I'm a film historian, curator, broadcaster and consultant, and have been Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at
Birkbeck College, University of London, since 1999. I have written and edited books on early film, Powell and Pressburger, Russian
cinema, Scorsese and Gilliam (further details elsewhere on this site); and worked on exhibitions ranging from Film as Film
(Hayward,1979), Eisenstein: His Life and Art (MoMA Oxford, 1988) and Twilight of the Tsars (Hayward, 1991) to Spellbound: Art
andFilm (Hayward, 1996) and Modernism: Designing a New World (V&A, 2006). I also contribute regularly to radio and television
programmes on cinema. These have included essays on Harold Pinter as screenwriter and on Bach as a film composer for Radio
Three, as well as interviews for The Hundred Scariest Movies, The Thirties in Colour (BBC4), Scotland on Screen (BBC2), Rude
Britannia, Dive! Dive! Dive!, Strictly Courtroom and Epics (BBC4).
Having been involved with pan-European media initiatives since the 1980s, I am currently a vice-president of Europa Cinemas and
member of its Experts Committee. I was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994 and in 2005-06 was Slade Professor of
Fine Art at Cambridge University, with a series of lectures entitled 'The Cinema Has Not Yet Been Invented'. Recent lectures have
included the first Richard Gregory Lecture for the Bristol Vision Institute at Bristol University ('What do we see in Films?'), the Nick
Burton Memorial Lecture at Christchurch University, Canterbury (‘Blind Spots: What about the History that's not on Screen?'), and
the 2010 Holden Lecture at Senate House, London University (‘Something Stirring in the Stack? Why filmmakers enter the
Library’). Details of recent conferences, symposia and presentations appear on the front page of thew website
As a member of the Steering Group of London's Screen Archives Regional Network, I launched the London Screen Study
Collection at Birkbeck in 2006, and currently serve on the UK Screen Heritage Programme Board. I am also an adviser to the London
Film Museum, and a member of the Intellectual Property Office's advisory committee.
Current research interests include the history of production design, early (and new) optical media, the cultural impact of film in the digital
era and the potential of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to tell us more about what (and why) we experience on
screen. Plus continuing fascination with the work and careers of Sergei Eisenstein, Michael Powell, Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam, Raul
Ruiz, Aleksandr Sokurov, Patrick Keiller and some other notable individualists among filmmaking folk.