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Modes of reading in Marxist-socialist and post-Marxist-socialist Television drama criticism
Geraldine Harris

M410 HARRIS TEXT.qxd 20/7/06 11:35 AM Page 9 Phil's G4 Phil's G4:Users:phil:Public: 1 Beyond realism? Modes of reading in Marxist-socialist and post-Marxist-socialist Television drama criticism The ‘back story’: the critique of realism and the turn to form In the context of mid- to late twentieth-century British television drama criticism, the relationship between politics and aesthetics was most often defined through reference to the Marxist-socialist tradition and more specifically to the work of theatre practitioner and theorist Bertolt Brecht. Brecht

in Beyond representation
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Bill Marshall

2 New realisms Hôtel des Amériques (1981) Hôtel des Amériques opens with a shot of a moonlit beach, shoreline and promontory, the gentle waves audible on the soundtrack. The caption ‘Biarritz’ appears, followed by opening credits over the same shot announcing the presence of the film’s two stars, Catherine Deneuve and Patrick Dewaere. The credits continue after a fade to a montage of black and white archive footage of the town, accompanied by the first presence on the soundtrack of a melancholic Philippe Sarde melody played on piano and strings which will

in André Téchiné
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Jonathan Driskell

production of his first feature films, Jenny (1936) and Drôle de drame (1937), and will finish with his contributions to poetic realism at the end of the decade, Le Quai des brumes , Hôtel du Nord , and Le Jour se lève . The seemingly contradictory term ‘poetic realism’ describes a popular and critically respected film movement that emerged in France in the 1930s, which centred on pessimistic, fatalistic stories about

in Marcel Carné
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Elizabeth Ezra

realism that his synopsis of the earlier tableau had displayed: ’Sinking to the Bottom of the Sea. (Real Fishes and Sea Monsters)’ (Sadoul (ed.) 1947 : 19 ). While it is true that most of Méliès’s films exhibit an element of the marvellous – evidence of this is scattered throughout this study – many of them call into question the very distinction between fantasy and reality. As a magician, Méliès was a

in Georges Méliès
Richard Hewett

70 2 Refining studio realism By the early 1960s, television was more established in both reach and form, yet despite significant technological shifts its production processes remained largely unchanged. Actor experience had increased, yet an analysis of studio realism during this period as the result solely of actors’ increased familiarity with the medium is complicated by external factors; primarily, the advent in British television and film of social realism. Though frequently linked with a particular ‘type’ or sub-​genre of television drama, e.g. the work

in The changing spaces of television acting
Sound and image in Alan Clarke’s Road
Paul Elliott

the viewer access into the worlds of characters on the margins of society. It is an intimate narrative that is, at the same time, universal and political. What distinguishes Road as a piece of television is its aesthetic form. Commensurate with Clarke's oeuvre, it presents a coming together of popular realism (arguably television's basic style) and subtle experimentation. 3 This combination is both familiar and challenging and neatly answers questions raised by critics of TV naturalism in the 1960s. As I shall

in Sound / image
Brett Bowles

realism and appealed strongly to Depression-era spectators as an antidote to France’s perceived cultural decadence. Pagnol was of course not the first filmmaker to shoot extensively on location in the countryside. By the 1910s a number of European directors were already experimenting with real landscapes and natural light to enhance the authenticity, visual depth, and psychological intensity of their work

in Marcel Pagnol
Richard Hewett

223 5 The return of studio realism? It is Saturday night, and on the television screen three men can be seen, crouching round a small box, listening intently in the latest scene from live drama The Quatermass Experiment. By this point in the story it has become clear that something untoward happened in the depths of space to the crew of Britain’s first manned rocket, and the on-​screen trio are now playing back a recording of the astronauts’ final moments. To the left, the trench-​coated Quatermass holds a silencing finger aloft, gesturing at moments of

in The changing spaces of television acting
Richard Hewett

117 3 The genesis of location realism By the mid-​ 1970s, studio realism might be expected to have reached its apotheosis, yet it was by no means all-​encompassing as a style of television acting, and there were already elements in play that would ultimately come to threaten its primacy as the dominant mode of acting in British television drama. The decade saw the emergence of various factors that would influence actors’ work at the Corporation, beginning with the BBC’s further investment in its existing rehearsal and recording model via the opening in 1970 of

in The changing spaces of television acting
Richard Hewett

165 4 The age of location realism By the time Doctor Who and Survivors were re-​made in the mid to late ​2000s, the television drama landscape had been transformed in virtually every respect. The rehearsal room/​studio recording template was now the sole domain of situation comedy, and while certain soaps still utilised multi-​camera recording, it was no longer accompanied by a prior preparation period. Although constructed sets still played a role, they were to be found on soundstages rather than in the comparatively cramped confines of Television Centre

in The changing spaces of television acting