Noel Burch

Noël Burch is a filmmaker and film theorist. Born in San Francisco in 1932, he has lived in Paris since 1951. He graduated from the Institut Des Hautes Etudes Cinèmatographiques in 1954.

In 1973, he published The Theory of Film Practice, a book that coined or established many of the terms that would come to dominate university Film Studies and has remained a classic of the genre. His other books include To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema (1979), and Life To Those Shadows (1990), a materialist critique of classical film theory.

From 1967 to 1972, he produced Cinèastes de Notre Temps (Cinema of Our Time) with Janine Bazin and Andrè S. Labarthe and directed seven of the series' portraits of contemporary filmmakers. During the same period, Burch co-founded and directed the Institut de Formation Cinèmatographique, an alternative film school in Paris.

Icarus Films is proud to distribute The Forgotten Space, directed by Allan Sekula and Noel Burch. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.


Allan Sekula and Noel Burch investigate maritime trade, the global supply chain and 21st-century capitalism.

Allan Sekula & Noel Burch | 2012 | 112 minutes | Color | English