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Comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema
Author: Nigel Mather

This book explores the interactions of comedy and drama within a group of significant and influential films released during the decade of the 1990s. It examines a group of British films from this period which engage with economic and social issues in unusual and compelling ways. Brassed Off and The Full Monty are two films invoking very different cultural traditions as possible activities for unemployed males and troubled communities in modern British society. The book then discusses a number of contemporary British films focusing upon the experiences of British-Asian and African-Caribbean characters and their efforts to feel 'at home' in Western and British society. It features an extensive analysis of East is East, a comedy-drama about the cultural and ideological tensions surfacing between members of a British-Asian family living in Salford, circa 1971. Next, the book includes case studies of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. It investigates the ways in which humour is deployed for dramatic and emotional effect in the context of scenarios dealing with such seemingly non-comic subjects as mass unemployment, failed or uneasy relationships, bitter family disputes, or instances of racial tension and conflict in British society. The book demonstrates that the interaction of comic and dramatic modes of narration within the films discussed proved to be a dynamic creative mechanism in 1990s British cinema, facilitating and enabling the construction of innovative and genuinely exploratory narratives about characters who are striving to realise particular aspirations and hopes within a complex culture.

Reflections on the narrative mode of Fools of Fortune
Michael O’Neill

7 ‘Moments and subtleties and shadows of grey’: reflections on the narrative mode of Fools of Fortune Michael O’Neill Fools of Fortune (1983) is remarkable for its mode of narration, one that accommodates itself to the complexities of historical perspective explored in the novel. Episodic, often elliptical, focusing on detail which sometimes flares into symbolic significance or can remain hauntingly inexplicable, level-toned yet intermittently referring to dreams, the novel unsettles any fixed reading. Quietly, surely, it not only probes the wounds of

in William Trevor
Deadwood
Elisabeth Bronfen

Beginning with a macabre performance of a scene from King Lear in Deadwood, this chapter focusses on the Shakespearean dramaturgy of this TV drama. The overarching claim is that David Milch rethinks the Western genre by tapping into Shakespeare’s trope of the world as stage. Al Swearengen’s monologues with the head of a dead Sioux chief as well as the way he conceives of his balcony as his private stage, are read in conjunction with the theatricalization of power in Hamlet. The dramatic tension between legitimate and rogue power at issue in Al’s claim to sovereignty also brings the genre of comedy into play. Characters and the role they play in the dramatic action in Measure for Measure and As You Like It are crossmapped with the set of characters that perform their parts on the thoroughfare of this camp town. The topsy-turvy world of comedy is further revisited in the enmeshment of parallel storylines in Deadwood. Oscillating between the various players and those who orchestrate the drama, this serial mode of narration draws into focus that there is no one unequivocal centre, putting into question the omnipotence of Al’s visual regime. At the same time, Shakespeare is shown once again to write the prototypical American myth, the Western frontier.

in Serial Shakespeare
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‘Tears of laughter': comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema
Nigel Mather

investigate the ways in which humour is deployed for dramatic and emotional effect in the context of scenarios dealing with such seemingly non-comic subjects as mass unemployment, failed or uneasy relationships, bitter family disputes, or instances of racial tension and conflict in British society. I will seek to demonstrate that the interaction of comic and dramatic modes of narration within the films discussed proved to be a

in Tears of laughter
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Deborah Shaw

forward through the creation of a series of fifteen sub-categories, which I outline and explain (Shaw, 2013). These sub-categories are as follows: transnational modes of production, distribution, and exhibition; transnational modes of narration; cinema of globalisation; films with multiple locations; exilic and diasporic filmmaking; film and cultural exchange; transnational influences; transnational critical approaches; transnational viewing practices; transregional or transcommunity films; transnational stars; transnational directors; the ethics of transnationalism

in The three amigos
Open Access (free)
Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi, and Alison Lewis

parameters of the case study, and to repurpose it for their own ends. As demonstrated in the foregoing chapters, notions of the modern sexed subject have thus become inseparable from the emergence and development of the case study genre itself: in the newer fields of psycho­analysis and sexology, in literature, in the law and in areas of legal and social reform, practitioners and theorists gravitated towards astoundingly similar modes of narration, each modifying the case study genre for their own disciplinary purposes. Our history of the case study has focused on key

in A history of the case study
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The limits of radicalism
Deborah Shaw

criteria in the majority of the categories that I have identified in the introduction as most pertinent to attempts to theorise transnational cinema. The film relies on transnational modes of production, distribution, and exhibition; it fits within my conceptualisation of the cinema of globalisation, and shares the concerns of exilic and diasporic filmmaking of the position of migrants. It also employs transnational modes of narration. In addition, Children of Men features globally famous stars (the American Julianne Moore and the British Clive Owen), and it is made by a

in The three amigos
Deborah Shaw

in the introduction to analyse the contrasts with Cuarón’s first feature film. There is clearly evidence of transnational cultural influences seen in the reference to Mozart, and to Lubitsch’s and Edwards’s screwball comedies, while Haddu (2005: 82) cites the influence of Almodóvar’s Spanish take on these comedies. Nevertheless, the film does not engage with transnational modes of narration in the way that I have described in the chapters on Cronos and Amores perros. In order to assess the reasons for this it is useful to examine points made by Núria Triana

in The three amigos
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Medieval voice – a tribute to David Lawton
John M. Ganim

work of, for example, Wayne Booth in his The Rhetoric of Fiction , with its taxonomy of modes of narration. 5 Booth’s ideas had appeared roughly at the same time as the field-forming essay by E. Talbot Donaldson ‘Chaucer the pilgrim’. 6 Following Booth, the narrator becomes as much the subject of critical analysis as what was being narrated, and, as a result, criticism could identify a coherence and unity beneath such

in Medieval literary voices
Emilio Audissino

: 250), the film was Tati's most ambitious work, shot on hi-res 70mm film stock to maximise the image resolution of the multiple and perceptually challenging background gags. Watched on a small screen – and with the wrong expectations for a traditional, paraded ‘comic impetus’ – it is liable to result in a confusing and even boring viewing experience. To fully savour Tati's dense and multi-layered style, a large enough screen is required – alongside an awareness that Tati's style and mode of narration are different from the classical mode of narration and mainstream

in Substance / style