The unsatisfactory medium: the transition from mobile cinema to television in the post-war Highlands and Islands

Goode, I. (2020) The unsatisfactory medium: the transition from mobile cinema to television in the post-war Highlands and Islands. Northern Scotland, 11(1), pp. 23-41. (doi: 10.3366/nor.2020.0203)

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Becky Conekin et al. identify the Queen's Coronation and its mediation by television in 1953 as the defining moment in post-war British modernity (Conekin, Mort, Waters 1999). The population of the Highlands and Islands mostly watched this event on 16mm film, via the mobile cinema shows provided by the Highlands and Islands Film Guild. Film assumed the audio-visual functions of television because the geography of the Highlands and Islands did not readily accommodate television broadcasting. Television arrived slowly and unevenly. This paper traces arrival of television into the Highlands and Islands and the uncertainty over accessibility and quality of reception. It argues that whilst the Scottish Education Department assumed that the mobile cinema service had been succeeded by television; the inherent problems of delivering television enabled the more communal, educative, legitimate and reliable cinema to prevail. This asynchronous relationship compels us to recognise the geography of British modernity. Drawing on archival sources, oral history interviews and media histories, this paper presents an account of the Highland experience of a transition typically aligned with an urban perspective.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Goode, Dr Ian
Authors: Goode, I.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Northern Scotland
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN (Online):2042-2717
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Northern Scotland 11(1):23-41
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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