This paper considers the impact of extra-filmic elements on the cultural
decision-making behaviours of a small rural Australian cinema audience, focusing on
the rural New South Wales village of Cobargo in the late 1920s. In considering how
why such fragile rural picture show operations either failed or became successful, it
is critical to take account of rural geographies, particularly in terms of early road
development, and the nature and state of road bridges in flood-prone areas. The paper
argues that these elements are part of a broad ecosystemic framework for cultural
decision-making which can assist in our interpretation of early newspaper advertising
and promotion for picture show programs.
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.
maintains hegemony in cinemadistribution and exhibition in Britain.
Moreover, though still a minority form in the totality of the cinema
infrastructure, the multiplex exerts a disproportionate power in terms of
box-office revenues and cinema admissions. The distribution and exhibition
of films, and the selection offered by multiplexes reflect a pattern of
domination by US multinational film companies that is actually restricting
Good Friday was initially made for television in 1979 but was
picked up for cinemadistribution by Handmade Films in 1980.
44 During the decade, John Mackenzie had directed One Brief Summer (1970),
Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971), and Made (1972), the latter starring
singer/songwriter Roy Harper and Carol White.
45 See Newland, The Cultural Construction of London’s East End, pp. 193–9.
46 Helen Mirren also remained busy in the 1970s, appearing in Savage
Messiah (Ken Russell, 1972), O Lucky Man! (Lindsay Anderson, 1973), and
Hussy (Matthew Chapman, 1980).
talents to work on projects together.
Go Now was part of a short-lived approach to commissioning single
drama through creating broad thematic frameworks for a short season.
In this case the season consisted of a series of three plays by different
writers which was shown under the collective title of Love Bites on BBC2.
There was also some flirting with the idea of a theatrical release for Go
Now, with the film being shown at a number of international film festivals during the course of 1995, including Edinburgh. However, the film
never secured proper cinemadistribution
called ‘the moment of cinema’.
Distribution and industrial organisation
We know that in the few years immediately before
and after the Lumière brothers’ invention in 1895,
critics, journalists and the pioneer cinematographers disagreed
considerably among themselves as to the social function that
working throughout the decade –
with Nicolas Roeg and Ken Russell springing to mind here. But
I am mindful of the fact that their legacies continue to be well
While my focus is generally on films made for cinemadistribution, I am aware that the 1970s was a rich period of film-making
for television. As I am interested in representations of Britain on
film during the 1970s, it is with some regret that, while I do refer to
a range of films made for television, I have not been able to discuss
as many films in detail as I would have liked, such as
possible theatrical feature film, which was first mooted in 1996.58 The plan was to film
Cornwell’s novel Sharpe’s Tiger, a prequel set in India in 1803. However,
the film did not materialise. According to Malcolm Craddock: ‘There
was no interest in it in North America, and the US domestic market is
Heritage heroes 193
the engine which powers all cinemadistribution deals and governs all the
rest of the world.’59 In the event a further two stories would be made –
‘Sharpe’s Challenge’ and ‘Sharpe’s Peril’ – in 2006 and 2008. These were
shot on location in India and had
Some of the funding for Beckett on Film came from the Irish Film Board, a public body subsidising productions, especially those that are perceived to have an overseas appeal, and also from the Irish broadcaster RTE. Beckett on Film was screened on PBS in the USA and also on German and Dutch television, without subtitles, but despite this overseas distribution which assisted with the production’s costs, there was no take-up of cinemadistribution rights for the project as the producers had initially hoped. RTE has public service aims that are similar to the BBC
in docudrama. The folding of
real-world events and individuals into convenient dramatic units is
done principally to achieve the economy needed for a good narrative dynamic. It is important that the story progresses at a rate suitable to a film’s intended market slot (which might be a television or
a cinemadistribution network). This might mean that a series of
complex events are summarised, or several individuals at the fringes
of the real story are conflated. A basically fictional composite might
even be given a real individual’s name. Without these devices a