The Great War and the Moving Image focuses upon the Allied war effort on the Western Front and in the Mediterranean. In doing so, the book addresses topics ranging from how carefully selected images projected a positive portrayal of ambulance trains, through film’s instructional role promoting self-sufficiency on the home front, to the vital role of makeshift YMCA cinemas both sides of the Channel.
With editors and contributors who are authorities on cinema in wartime Britain and on the British response to the challenge of ‘total war’, the volume highlights the power that the moving image had during the Great War. In the introduction, the editors consider why the First World War can be seen as the first uniquely cinematic conflict. Later, historians from Britain, Australia, and America go on to explore film’s pioneering role as a powerful vehicle for propaganda at home and abroad, and its contribution to maintaining morale among soldiers on the front line as well as across civilian audiences back home. The book concludes by considering the representation of trench warfare in today’s hi-tech computer games.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Great War and the Moving Image Adrian Smith and Michael Hammond
1. Writing History on the Page and Screen: Mediating Conflict through Britain’s First World War Ambulance Trains Rebecca Harrison
2. Everybody’s Business: Film, Food and Victory in the First World War Stella Hockenhull
3. Forgetting their troubles for a while: Australian soldiers’ experiences of cinema during the First World War Amanda Laugesen
4. Putting the moral into morale: YMCA cinemas on the Western Front, 1914-1918 Emma Hanna
5. ‘Snapshots’: Local Cinema Cultures in the Great War Leen Engelen, Leslie Midkiff DeBauche and Michael Hammond
6. Pixel Lions – the image of the soldier in First World War computer games Chris Kempshall
Michael Hammond is an Associate Professor in Film History at the University of Southampton, UK. He has written extensively about cinema and the First World War, including The Big Show: British Cinema Culture and The Great War (2006). His current research is concerned with the impact of the First World War on the aesthetic practices of the Hollywood studios between 1919 and 1939.
Adrian Smith is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of Southampton, UK, and is currently writing the authorised biography of the industrialist and aviation pioneer Sir Richard Fairey. He has previously written biographies of Lord Mountbatten and the First World War ace Mick Mannock, and a history of the New Statesman.