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Britisch cinema

Related: UK - BBFC - British exploitation film - British Film Institute - Raymond Durgnat - Hammer horror - Eadweard Muybridge

Titles: Peeping Tom (1960) - Psycho (1960) - Blow-Up (1966) - Bedazzled (1967) - If.... (1968) -

Actors: Jane Birkin - Dirk Bogarde - Malcolm McDowell - Barbara Steele

Directors: Donald Cammell - Jack Clayton - Alex Cox - Terence Fisher - Terry Gilliam (UK and US) - Peter Greenaway - Alfred Hitchcock - Derek Jarman - Stanley Kubrick - Mike Leigh - Christopher Nolan - Tony Richardson - Nicolas Roeg - Ken Russell - Peter Walker - Michael Winner - Michael Winterbottom

Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
A unique film, very relevant to the themes of this website.

Cinema of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has been influential in the technological, commercial, and artistic development of cinema. Despite a history of successful productions, the industry is characterised by an ongoing debate about its identity (including economic and cultural issues) and the influences of American and European cinema. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_the_United_Kingdom [Aug 2005]

British New Wave filmmaking

The British New Wave is the name given to a trend in filmmaking among directors in Britain in the late fifties and early sixties. The label is a translation of Nouvelle Vague, the French term first applied to the films of Francois Truffaut, Jean Luc Godard and others.

There is considerable overlap with the so-called "Angry Young Men", those artistes in British theatre and film such as playwright John Osborne and director Tony Richardson, who challenged the social status quo. Their work drew attention to the reality of life for the working classes, especially in the North of England, giving rise to the expression, "It's grim up north". This particular type of drama, centred around class and the nitty-gritty of day-to-day life, was also known as the kitchen sink drama.

The New Wave was characterized by many of the same stylistic and thematic conventions as the earlier French New Wave. Usually in black-and-white, these films had a spontaneous quality, often shot in a pseudo-documentary (or cinema verite) style on real locations and with real people rather than extras, apparently capturing life as it happens. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_New_Wave [Aug 2005]

Popular British cinema

The cinema has occupied a centrally important place in British popular culture since its beginnings as a music hall novelty in the mid-1890s until the rise of television as the predominant form of popular entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, the experience of cinema in Britain has been shaped largely by America which established itself as the major supplier of films for British cinemas during the First World War. Despite flurries of creative promise such as the "Korda revolution" of the thirties and the success of Chariots of Fire in the eighties, the British cinema has never managed to dislodge its more powerful trans-Atlantic counterpart and establish itself as the definitive popular cinema for the British audience. Its "junior partner" history has been reflected in critical commentary and analysis to the extent that some writers have expressed a scepticism about the very possibility of a British cinema at all!

In the early thirties it was suggested that "film is a form of art which is fundamentally unsuited to the expression of the English character" and this bleak and negative appraisal has been echoed subsequently in various ways by critics and historians, and by distinguished international film makers such as Francois Truffaut and Satyajit Ray. This sceptical attitude towards British cinema has been reflected in the seeming reluctance of British critics and scholars to study the national cinema and less than twenty years ago it was described as "an unknown cinema" by Alan Lovell and as "utterly amorphous, unclassified, unperceived" by Peter Wollen. Such promptings have had an effect and the intervening years have seen a steady growth in publications about the British cinema although it should be said that the intending student of the subject is still faced with a relative shortage of material particularly when compared with the student of the American film. The clear and extensive profiling of the Hollywood cinema achieved during the fifties and sixties and capitalised upon with the growth of film studies in the seventies is yet to be replicated in British cinema although the task is well under way.

There are two points to make initially for intending students of British popular cinema. Firstly, British films have lived in the shadow of not just the American cinema but also in the shadow of the British documentary film which has enjoyed considerable prestige amongst critics and writers both in Britain and abroad. Until recently, only those British films which reflected some kind of documentary influence (e.g. wartime films, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) attracted serious critical attention. Documentary cinema is an important framing notion which has influenced the ways in which the British commercial cinema has been thought about. The second point concerns the very term "British cinema" itself and it is important to bear in mind that what are known as "British films" are invariably films which have been produced in England rather than Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and, by and large, films produced in one quite distinctive region of England - London and its outer suburbs. --Tom Ryall via http://www.shu.ac.uk/services/lc/closeup/ryall.htm [Dec 2005]

My Summer of Love (2004) - Pawel Pawlikowski

My Summer of Love (2004) - Pawel Pawlikowski

Plot Outline: In the Yorkshire countryside, working-class tomboy Mona (Press) meets the exotic, pampered Tasmin (Blunt). Over the summer season, the two young women discover they have much to teach one another, and much to explore together. --http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0382189/ [Jul 2005]

Tip of the hat to Romeo.

see also: film - erotic cinema

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