the first to recognise his genius. This double bill will screen two brilliant examples of their collaboration.
The Fourth Estate: A Film of a British Newspaper is a 1940 documentary film sponsored by the owners of The Times, and depicts the preparation and production of a day's edition of the newspaper. The film is notable for the fact that it went unreleased (apart from a small number of private screenings for the sponsor and critics). The Second World War broke out while it was in production, and the explanation for The Fourth Estate having been buried most commonly given by historians of the Documentary Movement is that following the film's completion, the Ministry of Information were reluctant to sanction its release on the grounds that it depicted life in peacetime London, which would no longer be accepted by viewers as realistic. However, Rotha himself claimed that the film's sponsor was reluctant to release The Fourth Estate in the belief that it implicitly criticised The Times from a leftist perspective, portraying it as the mouthpiece of the establishment.
In 2012, the first public screening of the full film was at the University of Leeds using film print from the archive of the British Film Institute.
World of Plenty (1943) which was commissioned by the Minsitry of Agriculture and Fisheries and discusses probelms with, and possible improvements to, global food distribution.
THE LAST LAUGH
Wednesday 15 February, 7pm, ACF London
Tuesday 28 February, 7pm, ACF London
For further information and tickets click HERE