3049 Experimental British Tele 16/5/07 08:02 Page 17 1 ‘Creative in its own right’: the Langham Group and the search for a new television drama John Hill The Langham Group, an experimental outfit established within the BBC in 1959, occupies an unusual position in the history of British television drama. While most accounts of the development of TV drama in Britain pay lip-service to the group’s efforts, these have mainly been written off as unsuccessful. Such a view appears to have settled into a critical orthodoxy in the early 1960s and has prevailed ever
In this co-authored review-reflection, we discuss the African Feminisms 2019 conference, offering a snapshot of the vital and emboldening African feminist work being conducted by researchers, cultural producers and creative practitioners at all levels of their careers, as well as a sense of the emotional labour that this work entails. We note the particular, shocking event that took place in South Africa just prior to the conference informed the papers, performances and ensuing discussions. We also note that the conference and many of its attendees advocated for a variety of approaches (and more than one feminism) when seeking to challenge power.
This article reveals how screenwriter Stephen Volk‘s idea for a sequel to The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton) became, over the course of fifteen years, the British horror film The Awakening (2011, Nick Murphy). It examines practitioner interviews to reflect on creative labour in the British film industry, while also reorientating the analysis of British horror film to the practices of pre-production, specifically development. The research reveals that female protagonist Florence Cathcart was a major problem for the project and demonstrates how the Florence character changed throughout the development process. Repeatedly rewritten and ultimately restrained by successive male personnel, her character reveals persistent, problematic perceptions of gender in British horror filmmaking.
This article focuses on the Monthly Film Bulletin, a magazine devoted to what is often regarded as the lowliest and most ephemeral form of film criticism: the film review. Studying the Bulletins publication history, with a particular emphasis on the 1970s, the article challenges the dismissal of journalistically motivated film criticism in academic discourse. It argues that the historical interest of the Bulletins late period lies in its hybrid identity, a journal of record in which both accurate information and personal evaluation coexisted as values, and in which a polyphony of individual critical voices creatively worked through a routinised reviewing practice and a generic discursive format.
British horror cinema is often excluded from critical work dealing with European horror cinema or, as it is frequently referred to, Eurohorror. This article argues that such exclusion is unwarranted. From the 1950s onwards there have been many exchanges between British and continental European-based horror production. These have involved not just international co-production deals but also creative per- sonnel moving from country to country. In addition, British horror films have exerted influence on European horror cinema and vice versa. At the same time, the exclusion of British horror from the Eurohorror category reveals limitations in that category, particularly its idealisation of continental European horror production.
This article considers the recurring motif of the female driver in a selection of films by Alfred Hitchcock. By placing these screen representations of female drivers within the context of prevailing attitudes found throughout twentieth-century American society, the discussion seeks to evaluate Hitchcock’s creative deployment of potent cultural issues in his work. In this pursuit, the article identifies certain disparities in the portrayals of female drivers, resulting in both positive and negative depictions, which can be related to the director’s broader ambivalence towards femininity throughout his oeuvre.
Jean-Luc Godard‘s Sauve qui peut (la vie) holds a uniquely pivotal position in the directors oeuvre and provides the occasion for a case study in how he conceives and develops his works. Amongst the salient features of this process are Godard‘s invention of the ‘video-scenario’ format, enabling him to couch his ideas in visual rather than verbal form from the very moment of their inception; his desire to “look at things a bit scientifically”; and a use of commissioned and pre-existing music which lies at the very heart of his creative method.
Beckett’s Afterlives is the first book-length study dedicated to posthumous reworkings of Samuel Beckett’s oeuvre. Contextualised against the backdrop of his own developing views on adaptation and media specificity, it nuances the long-held view that he opposed any form of genre crossing. Featuring contemporary engagements with Beckett’s work from the UK, Europe, the USA and Latin America, the volume does not approach adaptation as a form of (in)fidelity or (ir)reverence. Instead, it argues that exposing the ‘Beckett canon’ to new environments and artistic practices enables fresh perspectives on the texts and enhances their significance for contemporary artists and audiences alike. The featured essays explore a wide variety of forms (prose, theatre, performance, dance, ballet, radio, music, television, film, visual art, installation, new/digital media, webseries, etc.), in different cultural contexts, mainly from the early 1990s until the late 2010s. The concept of adaptation is broadly interpreted, including changes within the same performative context, to spatial relocations or transpositions across genres and media, even creative rewritings of Beckett’s biography. The collection offers a range of innovative ways to approach the author’s work in a constantly changing world and analyses its remarkable susceptibility to creative responses. Viewed from this perspective, Beckett’s Afterlives suggests that adaptation, remediation and appropriation constitute forms of cultural negotiation that are essential for the survival as well as the continuing urgency and vibrancy of Beckett’s work in the twenty-first century.
This is a book-length study of one of the most respected and prolific producers working in British television. From ground-breaking dramas from the 1960s such as Up the Junction and Cathy Come Home to the ‘must-see’ series in the 1990s and 2000s such as This Life and The Cops, Tony Garnett has produced some of the most important and influential British television drama. This book charts his career from his early days as an actor to his position as executive producer and head of World Productions, focusing on the ways in which he has helped to define the role of the creative producer, shaping the distinctive politics and aesthetics of the drama he has produced, and enabling and facilitating the contributions of others. Garnett's distinctive contribution to the development of a social realist aesthetic is also examined, through the documentary-inspired early single plays to the subversion of genre within popular drama series.
This book aims to provoke increased interest in the work of the four directors: Dominique Cabrera, Noémie Lvovsky, Laetitia Masson and Marion Vernoux, although some of their early works have become more difficult to access, most of their films remain commercially available through French distributors. The four directors are not new arrivals and began making films in the early 1990s, yet they have received scant critical attention in both popular and academic film criticism. They share similar profiles in terms of box office success, number of films made and generational affinities and, shorts and feature films in France. They make films that straddle boundaries of categorisation and therefore escape the quickly established and self-perpetuating groupings that serve as powerful frameworks for popular access via DVD distribution, critical canonisation and academic curricula. Whilst Cabrera attests her sanguine awareness of the discriminatory treatment of women in all areas of the film industry she rejects the suggestion that the process of her filmmaking is determined by sexual difference or a gendered creative identity, asserting provocatively. The book discusses Masson's use of romance and detective narratives to debunk the former and subvert the later. The career path of Lvovsky remains distinctive from that of other directors. Vernoux's oeuvre maintains a coherent focus on the modes of transgression present within the generic conventions of comedy and romance in films which exploit the common narrative device of the encounter to propel narratives and characters across social boundaries within a dominant generic focus on romantic comedy.