Newletter – 30 January 2017

Special event on Feb 9: Ian Christie on R W Paul

Ian Christie visits us again in a couple of weeks to present a selection of films by R W Paul (1869-1943). Be assured: you are not alone if you haven’t heard of R W Paul. He was a scientific instrument maker of note (he co-designed the first British film camera), who in 1895 turned to film making. He only spent thirteen years doing this and then returned to his engineering interests, but among the many short films in his output are some gems that are likely to surprise you.

Ian, Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College, London, is perhaps best known for his book “Arrows of Desire – Films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger”. The last time he visited us he introduced “A Matter of Life and Death”. He is well acquainted with Martin Scorsese and recently gave a talk at BFI Southbank on his films.

Planning for season 2017-8 – your ideas, please

The film selection group is shortly going to start working on next season’s programme. The process will probably take just over three months and committee members have to put their suggestions forward in just a few days. ABCD members – that it is to say, you – are not subject to a time limit, but the sooner you tell us what films you think would fit well in next year’s annual programme, the better. Every year the final programme contains some films proposed by members. Write down your ideas on the back of a reaction slip or send us an email (

Viewing Sessions at BFI Southbank (aka National Film Theatre)

Some committee members indulge in a very pleasurable way of finding out what films are due to be released in the next few months and evaluating them. They attend the ICO (Independent Cinema Office) screenings days, which this year are from 11 – 13 March. If you would be interested in doing this, too, find the details and links at The deadline for registration is Friday 17 February. A one-day pass costs £25; two days cost £44; and three days cost £60.

The next newsletter is planned for late February.