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Overview for Basil Wright
Basil Wright

Basil Wright


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Also Known As: Died: October 14, 1987
Born: June 12, 1907 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Surrey, England, GB Profession: Director ... director producer author educator


Pioneering British documentarian who helped John Grierson forge the movement in the early 1930s, first at the Empire Marketing Board and then at its successor, the GPO film unit. In the mid-1930s Wright directed "Song of Ceylon" (1934) and "Night Mail" (1936, with words by W.H. Auden); the films combined lyricism (the influence of Robert Flaherty) and social realism (the influence of Grierson) and remain landmarks of the documentary genre.

Wright then turned his attention to producing (under his Realist Film Unit, founded 1938) and writing, but returned to directing in the late 1940s, again blending poetic and realist strains in films such as "Waters of Time" (1951), on the River Thames, and "The Immortal Land" (1958), about Greece.

A noted film critic and noted lecturer, Wright has authored two books: "The Use of Film" (1948) and "The Long View" (1974), a history of the cinema.

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