lyrical and poetic treatment to "The Song of Ceylon." The rehousing schemes of Stepney and West Ham offered scope for a series of intimate interviews with slum dwellers in Arthur Elton's Housing Problems." The building of the Orion allowed Paul Rotha to develop an impressionist approach to graceful lines and gleaming machinery in "Shipyard." In this way the original handling of new subjects brings freshness and vitality. The rise of the realist propaganda film is the result of the growing consciousness in the publicity world of the value of public relations in addition to direct adver tising. And it is within this public relations field that the film must work. The old publicity film failed because it was born of a short-sighted policy. The sky rocketing of sales is best left to those media which excel at it. The strength of the new public relations film lies in its long-term approach. Its business is to inculcate a consciousness of modern problems and con ditions, to bring to the man in the street an awareness of his dependence on the industries and the public services. It can build appreciation and understanding in a way common to no other medium. It can present the living fact at first hand and argue from it. As a builder of good will it is a powerful instrument of public persuasion. To fulfil its function in the broadening of experience, it must avoid the more sensational methods. Its pro duction must be in the hands of an artist, and he must have creative freedom within his theme. The reserva tion is an essential one for sponsor as well as producer, for if the sponsor is tempted to demand "flattery in return for finance his film will surely degenerate into a tiresome catalogue unfit for public presentation. The "delightful little gadget of which we are so proud" is a death-trap which every realist director has learned to avoid. In effect the insistence on creative liberty lias released the propaganda film from a direct-selling angle and has turned it from an animated poster into a vital and constructive force. The propaganda film was born of an economic need. The film director interested in social themes had to find finance outside the studios since his chances of success were, to the film industry, an unimportant gamble. He found it in alliance with the sponsor who sought a wider and more illuminating method of public approach than was offered by the normal run of publicity. After six years of practical development the realist director finds his primary problems of tech nique and presentation solved, and his medium ready for application on a national scale. The sponsor is beginning to see in film not only a method of address ing millions, but also a method whereby the separated units of his own organization may come to a better understanding of the co-ordinated whole. It is already possible to perceive in the realist film the basis of a new form of civic education. The old Liberal ideal of omniscience in public affairs is dead since public affairs have become so complex that the citizen has no time to inform himself of everything. But if the film can create a living interest in the work and the problems behind our national systems of industry, trans port, communication and public utility, a new source of understanding can be built up more attuned to the demands of the time by reason of its easy digestibility. As an educator in civics the realist film looks to the future. But if it is to fulfil its promise it must explore wide and deep into the subjects which lie at the root of modern society. Certain spheres it has already touched on, and in so doing has sought to bring producer and consumer constructively together. Beyond lie the greater themes of citizenshipthe problems of finance, economics, public welfare, international good will. The commercial cinema has so far failed to bring these momentous subjects to the screen. It remains for the propaganda film to undertake the task. PREFACE TO LIFE A Strand Film Company picture about Books and publishing. Producer paul rotha. Director ai.ex shaw.

Industrial Arts en | 1936 | | page 51