chapter  6
13 Pages

The Place, Purpose, and Practice of the BFI’s DVD Collection and the Academic Film Commentary: An Interview with Caroline Millar and Ginette Vincendeau

WithCaroline Millar and Ginette Vincendeau JAMES BENNETT AND TOM BROWN

As attested to by Caroline Millar, DVD producer for the British Film Institute (BFI), DVD publishing goes to the heart of the institute’s promotion of fi lm culture in Britain. Since the fi rst BFI DVD in 1999, The Seven Samurai (Kurosawa 1954), the institute has released 172 fi lms and (to a far lesser degree) television programmes on DVD.1 Something of a British, publiclyfunded equivalent to Criterion (a US DVD producer with whom Millar’s department has exchanged numerous fi lms and extra materials), the BFI’s focus is the dissemination of classic fi lms from throughout the history of world cinema. However, DVD “extra” features have also proved crucial to the way in which the institute frames its output and Millar provides a valuable insight into the pragmatic as well as ideological factors that determine the kinds of “extras” attached to fi lm texts.