The cinema and the public: a critical analysis of the origin, constitution, and control of the British Film Institute (1934)

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artistic, moral, intellectual and purely entertainment— of this vast output was, in fact, the predominant con- sideration which moved Parliament, by a small majority and almost in despair, to establish the Cinematograph Fund. 3. " The British Film Institute," being thus (a) largely under the control of the cinema trade and (b) power- less to exert any effective influence over the vast mass of entertainment films, can scarcely have any reasonable claim on a Fund set up with public money and intended by Parliament first and foremost for raising the standard of the average programme in the average cinema. It is, I need hardly add, perfectly legitimate for the cinema industry to safeguard its own interests. The interests of the public must, however, be paramount. That so fine an opportunity of building up a really independent and representative organisation, which might have proved of real value to it, has thus been completely missed will surely, once the facts are fully realised, be widely deplored. Page 7