Films recreating or addressing 'the past' - recent or distant, actual or imagined - have been a mainstay of British cinema since the silent era. From Elizabeth to Carry On Up The Khyber, and from the heritage-film debate to issues of authenticity and questions of genre, British Historical Cinema explores the ways in which British films have represented the past on screen, the issues they raise and the debates they have provoked. Discussing films from biopics to literary adaptations, and from depictions of Britain's colonial past to the re-imagining of recent decades in retro films such as Velvet Goldmine, a range of contributors ask whose history is being represented, from whose perspective, and why.
Author: Jim Leach
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2004-08-30
Genre: Business & Economics
This book explores British cinema in relation to its social political and cultural contexts. Each chapter deals with a specific topic and includes close readings of key films from different historical periods. Demonstrating the richness and variety of a national cinema that has traditionally struggled to define itself between the paradigms of Hollywood popular film and European art cinema, British Film provides comprehensive coverage of British cinema and detailed discussion of specific films that can be used in tandem with screenings.
Author: I. Q. Hunter
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Performing Arts
British comedy cinema has been a mainstay of domestic production since the beginning of the last Century and arguably the most popular and important genre in British film history. This edited volume will offer the first comprehensive account of the rich and popular history of British comedy cinema from silent slapstick and satire to contemporary romantic comedy. Using a loosely chronological approach, essays cover successive decades of the 20th and 21st Century with a combination of case studies on key personalities, production cycles and studio output along with fresh approaches to issues of class and gender representation. It will present new research on familiar comedy cycles such as the Ealing Comedies and Carry On films as well as the largely undocumented silent period along with the rise of television spin offs from the 1970s and the development of animated comedy from 1915 to the present. Films covered include: St Trinians, A Fish Called Wanda, Brassed Off, Local Hero, The Full Monty, Four Lions and In the Loop. Contributors: Melanie Bell, Alan Burton, James Chapman, Richard Dacre, Ian Hunter, James Leggott, Sharon Lockyer, Andy Medhurst, Lawrence Napper, Tim O'Sullivan, Laraine Porter, Justin Smith, Sarah Street, Peter Waymark, Paul Wells
Author: Stephen Shafer
Release Date: 2003-09-02
Shafer's study challenges the conventional historical assumption that British feature films during the Thirties were mostly oriented to the middle-class. Instead, he makes the critical distinction between films intended for West End and international circulation and those intended primarily for domestic, working-class audiences. Far from being alientated by a 'middle-class institution', working men and women flocked to see pictures featuring such music-hall luminaries as Gracie Fields and George Formby.
Author: James Chapman
Release Date: 2005-12-10
Exploring throughout the dialectical relationship between past and present, Chapman reveals how such films promote British achievements - but also sometimes question them - and how they project images of 'Britishness' to audiences both in the UK and internationally.
A group of leading British film historians reassess the films, stars, genres and directors usually omitted from accounts of 1930s British cinema, including how MGM dealt with the dictates of the Films Act and a view of audiences during this period.
Author: Sarah Street
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Performing Arts
With films as diverse as Bhaji on the Beach, The Dam Busters, Trainspotting, The Draughtsman's Contract, Prick Up Your Ears, Ratcatcher, This Is England and Atonement, British cinema has produced wide-ranging notions of British culture, identity and nationhood. British National Cinema is a comprehensive introduction to the British film industry within an economic, political and social context. British National Cinema analyzes the politics of film and establishes the difficult context within which British producers and directors have worked. Sarah Street questions why British film-making, production and distribution have always been subject to government apathy and financial stringency. In a comparison of Britain and Hollywood, the author asks to what extent was there a 'star system' in Britain and what was its real historical and social function. An examination of genres associated with British film, such as Ealing comedies, Hammer horror, 'heritage' films and hybrid forms, confirms the eclectic nature of British cinema. In a final evaluation of British film, she examines the existence of 'other cinemas': film-making which challenges the traditional concept of cinema and operates outside mainstream structures in order to deconstruct and replace classical styles and conventions. Illustrated with over thirty stills from classic British films, British National Cinema provides an accessible and comprehensive exploration of the fascinating development of British cinema.
