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Monday, 18 January 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Ciné Lumière, Institut français

What Makes a Film Classic?

Professor Ian Christie FBA

For nearly seventy years, what might be called ‘the canon’ of greatest films has been arbitrated by an international poll of critics delivering a ‘ten best’ list every decade, published in the BFI’s Sight & Sound

Before the next such poll, due in 2022, this lecture considers what factors have made certain films and their makers ‘classic’; and why the fifty-year reign of Citizen Kane was ended in 2012 by Hitchcock’s eerie melodrama Vertigo.

This lecture is in association with Ciné Lumière, Institut Français. 

Followed by a related screening (Paid tickets available from Ciné Lumière). 


Reservations are required for this lecture. In person reservations will be available closer to the event. Sign up to our email newsletter for updates: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/newsletter/

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Professor Christie is Visiting Professor in the History of Film and Media at Gresham College. He is a renowned British film scholar and currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. 

He has researched and published on many aspects of film history, including Eisenstein and Russian cinema, Powell and Pressburger, Gilliam and Scorsese, and is a regular broadcaster on cinema. 

He has also worked on many exhibitions, including Spellbound (Hayward, 1996), Modernism (V&A, 2006) and Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32 (Royal Academy, 2017). 

His exhibition, Animatograph!, will be at London Metropolitan Archives during September-October 2019, and his monograph Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema (Chicago University Press) will appear later this year. 

Professor Christie's lecture series are as follows:

2020/21 Exploding the Film Canon

2019/20 The Worlds of Powell and Pressburger

2018/19 Screening London

2017/18 Living Through a Media Revolution

All lectures by the Visiting Professor in the History of Film and Media can be accessed here.

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