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David Forrest

about making the case that social realism, so central to British national cinematic identity, might be judged beyond its effectiveness (or otherwise) as a political medium. ‘British cinema’, and perhaps more specifically British realism, is, as the Polish film-maker Pawel Pawlikowski argued, ‘drowning in Sociology’, 12 to the extent where it is defined within the popular and critical imagination by its ‘grit’ 13 and not its grace. When we have spoken of art cinema in Britain, we have been drawn towards the 1980s, when, for Newland and Hoyle

in British art cinema
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Cinemagoing in the early months of the war
Richard Farmer

substantial amounts of money. Although the Home Office disputed the fabulous sums bandied about by the CEA, it found it harder to dismiss the Association’s assertion that thousands of employees might need to be laid off if the prospect of reopening was not forthcoming.22 British cinemas were permitted to ‘follow in the proud footsteps of Aberystwyth’23 only after a period marked by what Kinematograph Weekly described as ‘delay and confusion’, with the process complicated by the workings of the Home Office’s own initial scheme for closure.24 The Home Office plan had

in Cinemas and cinemagoing in wartime Britain, 1939–45
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Anna Ariadne Knight

examination of a broad range of primary sources. Unlike contemporary films, which are widely debated, critiqued and informally reviewed on social media, recovering cinema’s ‘lost audiences’ requires robust archival methods. Sarah Street, who has examined British cinema, usefully frames her historical research around specific concerns. Street asks questions on the type of document it is (a diary, a memoir, a statistical survey, a governmental report, a poster or other ephemera), its authorship and agency; and where the document ranks in an archival scheme.14 By focusing on

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
Peter Hutchings

-century literary origins to their entrance into British cinema in the 1950s? In an essay on the various adaptations of Frankenstein , Paul O’Flinn remarks, ‘There is no such thing as Frankenstein , there are only Frankensteins , as the text is ceaselessly rewritten, reproduced, refilmed and redesigned.’ 1 If this is true, what needs to be considered is whether relating the various film Frankensteins directly to Mary Shelley’s original 1818 novel, or for that matter to a broader eighteenth

in Hammer and beyond
Jeffrey Richards

(1936), he celebrates the Catholic Scottish Queen Mary as a martyr to Protestant and English imperialism and intolerance. The Hurricane (1937), though ostensibly about a South Sea island under French rule, is a deeply felt indictment of colonial rule and by implication, British imperialism, with the island of Manikura functioning as a substitute Ireland. The British cinema’s

in ‘An Irish Empire’?
Blackboard Jungle fever in the classroom
Anna Ariadne Knight

power struggle between Dadier and West. Frank Jackson, the critic for Reynolds News, considered the film to be realistic and hoped that British cinema would soon depict its juvenile delinquents with the ‘courageous verisimilitude’ of Hollywood.47 In the Daily Express, Leonard Mosley described watching ‘the ghastly adolescent goons’ with ‘a hypnotic fascination’ and considered Blackboard Jungle one of the ‘most absorbing films’ he had seen in months.48 Glenn Ford and Vic Morrow: their stardom in Britain The British fan press, like the popular dailies, did not

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
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Of images, poetry and Pandaemonium
Owen Evans

[life] consists’. 13 In effect, he conflates the role of poet and film-maker, an apposite ‘bringing together’ for the man whom Lindsay Anderson crowned ‘the only real poet the British cinema has yet produced’. 14 It has become a canonical epithet, which Martin Stollery has since challenged as overly hagiographical. He argues that Jennings was not the pre-eminent documentarist of the period, but merely one of a generation of diverse talents, including the likes of Paul Rotha and Basil Wright, whose own accomplishments deserve as much attention as those of their peer

in British art cinema
Bill Haley and the rock ’n’ roll cinema riots
Anna Ariadne Knight

soundtrack to Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks, 1955) examined in Chapter 2. Played over the opening titles and reprised during fight scenes, the song became indelibly associated with the teenage ‘spirit’ of the film. It was the first million-selling record in Britain and the bestselling record of the 1950s. Based on this phenomenal success, Haley and his Comets became the first rock ’n’ roll artists to make the transition to Hollywood films. Rock Around the Clock (Fred F. Sears, 1956) and Don’t Knock the Rock (Fred F. Sears, 1956) were released in British cinemas in

in Screening the Hollywood rebels in 1950s Britain
Generic hybridity and gender crisis in British horror of the new millennium
Linnie Blake

(August 1995), quoted in Rigby, Century, p. 247. 8 Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror. 9 Andrew Spicer, Typical Men: The Representation of Masculinity in Popular British Cinema (London: I.B. Tauris, 2003), p. 204. 10 A similar will to hybridity can be seen in Alex Chandon’s Cradle of Fear, a portmanteau horror referencing both 1945’s Dead of Night and 1972’s Asylum. The villain here is a Dark Metal vampire semiologically derived from Brandon Lee’s eponymous role in The Crow (1994) who hunts his prey in fetish clubs that purposefully echo those of The Hunger (1983) and

in The wounds of nations
The utility dream palace
Author: Richard Farmer

The utility dream palace is a cultural history of cinemagoing and the cinema exhibition industry in Britain during the Second World War, a period of massive audiences in which vast swathes of the British population went to the pictures on a regular basis. Yet for all that wartime films have received a great deal of academic attention, and have been discussed in terms of the escapist pleasures they offered, the experiential pleasures offered by the cinemas in which such films were watched were inextricably connected to the places and times in which they operated. British cinemas – and the people who worked in, owned and visited them – were acutely sensitive to their spatial and temporal locations, unable to escape the war and intimately bound up in and contributing to the public’s experience of it. Combining oral history, extensive archival research, and a wealth of material gathered from contemporary trade papers, fan magazines and newspapers, this book is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of both the cinema’s position in wartime society, and the impact that the war had on the cinema as a social practice. Dealing with subjects as diverse as the blackout, the blitz, evacuation, advertising, staffing and conscription, Entertainments Tax, showmanship and clothes rationing, The utility dream palace asserts that the cinema was, for many people, a central feature of wartime life, and argues that the history of British cinemas and cinemagoing between 1939 and 1945 is, in many ways, the history of wartime Britain.