Ivor Montagu and Film

Ivor Montagu and Film

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Event type: Seminars

16 August 2018 from 12.00 pm 16th Aug 2018 12:00pm

Room 103, 81 Fairlie Terrace (FT81/103)

A biographical exploration of his multi-faceted film career.

Dr Russell Campbell in conversation with Dr Alfio Leotta

Ivor Montagu was called (by Michael Balcon, the renowned film producer) ‘one of the first real intellectual artists of the cinema’ and (by Rachael Low, doyenne of British film historians) ‘an exceptional man in many ways and a brilliant film maker’. He was, wrote the critic Geoff Brown, ‘the period’s most dynamic, visible, and well-connected fighter for art cinema’. Founder of the (London) Film Society at the age of 21, editor and producer of Hitchcock films, collaborator of Eisenstein, Montagu had a many-faceted involvement with the cinema. This talk, based on Campbell’s recently published biography Codename Intelligentsia: The Life and Times of the Honourable Ivor Montagu, Filmmaker, Communist, Spy (The History Press), will outline Montagu’s career as film editor, scriptwriter, director, producer, distributor, exhibitor, critic, campaigner against censorship and trade union activist.

Image: Ivor Montagu (third from left) on the set of Day-Dreams (1928)


Dr Russell Campbell is Adjunct Associate Professor of Film at VUW. His publications include Observations: Studies in New Zealand Documentary (VUP, 2011) and Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006, CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Title). As a documentary filmmaker his work includes Rebels in Retrospect (1991) and Sedition: The Suppression of Dissent in World War II New Zealand (2005, Media Peace Award).

Alfio Leotta is a Senior Lecturer in Film at Victoria University of Wellington. His primary research interests focus on the relation between film and tourism, New Zealand cinema, Italian cinema and film history. He is the author of Touring the Screen: Tourism and New Zealand Film Geographies (Intellect, 2011) and Peter Jackson (Bloomsbury, 2016).