Long before the emergence in the 1990s of a ‘cinéma de banlieue’ on the heels of Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine (1995), French filmmakers looked beyond the gates of the French capital for inspiration and content. In the Paris suburbs, they found a vast reservoir of architectural forms, landscapes and contemporary social types in which to anchor their fictions. From the villas and vacant lots of silent serials of the 1910s and the bucolic riverside guinguettes of 1930s poetic realism, to the housing estates and motorways of the second post-war, the suburban landscape came to form a privileged site in the French cinematographic imaginary. In keeping with directorial vision, the prerogatives of the film industry or the internal demands of genre, the suburb could be made to impart a strong impression of reality or unreality, novelty or ordinariness, danger or enjoyment. The contributors to this volume argue collectively for a long history of the suburban imaginary by contrasting diverse ‘structures of feeling’ (Raymond Williams) that correlate to divergent aesthetic and ideological programmes. Commenting on narrative, documentary and essay films, they address such themes as class conflict, leisure, boredom, violence and anti-authoritarianism, underscoring the broader function of the suburb as a site of intense cultural productivity.
after screenwriters of the classical period, described by Pierre Billard ( 1995 : 256) as the ‘dramaturge’ of French cinema (in contrast to Prévert, the poet). He played a major role in shaping the classic French cinema, influencing the stories that were told and their recurring preoccupations. These include themes that are indelibly associated with 1930s French cinema, such as social class
signify social standing. As Vanessa Smith states, Edward Christian ‘sees a natural aristocracy as uniting Christian with the Tahitian noble savage’ ( 2010 : 260). This naturalised connection becomes specular and indelible through the cultural practice of tattooing. An implicit acceptance of class divisions partially structured the form of primitivism that led many members of the Bounty to be tattooed, as well as the different designs they received. Two types of primitivist identification based on social class can be discerned in the tattooing
reporter in Pistoleiro bossa nova (Bossa Nova Gunman, 1960), set in the one-horse town of Desespero, who represents the newspaper A Voz do Desespero (literally ‘The Voice of Despair’). The chanchadas thus got their own back on the relentless savaging that they received from film critics in the press. The dialogues of these comedy films repeatedly used language as a marker of social class, and the penchant of social climbers
You’re nicked is a genre study of police series produced by UK television from 1955 to the 2010s. It considers how the relationship among production practices, visual stylistics, and resultant ideology has evolved over the past sixty years, and how this has had an impact on changing cultural definitions of the police series genre.
To chart the development of the genre each chapter focuses on a particular decade to examine how key series represent the changes that gendered identities and social-class demographics were experiencing economically, socially, and politically in light of the disassembly of the postwar settlement. Depictions of the police station, domestic scenes of criminals, and the private lives of police officials are examined to unearth the complex ideology underpinning each series and to determine how the police series genre can be used to document socio-economic changes to British society.
subsequent analyses, in terms of the particular characteristics of scripting, casting and shooting displayed by films made during and portraying Britain’s war. The documentary and propagandist emphases result in distinctive national modifiers to the accepted conventions of the war film. In British wartime filmmaking, the recognition of differences across social classes, the incorporation of regional diversity in national representation, and the informative worth of factual images encapsulate the judicious assimilation of documentary materials and meanings within feature
Clothing plays a pivotal role in the social, contextual and sexual construction of identity. So does nakedness. Both provide direct evidence of status, gender and cultural agency, stressing norms of appropriate appearances at particular points in time. However, both can also be used to subvert traditional meanings, to overturn ideas of regional identity, social class and sexuality. This chapter will investigate how Statham’s (often) near-nakedness and his sartorial (non) elegance become representative of identity, and as cultural signifiers across his filmic work.
desperate sprints leading only to deadends climax in the famous shots of his fingers slipping back through the grille once Martins’s fatal bullet finds its target. But content as well as form makes these films undeniably Reed’s. Although relying on a wide variety of protagonists, milieux and social classes, their theme is invariably rootlessness or human isolation: a woman suspected of murder in The Girl in the News , an
hero’s act of tenderness. 10. The heroine reinterprets the hero’s ambiguous behaviour as the result of a previous hurt. 11. The hero proposes/openly declares his love for the heroine with a supreme act of tenderness. 12. The heroine responds sexually and emotionally. 13. The heroine’s identity is restored. Johnson_PaulAbbott.indd 32 05/08/2013 12:28 Reckless 33 While of course the heroine and aristocratic male of which Radway speaks are reversed in terms of social class in Reckless (an issue to be discussed presently), the structure or ‘logic’ of romantic love
This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.
Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.
The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.
Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.