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Dickens on Film

The Wheeler Centre and Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) are proud to present the Adrian Wootton Illustrated Film Talks, supported by MIFF 37 South Market & Accelerator. Adrian Wootton is co-director of Dickens 2012, the worldwide project to celebrate the life, work and enduring legacy of Dickens. A former director of the London Film Festival, British Film Institute and the UK’s national Film Theatre, Wootton, presently Film London’s chief executive, will present a series of fascinating talks exploring how Dickens’ work has been imagined for the screen.

Liberally sprinkled with slides and film clips, this talk examines the rich legacy of Dickens’ screen adaptations from 1898 to the present day, and highlights Dickens as an innovator of narrative, character, subject and imagery – and shows how he influenced the creation of the cinematic medium itself.

This session includes (at the end of the talk at 6pm) a special screening of the 60-minute documentary Dickens on Film (UK – 2012; Director: Anthony Wall; Producer: Adrian Wootton; Consultant: Michael Eaton).

From the magical films of the silent era to the celebrated work of director David Lean and high definition TV, this documentary revisits films and interviews from the archive to answer the question of why Dickens’ novels have inspired so many hundreds of adaptations on screen. It is not only the stories, themes and characters of Dickens’ writing that translate so well onto screen – Sergei Eisenstein argued that there is something essentially filmic in his unique prose style; that Dickens’ rapid ‘cutting’ within scenes and from scene to scene coupled with his seamless mixture of the bizarrely comic with the terrifyingly profound was itself proto-cinematic.

Dickens wrote the way a camera saw before film had been invented – and he remains, to this day, the most cinematic of writers.


Adrian Wootton

Adrian Wootton is chief executive of Film London, director of crime and mystery festival Crime Scene, and a program advisor to the London Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. A former director of the London Film Festival, British Film Institute (BFI) and the UK’s National Film Theatre, Wootton ... Read more


Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library Victoria

328 Swanston Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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