Films that Work: Industrial Film and the Productivity of Media

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Vinzenz Hediger, Patrick Vonderau
Amsterdam University Press, 2009 - Performing Arts - 491 pages
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The history of industrial films - an orphan genre of twentieth-century cinema composed of government-produced and industrially sponsored movies that sought to achieve the goals of their sponsors, rather than the creative artists involved - seems to have left no trace in filmic cultural discourse. At its height the industrial film industry employed thousands, produced several trade journals and festival circuits, engaged with giants of twentieth-century industry like Shell and AT & T, and featured the talents of iconic actors and directors such as Buster Keaton, John Grierson and Alain Resnais. This is the first full-length book, anthology, and annotated bibliography to analyze the industrial film and its remarkable history.

Exploring the potential of the industrial film to uncover renewed and unexplored areas of media studies, this remarkable volume brings together renowned scholars such as Rick Prelinger and Thomas Elsaesser in a discussion of the radical potential and new possibilities in considering the history of this unexplored corporate medium.


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This was poorly researched. The visionary behind and the creator of Centron Education Films was Jonathon Dixie Powers and he is not mentioned. He went on to be the General Manager and eventually ran the company. There were so many creative, amazing, talented people that have not been mentioned that built that company and the library. This was absolutely a collaboration of many terrific filmmakers.  

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About the author (2009)

Vinzenz Hediger is professor of media studies at Ruhr University Bochum in the Netherlands. Patrick Vonderau is a research associate in the department of media studies at the same university.

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