National Treasures

Caught the end of this week’s repeat of ‘National Treasures’ (Radio 4) – which pitched Canterbury Cathedral up against Damien Hirst’s diamond skull for their national cultural value. Great programme and referred to programme two, where the Cutty Sark and the BFI national archive were discussed as worthy causes for public money.

On listen again, caught a fascinating programme about the value of the moving image against an ancient, preserved monument – the whole programme worth it to hear Terence Davies argue so convincingly and passionately about the value of filmmaking. It was a done-deal – BFI won hands-down.

The ability to access this archive now at the BFI is a fantastic asset – one perhaps to develop for dispersal on-line, or otherwise to benefit ‘Our Friends in the North’?

One comment

  1. Roy Stafford

    I heard the first two programmes in the series. The central idea is obviously taken from the successful BBC2 series Restoration. I found both programmes irritating and frustrating, but annoyingly compulsive.I have to say that although Terence Davies was passionate, he didn’t seem that well-prepared in terms of his arguments.The programme seemed heavily weighted in the NFTVA’s favour and it was no surprise it came out on top. If only its future was secure. See the BFI entries on this blog for what has been happening to BFI Publishing — the worries are that the BFI Library and other materials which support the Archive holdings are likely to be moved to another agency. The BFI might keep the films, but reduce its capacity to say anything about them.


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