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Historical Dictionary of British Cinema
     

Historical Dictionary of British Cinema

by Steve Chibnall, Alan Burton
 

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British cinema has been around from the very birth of motion pictures, from black-and-white to color, from talkies to sound, and now 3D, it has been making a major contribution to world cinema. Many of its actors and directors have stayed at home but others ventured abroad, like Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock. Today it is still going strong, the only real

Overview

British cinema has been around from the very birth of motion pictures, from black-and-white to color, from talkies to sound, and now 3D, it has been making a major contribution to world cinema. Many of its actors and directors have stayed at home but others ventured abroad, like Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock. Today it is still going strong, the only real competition to Hollywood, turning out films which appeal not only to Brits, just think of Bridget Jones, while busily adding to franchises like James Bond and Harry Potter.

So this Historical Dictionary of British Cinema has a lot of ground to cover. This it does with over 300 dictionary entries informing us about significant actors, producers and directors, outstanding films and serials, organizations and studios, different films genres from comedy to horror, and memorable films, among other things. Two appendixes provide lists of award-winners. Meanwhile, the chronology covers over a century of history. These parts provide the details, countless details, while the introduction offers the big story. And the extensive bibliography points toward other sources of information.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Part of the 'Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts' series, this work by Burton (Klagenfurt Univ., Austria) and Chibnall (De Montfort Univ., UK) features brief essays, ranging from half a page to upwards of five pages, covering the lively and innovative record of British film art, production, and industry. The volume opens with a useful chronology of British cinema, beginning in 1888 and running through January 2012. The bulk of the book's contents comprise the extensively cross-referenced essays that cover directors, writers, producers, actors, films, series, characters, genres, studios, and other organizations involved in British film. The 300-plus entries are prefaced by a list of acronyms and abbreviations. Appendixes include chronological lists of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Annual Awards, beginning in 1948; and the Evening Standard British Film Awards, starting in 1974. The book closes with a lengthy bibliography subdivided into thematic areas. The short essays are easy to read, but are nevertheless filled with historical facts and academic insight. Burton and Chibnall are established authorities on British film, with extensive records of academic publishing on film history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers.
Reference Reviews
[T]his is an engaging overview of British film which demonstrates how much this industry has contributed to worldwide cinema, and how it reflects British society and the British psyche. It would be of use not only in humanities and film collections but also a good read for all film fans.
American Reference Books Annual
Until now, students and scholars interested in the broad scope of British cinemas had few collected sources to begin their research. . . .Together Alan Burton and Steve Chibnall have created a work of broad historical synthesis. Coupled with a chronology, a detailed and thorough introduction contextualizes Britain’s film industry within the historical confines of both national and global issues. Entries are arranged alphabetically and mostly consist of four categories: film studio, actor, film, and genre. However, broader entries such as 'women' and 'gay and lesbian issues' fill out the sociocultural development of identity within British cinema. Although varying in length, each entry averages three paragraphs. Moreover, to facilitate searching, phrases with individual entries are highlighted in bold and cross-referenced. Two appendixes are included in the dictionary: British Academy of Film and Television Arts Annual Awards, and the Evening Standard British Film Awards. . . .Ranging from silent cinema to individual journals, this robust bibliography reflects the deep subject knowledge both editors bring to the compilation. Overall, this dictionary is constructed for both the novice and expert. Students will inevitably thumb to the entry on Harry Potter, while scholars will devour the bibliography on Derek Jarman.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810867949
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/16/2013
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts Series
Pages:
584
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

Alan Burton initially taught at De Montfort University before moving to Klagenfurt University in Austria. He has also written extensively, including books on directors, and is presently on the editorial board of Journal of British Cinema and Television.

Steve Chibnall is an exceptionally experienced film historian who is director of De Montfort University’s Cinema and Television History Research Centre and curator of several archives. He has been teaching British cinema for decades already and produced numerous articles and longer works during this time.

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