This book examines how the working-class people are portrayed in the British cinema. One objective of this work is to take a modest step in redressing the balance by considering the popularity of the films discussed. A second objective is to demonstrate how film might be used by disciplines whose practitioners often display scant interest in its possibilities. The third objective is to consider what films can contribute to the debate on the consequences of war. A final objective is to test received opinion. The book discusses a five-dimensional model for examining images of the working class in films. These are: place in the authority structure; cohesion/fragmentation within the working-class community; internalised values; the built environment; and personal signifiers of class, notably speech, hairstyles and clothing. It deals with the war films that were made in the context working class community, and discusses The Way to the Stars, The Hasty Heart, and Wooden Horse. With the approach of war in the late 1930s, changes in censorship allowed industrial disputes to be portrayed on British screens for the first time. The working class community was portrayed in It Always Rains on Sunday to better effect as compared to Passport to Pímlíco. Three groups of criminals make regular appearances in postwar British films: spivs, who are black market traders; those have served in the forces; and career criminals. The book also deals with several British films in the postwar years focusing on dance hall, namely, Floodtide, Waterloo Road, and Dance Hall.
In the previous chapter, we discovered the broad conceptual range
of Epstein’s master word, photogénie. What it seeks to link are: the
embodiment of the viewer and the actors; the cinema apparatus
as positive and ethical mediation (compared to Walter Benjamin’s
aura-damaging mediation); and a paradoxical aesthetics at once
avant-garde and utterly modernist, and rearguard in insisting that
sensorial experiencing in the cinema remains haunted by the ghost
of Symbolism. This complexity explains how easy it has been for
Class is one of the foremost factors in
the formation of cultural identities of contemporary Koreans living as a
divided nation. Class conflict was a major contributor to the breakout of
the Korean War, 1 and the ongoing
confrontation between North and South is, arguably, the manifestation of
their fundamentally irreconcilable stances on class issues. Class defines
Koreans’ selfhood in both personal
Censorship, Representation, Adaptation and the Persisting Myth of Pre-Code
This article deals with the issues of censorship, adaptation and representation at
stake in the 1931 and 1940 versions of Waterloo Bridge, both of which were based on a
1929 stage play. In doing so it examines the representation of female prostitution
and the extent to which the trope of the fallen woman is evoked. Contesting the
notion of Pre-Code films, it also examines the impact of the 1930 Production Code,
the modifications to its implementation in 1934, the ways in which censorable words
and actions were handled in the 1931 and 1940 versions, and the extent to which class
became a major factor.
The Boom of 1960s–70s Erotic
Cinema and the Policing of Young Female Subjects in Japanese
The purpose of this article is to analyse the ambivalent politics of looking and
discourses of gender, class and sexuality in a variety of 1960s–70s
Japanese studio-made exploitation films, known as sukeban
films. It first contextualises their production within a transnational and
domestic shift emphasising sex and violence in film and popular culture. The
article then highlights instances where the visual, narrative and discursive
articulation of non-conforming femininities flips the gendered power balance, as
in the sketches that satirise men’s sexual fetishes for girls. In
conclusion, it suggests to understand the filmic construction of young
women’s agency, and their bodily and sexual performance, in terms of a
recurring modus operandi of Japanese media that ambivalently panders to and
co-constitutes youth phenomena.
This collection examines the representation of medicine and medical practices in period drama on television. It explores the fascination that the genre has with the history of illness and the medical profession, which is apparent in the huge number of shows which have medicine as either their narrative focus or as important subplots. Chapter topics are interdisciplinary in nature and range from the professionalisation of medicine in Poldark to the representation of mental illness in Peaky Blinders. This volume reflects on the ways popular culture has constructed and considered the frailty of the human body, the progress – or otherwise – of science, the intersection of medicine, race, class, and gender, and the provision of public healthcare. These dramas do not only reveal much about how we view our corporeal past, however. All these issues are still pertinent today, and frequently they also function as a commentary on, and often a critique of, the issues surrounding medicine in the present day – in particular debates around public health provision, the politics of reproduction, genetic testing and research, and global pandemics.
The importance of environment in Barry Hines's writing means that insight into his background and the journey to his writing career introduces people to the recurrent preoccupations of his work. Much of the literary reception of Hines's work places him within a canon of working-class writing. This book is the first academic account of Barry Hines's work. It traces the roots of Barry Hines's literary mode of poetic realism in those works of the 1960s that preceded A Kestrel for a Knave. The literary promise Hines showed in The Blinder led to the filming of his novel A Kestrel for a Knave as Kes. The book focuses on a period of extremely fruitful aesthetic production for Hines. It also traces the aesthetic and political effects of the early years of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government on Hines's writing. The archival history of Threads' drafts and production reveals the nature of its symbolic and factual relation to British politics in this era and how its mingling of documentary and dramatic tropes took shape. Looks and Smiles marked the end of Barry Hines's career-defining collaboration with Ken Loach. The exceptionally divisive events of the miners' strike of 1984-1985 had an acute effect on Hines's writing, just as they did on the terrain and communities of the South Yorkshire that he invariably depicts. The book explores the interconnected issues of class, space and place in Hines's writing, and the practice and purpose of working-class film, television and literature.
Brian McFarlane’s The never-ending Brief Encounter is above all a book intended
for those who have seen and never forgotten the famous 1945 film in which two
decent, middle-class people meet by chance, unexpectedly fall in love, but in
the end acknowledge the claims of others. The book grew out of an article, the
writing of which revealed that there was so much more to the after-life of the
film than the author had realised. This book examines David Lean’s film in
sufficient detail to bring its key situations vividly to life, and to give an
understanding of how it reworks Nöel Coward’s somewhat static one-act play to
profound effect. It also examines the ways in which the ‘comic relief’ is made
to work towards the poignant ending. However, the main purpose of the book is to
consider the remarkable after-life the film has given rise to. The most specific
examples of this phenomenon are, of course, the appalling film remake with its
miscast stars, and the later stage versions – both bearing the original title
and attracting well-known players and positive audience and critical response –
and an opera! As well, there are films and TV series which have ‘quoted’ the
film (usually via black-and-white inserts) as commentary on the action of the
film or series. There are many other films that, without direct quotation, seem
clearly to be echoing their famous predecessor; for example, in the haunting
visual quality of a deserted railway platform.
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.
This book offers an opportunity to reconsider the films of the British New Wave in the light of forty years of heated debate. By eschewing the usual tendency to view films such as A Kind of Loving and The Entertainer collectively and include them in broader debates about class, gender and ideology, it presents a new look at this famous cycle of British films. Refuting the long-standing view that films such as Billy Liar and Look Back in Anger are flawed and therefore indicative of an under-achieving national cinema, the book also challenges the widely held belief in the continued importance of the relationship between the British New Wave and questions of realism. Drawing upon existing sources and returning to unchallenged assumptions about British cinema, this book allows the reader to return to the films and consider them anew. In order to achieve this, the book also offers a practical demonstration of the activity of film interpretation. This is essential, because the usual tendency is to consider such a process unnecessary when it comes to writing about British films. The book demonstrates that close readings of films need not be reserved for films from other cinemas.