The Adventures of Jonathan Dennis

The Adventures of Jonathan Dennis

Bicultural Film Archiving Practice in Aotearoa New Zealand
Emma Jean Kelly
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/20/2015
Format: Paperback 24 color illus., 8 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-861-96722-3
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Jonathan Dennis (1953–2002), was the creative and talented founding director of the New Zealand Film Archive. As a Pakeha (non-Maori/indigenous New Zealander) with a strong sense of social justice, Dennis became a conduit for tension and debate over the preservation and presentation of indigenous and non-indigenous film archival materials from the time the Archive opened in 1981. His work resulted in a film archive and curatorship practice which differed significantly from that of the North American and European archives he originally sought to emulate. He supported a philosophical shift in archival practice by engaging indigenous peoples in developing creative and innovative exhibitions from the 1980s until his death, recognizing that much of the expertise required to work with archival materials rested with the communities outside archival walls. This book presents new interviews gathered by the author, as well as an examination of existing interviews, films and broadcasts about and with Jonathan Dennis, to consider the narrative of a life and work in relation to film archiving.

Author Bio

Emma Jean Kelly is a Pakeha scholar with an interest in film and archival histories and philosophies, museum studies, and social media discourse.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Glossary of terms; Archival sources and key; Interviews
1. Introduction
2. The practice of the archive
3. Jonathan Spencer Dennis and the early years
4. Biculturalism and the NZFA
5. The New Zealand Film Archive become Guardians of the Treasured Images of Light/Nga Kaitiaki o nga Taonga Whitiahua
6. Narrative of Jonathan Dennis’ archive
7. Beyond cinema, beyond the NZFA
8. Concluding discussion: Archive as biography of the nation

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