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...

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 »


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 »


Ex-film critic Christopher Pent has come up with a remarkable thriller, exciting, mysterious, and laden with references to other films, among them "Blow Up", and his own detective movie "An ... More »

Making A Splash

Currently involved in filming the long awaited follow-up to The Draughtsman's Contract, Greenaway has been filling more commissions than he could handle. After the Channel Four series 4 American ... More »


This is the tragic true story of the last months in the life of the infamous Ruth Ellis. Divorcee, one-time prostitute and now the manager of a seedy London nightclub, she enters a relationship with ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director