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The comic art of housework
Julia Hallam

In the autumn of 2000 the original cast of Carla Lane’s Butterflies (BBC 1978–83), Wendy Craig (Ria Parkinson), Geoffrey Palmer (Ben Parkinson), Nicholas Lyndhust (Adam Parkinson) and Andrew Hall (Russell Parkinson), reassembled to celebrate Ria’s sixtieth birthday as part of the BBC’s annual charity appeal Comic Relief . Butterflies was a domestic situation comedy centred on the boredom and frustration of a ‘typical’ 1970s suburban housewife (white, middle-class and southern English) who teeters on the brink of having an affair but, overcome by guilt

in Popular television drama
Critical perspectives

This book aims to provide resources for critical thinking on key aspects of television drama in Britain since 1960, including institutional, textual, cultural and audience-centred modes of study. It explores the continuing popularity of the situation comedy, and makes a convincing case for considering sitcom as a key popular genre. By offering a sense of how 'real' audiences respond to, and engage with, actual programmes in specific social situations, dominant conceptions of the social meanings of Carla Lane's Butterflies and Jimmy Perry and David Croft's Dad's Army are challenged and renegotiated. The book takes up Queer As Folk to focus on its status as an authored intervention in debates about the representation of homosexuality. It demonstrates that The Prisoner series inhabits contradictions by unpacking the complex question of the series's authorship, and the inadequacy of attributing its meanings to its creator, star performer or production team, for example. The book argues that The Demon Headmaster makes a significant contribution to the project of exploring and defining questions of ethics and justice in social organisation, in part, by claiming children's culture as a space of experimentation, resistance and subversion. It looks at the ways in which television drama embodies assumptions about its audience, and pursues this in a sophisticated way in relation to late twentieth-century television adaptations of 'the female Gothic'. The struggle between the BBC power-base in London and its satellite Departments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also dealt with.

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Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

crossed with amour fou in Butterfly Kiss , for instance). It may also be that intertextual references to European filmmakers such as Wim Wenders, Jean-Luc Godard and others, as well as to some US directors, will contribute to the understanding of genre in Winterbottom’s films. For, more than most British directors, Winterbottom seems as much a European filmmaker as a British – let alone English – one

in Michael Winterbottom
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Doing what you want to do
Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

budgets for it to not be too high a risk. That’s especially true of In This World and The Road to Guantánamo , which were made from such low budgets that people made money from them. 1 As the preceding chapters have indicated, the reviews, since the days of Butterfly Kiss and Jude , have tended to praise Winterbottom and the Revolution

in Michael Winterbottom
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Winterbottom and the English novel
Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

comporting themselves before listed buildings. However they start out, they end up as Winterbottom films. Those who admired his first cinema feature, Butterfly Kiss or the subsequent telemovie Go Now , a wracking study in degenerative illness, would not have been likely to expect him next to turn his interests and talents to adapting Thomas Hardy’s late Victorian tragic novel, Jude the Obscure . Since then, of course, one has

in Michael Winterbottom
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David Archibald

resisting the process of which García Márquez warns. In July 2000 I wrote an article for the Guardian on the history of the Spanish Civil War in cinema (Archibald, 2000 ) to coincide with the UK release of Butterfly’s Tongue. The newspaper’s editors headlined the article ‘The war that won’t die’, alluding to the increased number of films dealing with the period. Over a decade on, this process continues apace, congruent with increased levels of open and public debate as Spain struggles to come to terms with the memory of its bloody past. This book has outlined how the

in The war that won't die
Les Revenants as metaphysical drama
Alberto N. García

. In stark contrast with the previous scene, now it is almost night, which makes the sublime landscape gloomier. A constant and prolonged musical note, from a Hammond organ, adds intensity to the mise-en-scène. The camera zooms in towards and then into a house in the foothills of the mountain. The melody intensifies, still with the same note, generating suspense due to its duration. The camera moves in closer, and subsequent editing dissolves into a close-up of a butterfly pinned in a shadow box. The musical crescendo continues, adding a rhythmic drumming that

in Substance / style
Elizabeth Ezra

Exposition universelle , the American dancer Loïe Fuller swirled, twirled and swooped her way into the public imagination, evoking the image of a butterfly and the art nouveau style so characteristic of the age. 1 At several theatres and fairgrounds, performers such as Erolyna, Ethéréa (‘un ange ou presque’ – ‘an angel, or almost’), Magneta and Miss Beauty drew audiences who came to marvel at the sight of

in Georges Méliès
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Winterbottom and a body of work
Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

Winterbottom brought with him from the first Cracker episode editor Trevor Waite who was to edit the next nine Revolution productions including Family , Go Now , Butterfly Kiss , Wonderland (1999), The Claim and 24 Hour Party People . Waite was an experienced editor having worked on Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–92), Inspector Morse (1993) and Cracker (1993). On many of these films Waite was assisted by Peter Christelis

in Michael Winterbottom
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Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

metropolitan life. This view is at once fascinated and appalled. This use of a threatening mise-en-scène, at its most alarming in A Mighty Heart , is characteristic of almost all of Winterbottom’s work. As far back as his first feature, Butterfly Kiss , with its affectless stretches of motorways and the characterless strips of life along their edges, through the handsome quadrangles of learning that so firmly

in Michael Winterbottom