Skip to main content


UK, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Christopher Mason, Noel Burch

The term 'primitive' as applied to painting has come to be viewed with great suspicion. Its application to pre-Renaissance painting or the art of Africa, Asia etc, has been challenged by modernism and anthropology. The only form of art that is still called primitive exists, ironically, on the margins of western culture. This is the little known area in which The Impersonation is set, the world of the untaught artist, the Sunday painter, of art produced without the benefit of art school training. Since it first became known in 1974, the signature of the contemporary English 'primitive' painter, Reginald Pepper, has been gaining prominence amongst cogniscenti and collectors who felt they had found that rare bird, the truly gifted Sunday painter. It was therefore not without some emotion that specialists in primitive art learned from an article in the "Sunday Times" that there were doubts about the authenticity of the paintings. From this starting point Noel Burch and Christopher Mason able to piece together something of the story.

See also...


What we call the language of Cinema is not a "natural" language. It did not grow spontaneously out of the technology of animated photography, it had to be fashioned by social and cultural forces. It ... More »

England, Home and Beauty

The domestic architecture, interior furnishings and household objects of the Thirties in England, reveal the taste at different levels of society. ... Aiming to combat the Depression by increasing ... More »

28 UP

In 1963 Granada Television commissioned Michael Apted and Paul Almond to produce 7 UP — a 40 minute documentary based on interviews with 14 seven-year-old children from diverse class and ... More »


The man is asking: “What happened to the promise of love's great adventure and fulfilment?” (the myth of love). The woman is asking: “Why did I sacrifice the purity of self for the compromise ... More »

The Adventures of Hugo The Innocent

Having been ill for the last five years with only a blurred image of his TV set to relay information from the outside world, Hugo, ... now recovered, sets forth. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director