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Introduction
1927

The first publication of 'Close-Up' magazine, London/Zurich

"The only magazine devoted to film as an art"

When Close Up magazine was first published in 1927, it was the only journal distributed in Britain (and indeed in the English language), dedicated to critical film theory. Its three editors and main contributors were the writer and filmmaker Kenneth Macpherson, his wife, the novelist Winifred Ellerman, who wrote under the name Brhyer, and the imagist poet Hilda Doolittle (H.D). Edited from Macpherson and Brhyer's home in Lausanne, Switzerland, the magazine was truly international in its scope, attracting articles by Eisenstein and Man Ray, and distributed in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles.

Throughout its publication Close Up's editors were committed to revitalising and re-imagining film culture in Britain. As a result, the magazine was deeply and consistently critical of both Hollywood cinema and its European imitators, focusing instead on emerging philosophical, technological and psychoanalytic ideas. Articles on 'Pure Cinema', women and film and the 'negro' on screen, were included in the journal alongside critiques of Russian, and working-class cinema.

Published monthly in its opening stages and then intermittently for the next six years, the magazine ran until 1933 when Hitler seized power in Germany and the editors, in particular Bryher, felt that attempting to prevent the rise of fascism took precedence over their work on the magazine.

Lara Thompson

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Close Up, October 1928

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