Author: John Sedgwick
Publisher: University of Exeter Press
Release Date: 2000-01-01
Genre: Performing Arts
In the 1930s there were close to a billion annual admissions to the cinema in Britain and it was by far the most popular paid-for leisure activity. This book is an exploration of that popularity. John Sedgwick has developed the POPSTAT index, a methodology based on exhibition records which allows identification of the most popular films and the leading stars of the period, and provides a series of tables which will servce as standard points of reference for all scholars and specialists working in the field of 1930s cinema. The book establishes similarities and differences between national and regional tastes through detailed case study analysis of cinemagoing in Bolton and Brighton, and offers an analysis of genre development. It also reveals that although Hollywood continued to dominate the British market, films emanating from British studios proved markedly popular with domestic audiences.
Author: Alan Burton
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Release Date: 2013-07-11
Genre: Performing Arts
The Historical Dictionary of British Cinema has a lot of ground to cover. This it does with over 300 dictionary entries informing us about significant actors, producers and directors, outstanding films and serials, organizations and studios, different films genres from comedy to horror, and memorable films, among other things. Two appendixes provide lists of award-winners. Meanwhile, the chronology covers over a century of history. These parts provide the details, countless details, while the introduction offers the big story. And the extensive bibliography points toward other sources of information.
Author: James Chapman
Release Date: 2009-06-17
Genre: Performing Arts
Projecting Empire, James Chapman and Nicholas J. Cull have written the first major study of imperialism and cinema for over thirty years. This welcome text maps the history of empire cinema in both Hollywood and Britain through a series of case studies of popular films, including adventures, biopics, literary adaptations, melodramas, comedies and documentaries. These range from the heyday of imperial adventure in the 1930s, such as Gunga Din and The Four Feathers, to the re-emergence of the genre in contemporary cinema, with Three Kings and the Indiana Jones series. They include the award-winning epics Lawrence of Arabia and Gandhi, innovative cult classics like The Naked Prey and the less reverent treatment of imperial themes in the Carry On films. Chapman and Cull consider industry-wide trends and place the films in their wider cultural and historical contexts. Using a range of primary sources, including private papers, they examine the work of key auteurs in the cinema of empire, including Alexander Korda, David Lean, John Huston and Richard Attenborough. They also explore the experiences of the actors who brought the stories to life, from Elizabeth Taylor to George Clooney. The supporting cast includes screenwriters, censors and the CIA. At a time when imperialism has a new significance in the world, this book will meet the needs of students and interested filmgoers alike
Author: Melanie Bell
Release Date: 2009-11-30
It’s widely assumed that Britain in the 1950s experienced a return to traditional gender roles. Popular cinema has typically been seen to represent this era through the dominant image of the ‘happy housewife’. Femininity in the Frame is a sharply observant account of how British cinema engaged with femininity and women’s roles during this important period. Written in a lively and accessible manner, it challenges received understandings, arguing that the period was marked by social unease and anxiety about gender roles and femininity, with much British cinema producing ambiguous messages about feminine identities and the role of women. Through analysing marginalized figures, such as prostitutes, criminals and femmes fatales, and addressing central themes, notably sexuality, marriage and female friendship, Melanie Bell examines how British popular cinema imagined and constructed femininity in this era of rapid social and cultural change. She draws together sources ranging from official reports to film reviews, with case studies of films across genres, including The Perfect Woman, Young Wives’ Tale,The Weak and the Wicked and A Town Like Alice, to show how new ideas and understandings of femininity were seeping into the cultural imagery at this time. She demonstrates how such films expressed proto-feminist ideas and how they ultimately explored new forms of femininity in a manner that has not untilnow been recognised.
British Science Fiction Cinema is the first substantial study of a genre which, despite a sometimes troubled history, has produced some of the best British films, from the prewar classic Things to Come to Alien made in Britain by a British director. The contributors to this rich and provocative collection explore the diverse strangeness of British science fiction, from literary adaptions like Nineteen Eighty-Four and A Clockwork Orange to pulp fantasies and 'creature features' far removed from the acceptable face of British cinema. Through case studies of key films like The Day the Earth Caught Fire, contributors explore the unique themes and concerns of British science fiction, from the postwar boom years to more recent productions like Hardware, and examine how science fiction cinema drew on a variety of sources, from TV adaptions like Doctor Who and the Daleks, to the horror/sf crossovers produced from John Wyndham's cult novels The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos (filmed as Village of the Damned). How did budget restrictions encourage the use of the 'invasion narrative' in the 1950s films? And how did films such as Unearthly Stranger and Invasion reflect fears about the decline of Britain's economic and colonial power and the 'threat' of female sexuality? British Science Fiction Cinema celebrates the breadth and continuing vitality of British sf film-making, in both big-budget productions such as Brazil and Event Horizon and cult exploitation movies like Inseminoid and Lifeforce.