Americanised version of the horror genre was formulated in the
1930s. Throughout this period Britishcinema was strikingly
deficient in horror production. The small number of horror films
that were made were either pale imitations of the American product
(a plot synopsis for Castle Sinister [Widgey Newman, 1932]
reads: ‘Mad doctor tries to put girl’s brain into
apeman’s head’) 1 or isolated attempts to locate horror
within a recognisable British landscape (for
such an approach has for other aspects of Britishcinema.
Secondly, it is important to understand that examining the style and
meaning of any individual film allows that film’s position within any
kind of broader framework – whether historical, ideological or in any
other reasonable context – also to be reconsidered. In the particular case
of the British New Wave, this is vital if each of these films is to be
sensibly discussed individually without continually having to resort to
finding common features. This allows discussion to move forward and
prevents it from
Relationships and intimacy in British films of the 2000s
they might convert the base’s regular film night screenings into organised film seasons, where, as she puts it, they examine ‘the body of an auteur’. Lisa (Sharon Horgan) speaks up for many of the women present by declaring that ‘when we watch films, usually we like them to be fun’. Sex and desire in British films of the 2000s: Love in a damp climate will seek to illustrate that promising film writers and directors did emerge in Britishcinema during the 2000s, and that many of the films exploring romantic and sexual themes during this period might well appeal to
right to take an alternative approach
and consider each of the films individually. This is not to deny that the
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The British New Wave
similarities between these films do exist. Nevertheless, for the sake of
revivifying the study of Britishcinema, there is little methodological
sense in merely reproducing existing critical discussions. Instead, I will
define my own critical position in relation to the British New Wave and
demonstrate that we can fruitfully consider the detail of these films
individually without continually re
vision of the postwar future.
Lawrence Napper’s analysis of interwar Britishcinema and middlebrow culture describes the suburbs as ‘the middlebrow place par excellence ’: as a site exemplifying the ever-tricky-to-pin-down definition of the middlebrow as ‘in-between’ or characterised by ‘balance’ – famously described by Virginia Woolf as ‘neither one thing nor the other […] betwixt and between’. 4 Napper highlights how suburban homes were at once modern – ‘with bathrooms, indoor plumbing, electric lighting and gas-fuelled kitchens’ – while ‘much of the aesthetic of
1930s and the 1960s. This focus on the glamour boys and glamour years of
Britishcinema is only now beginning to be shifted by a line of inquiry
which combines a resurgent auteurist perspective on the work of neglected
filmmakers with a socio-historical interest in its conditions of production
and consumption. This has been a significant part of the project of the
BritishCinema and Television Research Group at De Montfort University, 1 and is an
Narratives exploring relationships in modern British society
This chapter will explore the ways in which a significant number of directors and writers working in the British film industry during the 2000s sought to examine and investigate the social and personal relationships, sexual yearnings and hopes and desires of a range of characters in a series of contemporary settings and situations. Britishcinema has developed a reputation for providing thoughtful dramatisations that concern what Thomas Carlyle once formulated as the question of the ‘Condition of England’. 1 Chapters in Raymond Durgnat’s A Mirror for England
to one unfamiliar with post-war Britishcinema, this approach is as good as any:
Fade-up Pathé News styled theme tune and patronising off-screen announcer.
‘Sidney James – your all-purpose British character actor! He can play hard-bitten reporters!’
Cue Sid being shot by enemy alien forces in Quatermass 2 .
Cue footage of Sid sporting a very dubious false accent in The Venetian Bird (Ralph Thomas 1952).
Cue footage of Sid in the company of Bonar Colleano in Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?
As Carol Reed began to make his way in
films the Britishcinema in the 1930s was already characterised, on the one
hand, by the rise of the documentary tradition epitomised by Grierson and
Cavalcanti and, on the other, by popular genre-based, star-studded films and
studio production headed by moghuls like Alexander Korda. Reed’s
films, like those directed by Victor Saville, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael
This book examines how the working-class
people are portrayed in the Britishcinema. Leaving aside problems of
definition, it is indisputable that class permeates British feature films,
from Claude Hubert’s silly asses to Norman Wisdom’s little man
in a cap. Sometimes it comes to the fore as in the films of Lindsay
Anderson, though frequently it remains pervasive but unacknowledged.
Nor does class know