Cinema Culture

The founding of the Department of Film Studies in 2006 marked the institutional beginning of film studies at the University of St Andrews; however, the study and promotion of film has a much longer heritage in St Andrews. From the founding of the Dundee and St Andrews Film Society in 1935 to symposiums like the 1967 BFI Summer School, the town and university community have fostered a vibrant moving image culture throughout the past century.

‘Caligari Comes To Town: A decline in impact of the classic German horror?’

‘Caligari Comes To Town: A decline in impact of the classic German horror?’

In 1949, The St. Andrews Film Society – formerly known as The Dundee and St. Andrews Film Society – relaunched on its own, with an opening performance of Raymond Bernard’s Les Otages. For this opening event at the New Picture House on 20 February, each of the 150 members in attendance were personally greeted by Mr. A. B. Paterson, the original founder of The Byre Theatre and a key figure in St. Andrews’ artistic community. While the society would become an integral part of the town’s artistic community – through its Sunday evening...

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Monarch News: Long Live the Cinema!

Monarch News: Long Live the Cinema!

1943: The allies capture Tripoli from the Nazis; Television Broadcasting continues to be suspended; George Harrison is born; and two St. Andrews students begin their film magazine, Monarch News!   The ambitious Monarch – a hand-made magazine – was produced from 1943-1944. Manufactured against the backdrop of war, it provides a valuable glimpse into the period from the perspective of students, prospective film critics and members of the armed forces – all rolled into one. Founded by two St Andrews Students, Rollo Mitchell and...

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One of a Kind: Monarch and Mercury Handmade Film Magazines

One of a Kind: Monarch and Mercury Handmade Film Magazines

In the midst of WWII two St Andrews students came together to produce a series of film magazines. Robert Smart Edwards, aged 19 at the time, studied the arts; while William Rollo Mitchell, aged 20, studied the sciences. They took up the project during an intra-fighting period, while on leave from their studies for WWII service. Due to these circumstances, the publications were produced at Edwards’ home address, 20 Primmer Place, Cowdenbeath. The magazines were handwritten on plain, stapled, paperback notebooks. Monarch News, the first title,...

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The first photography shops in St Andrews

The first photography shops in St Andrews

St Andrews may be the first town to ever be fully photographed.[1] Some of those first photographs are still in St Andrews, while reminders of this photographic heritage are littered throughout town. For example, The Adamson bar on South Street takes its name from a celebrated local photographer, John Adamson. Adamson worked with Henry Fox Talbot, who developed the influential “calotype” process of photography, to produce pioneering photographs of St Andrews, which have been exhibited around the world. The stories of Talbot and Adamson...

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‘But why, oh why, must such praise be sung in cinema?’: The Sunday Evening War Time Meetings, 1939 – 1944

Throughout the years of the Second World War, the tight bonds between two of St Andrews prominent institutions, cinema and church, surfaced strongly.

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An Education on Eisenstein

An Education on Eisenstein

Utilising the academic setting and mode of address, St Andrews Film Society made a significant attempt to edify their members with the work of Eisenstein in February 1953 when they invited “personal friend and biography author” Miss Marie Seton to present a special lecture.

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‘Religion and Life’ Week held at the New Picture House

In November 1945, clergymen, educators and University students gather at the NPH as part of 'Religion and Life' week.

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Establishment of the Department of Film Studies

The University of St Andrews establishes a Department of Film Studies

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The BFI Summer School comes to St Andrews

The BFI Summer School comes to St Andrews

The University hosts the BFI Summer School from 19th August to 2nd September.

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The Dundee and St Andrews Film Society

The Dundee and St Andrews Film Society

Founded in October 1935 with an initial intake of 250 members, the Dundee and St. Andrews Film Society would quickly establish itself as one of the foremost film societies in Scotland.

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