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Michael Winterbottom is the most prolific and the most audacious of British filmmakers in the last twenty years. His television career began in the cutting-rooms at Thames Television, and his first directing experience was on the Thames TV documentaries, Ingmar Bergman: The Magic Lantern and Ingmar Bergman: The Director, made in 1988. Winterbottom has featured in top ten lists in Britain and his name has become a moniker of distinction in the promotion of his own films. This book articulates the ideas which have led to the name 'Michael Winterbottom' being associated with a particular body of work and, second, by turning to those factors which tend to dissipate the idea of Winterbottom as the single source of a world view and style, and to relocate his films within a constellation of directors, films and (principally European) national cinemas. It is important to acknowledge that all of his films employ realism across a variety of styles, genres and historical representations. The book focuses on Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, In This World and The Road to Guantánamo, with a brief reference to 24 Hour Party People as five very different films that have particular relationships with the historical world that they represent. It considers what Winterbottom has done with such popular genres as the road movie, the musical and the sciencefiction thriller, how far he has adapted their conventions to contemporary film practice and ideology, and whether these films, in reworking Hollywood genres, exhibit any peculiarly British inflections.

Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

realistic, avoiding the gratifications of melodrama, at least as the mode is practised in Hollywood cinema. Again, With or Without You raises expectations of romantic comedy but deflects – or dissipates – these with a surprising acridity of tone; and the noir -influenced I Want You hovers between thriller and erotic drama. And how does one designate 9 Songs ? Realist sex and concert scenes, to the point where there is almost

in Michael Winterbottom
Abstract only
Reality and the page
Gerd Bayer

who was really expecting an apothecary. Explicit, even pornographic accounts of sexual acts and sexual diseases were apparently not as problematic when addressed to an educated audience.79 In the (of course) anonymous The Practical Part of Love (1660) readers encountered a good amount of realist sex that is nevertheless not openly described. The narrator betrays his social elitism when he describes nymphomania, ‘Furor uterimus, which for modesty sake I shall express in Latine.’80 The learned and scientific, it appears, may exist beyond any approach, implying first

in Novel horizons