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Dr Paul Cuff

Associate Fellow within the Department of Film & Television Studies

Email: paul dot cuff at warwick dot ac dot uk

Millburn House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7HS


Paul Cuff took his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Warwick University. He holds a BA in Film and Literature (2006), as well as an MA (2007) and PhD (2011) in Film and Television Studies.

Research interests

As a scholar, my primary interest is film history – with a specialist focus on silent cinema. My research examines film aesthetics, particularly the relationship between sound and image, and often focuses on moments of technological transition. I am also concerned with national film cultures, and the place of authorship within wider social and theoretical contexts. My work regularly involves the interdisciplinary study of literature, music, philosophy, radio, and television.


  • ‘Interpretation and Restoration: Abel Gance’s La Roue (1922)’, Film History, 23: 2 (2011), pp. 223-41.
  • Entries on Panorama du Grand Canal, vu d’un bateau (Lumière, 1896), Casanova (Volkoff, 1927), Death in Venice (Visconti, 1971), and Don Giovanni (Losey, 1979). In Michael Pigott (ed.), World Film Locations: Venice, Bristol: Intellect, 2013, pp. 12-5, 44-5, 64-5.
  • Napoléon, vu par Abel Gance (1927): The case for enthusiasm’, Studies in French Cinema 13:2 (2013), pp. 95-109.
  • ‘Experiential art: musical performance, live cinema, and Abel Gance’s Napoléon, Alternate Takes (February 2014) [online].
  • A Revolution for the Screen: Abel Gance’s ‘Napoléon’, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015.
  • ‘“The reawakening of French cinema”: expression and innovation in Abel Gance’s J’accuse! (1919)’. In Olaf Brill and Gary D. Rhodes (eds), Expressionism in Cinema, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016, pp. 145-68.
  • ‘Silent cinema: Material histories and the digital present’, Screen 57:3 (2016), pp. 277-301.
  • Abel Gance and the End of Silent Cinema: Sounding out Utopia, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • ‘The Man of Destiny’, Sight & Sound 26:12 (2016), pp. 24-30. [Also available online.]
  • ‘Presenting the past: Abel Gance’s Napoléon (1927), from live projection to digital reproduction’, Kinétraces Editions, 2 (2017), pp. 120-42. [Also available online.]
  • Abel Gance.’ Oxford Bibliographies in ‘Cinema and Media Studies’, ed. Krin Gabbard. New York: Oxford University Press, April 2017 [online].
  • ‘The Cinema as Time Machine: Temporality and Duration in the Films of Abel Gance’, Aniki 4:2 (2017), pp. 353-74. [Also available online.]
  • ‘Reframing History: Erich von Stroheim's Europe’, Quarterly Review of Film and Video 35:2 (2018), pp. 171-197.
  • ‘Encountering sound: the musical dimensions of silent cinema’, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture 10:1 (2018) [online].
  • ‘Words Radiating Images: Visualizing Text in Abel Gance’s La Roue, Literature/Film Quarterly 46:3 (2018) [online].

Conference papers and presentations

  • ‘The beginning of sound and the end of the world: Abel Gance and La Fin du Monde’. Paper given at ‘Beginnings and Endings in Film, Films, and Film Studies’ conference, University of Warwick, UK, 13 June 2008.
  • ‘On the frontier of Romanticism and Modernism: Napoléon, vu par Abel Gance.’ Paper given at ‘The Nu-Romantic’, Journeys Across Media (JAM) postgraduate conference, University of Reading, UK, 17 April 2009.
  • With Kevin Brownlow, Andrew Kelly, and Paul McGann, ‘Abel Gance: Music of Light’. Round-table discussion at the annual Bristol Silents Festival, UK, 23 May 2009.
  • ‘In the shadow of great men: myth and biography in Abel Gance’s Napoléon’. Paper given at ‘Writing Lives’ symposium, University of Warwick, UK, 25 May 2012.
  • With Michael Pigott and Nicolas Pillai, ‘A Study in Sherlock’. Presentation at Warwick Words literary festival, UK, 8 December 2012.
  • With Michael Pigott and Nicolas Pillai, ‘The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes’. Presentation and screening at Warwick Arts Centre, UK, 26 January 2013.
  • ‘Buster and Spike, Film and Radio’. Paper given at ‘Buster Keaton and the Logic of Objects’ conference, Warwick Arts Centre, UK, 30 November 2013.

  • ‘Abel Gance’s Napoléon and the restoration of live cinema’. Paper given at ‘Colloque Kinétraces 2015: La mort des films’, l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, France, 6-7 May 2015.
  • With Mike McCahill, Michael Pigott, and Nicolas Pillai, ‘Unlock Sherlock’. Round-table discussion at the Leamington Underground Cinema Festival, UK, 7 November 2015.

  • With Nicolas Pillai, ‘Jazz on film in 1920s and 1930s Britain’. Presentation at the London Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall, UK, 11 November 2017.
  • ‘Parallel Universies: Hancock and Milligan, from Radio to Television’. Presentation at Tony Hancock: A Celebration, Bradfield College, UK, 25 June 2018.


Other media

  • DVD Commentary, Napoleon (1927), UK: British Film Institute, 2016.
  • ‘Living History’, Liner notes for Napoleon (1927) [DVD], UK: British Film Institute, 2016.
  • ‘Making Music for Napoleon: An interview with Carl Davis’, Liner notes for Davis: Napoleon (1927) [compact disc], Threefold Music, CDC028, 2016.
  • DVD Commentary, J'accuse! (1938), UK: British Film Institute, 2017.
  • ‘A Memorial for Tomorrow’, Liner notes and translated reviews for J'accuse! (1938) [DVD/Blu-ray], UK: British Film Institute, 2017.

Teaching and supervision

Since 2008, I have acted as seminar tutor for modules on Film Criticism, Film History, Hollywood, and National Cinemas (France, Italy, Japan). In 2011-12 and 2014-15, I acted as convener and tutor for the Silent Cinema module. In 2016, I convened the MA Sound Cultures module.