Culture Value of Film Theory Essay

3577 Words Apr 22nd, 2013 15 Pages
Reflections on The Cultural Value of Film

Statistics can be used to show that Britain’s film industry is now the third biggest in the world and a prime destination for inward investment. This success story was heralded by James Purnell, new Minister for the Creative Industries, in a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research in June this year.[1] But what is the relation of this economic success to the vibrancy and breadth of our film culture?

A further look at the statistics provided by the UK Film Council for 2004 shows that last year domestic production fell from 44 films to 27, where domestic is taken to be films made by a UK production company shot wholly or partly in the UK. In 1997, the year when the government set up
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After the World War 11, when the Arts Council was set up, film was not included alongside the other Arts and was thereby distinguished both in policy and in the public imagination from the kinds of considerations which other art forms might enjoy. Even today it is only artists’ film and video which are included in the Arts Council remit.
The current legislative frameworks for film have largely been set in place by the Labour Government under the leadership of Tony Blair. The Government built on the former Conservative government’s initiative in setting up a ministry for culture and creation, The Department of National Heritage, which was then given responsibility over film. Shifting the brief for film from a ministry of trade to a ministry of culture was indicative: “This was a departure from previous government practice and significant in relation to the perennial debate about whether film is art or industry. Past governments had classified film as industry, except in one or two contexts when it became culture.”[3]

It is still the Department of Trade which manages the tax break system which is key to the government’s strategy for a sustainable film industry. However, the existence of the DCMS and the setting up of the UK Film Council in 2000, mark the government’s growing interest in the creative industries, and the potential gains for jobs and manufacturing that they represent. James Purnell identifies a “quiet revolution

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