Big Show: British Cinema Culture in the Great War (1914-1918)

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Overview

The Big Show looks at the role played by cinema in British cultural life during World War One.

In writing the definitive account of film exhibition and reception in Britain in the years 1914 to 1918, Michael Hammond shows how the British film industry and British audiences responded to the traumatic effects of the Great War.

The author contends that the War’s significant effect was to expedite the cultural acceptance of cinema into the fabric of British social life. As a result, by 1918, cinema had emerged as the predominant leisure form in British social life. Through a consideration of the films, the audience, the industry and the various regulating and censoring bodies, the book explores the impact of the war on the newly established cinema culture. It also studies the contribution of the new medium to the public’s perception of the war

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Hammond is a lecturer in Film in the Department of English at the University of Southampton. He has written extensively in the area of reception of early cinema in Britain, including a contribution to Young and Innocent? The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930, edited by Andrew Higson (UEP, 2002).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 
Part I Local Tracks: Exhibition Culture 
Chapter 1: The Local Entertainment Scene 
Chapter 2: The Crisis of Total War and New Audiences 

Part II The Front at Home: Cinema and the Homefront Imagination
 
Chapter 5: Anonymity and Recognition: The Roll of Honour Films 1914-1917 
Chapter 6: Education or Entertainment?: Public and Private Interpretations of Battle of the Somme (1916) 

Part III. Artful and Instructive: Respectability and the 'Superfilms' 
Chapter 7: "A Soul Stirring Appeal to Every Briton": The Reception of The Birth of a Nation (1915-16) 
Chapter 8: "A Spectacle That Thrills and Appalls": Thomas Ince's Civilization 
Part IV: Chaplin and the Transformative Properties of Comedy 
Chapter 9: Chaplin: "A Transatlantic Vernacular" 
Chapter 10: "Imagine Charlie At the Front" Shoulder Arms (1918) 

Conclusion 
Bibliography 
Filmography

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