Laura Mulvey
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Experimental British television
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This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book primarily addresses the aesthetics of television programmes, charting some key examples of experiment and formal or stylistic innovation, drawing mostly on arts documentaries and drama productions. It introduces Channel 4 with an insider's account of a world of utopian hopes and the snares of the schedule. The book discusses the work of the little known Langham Group. In contrast to the populism of Armchair Theatre, the group emerged from a BBC initiative to consider 'the problem of experimental television programmes'. The book discusses very varied examples of experimental television that flourished during the 1960s. It also introduces Ken Russell's arts documentaries with the observation that, in the 1960s, culture acquired a new centrality in British society and its economy.

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