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Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema

Overview

In a fresh and invigorating look at British cinema John Orr examines the neglected relationship between romanticism and modernism from 1929 to the present-day. Encompassing a broad selection of films, film-makers and debates, this book brings a new perspective to how scholars might understand and interrogate the major traditions that have shaped British cinema history.Orr identifies two prominent genres in the British template that often go unrecognised, the fugitive film and the trauma film, whose narratives ...

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Overview

In a fresh and invigorating look at British cinema John Orr examines the neglected relationship between romanticism and modernism from 1929 to the present-day. Encompassing a broad selection of films, film-makers and debates, this book brings a new perspective to how scholars might understand and interrogate the major traditions that have shaped British cinema history.Orr identifies two prominent genres in the British template that often go unrecognised, the fugitive film and the trauma film, whose narratives have bridged the gap between romantic and modern forms. Here Hitchcock, Lean, Powell, Reed and Robert Hamer are identified as key romantics, Roeg, Losey, Antonioni, Kubrick and Skolimowski as later modernists. The book goes on to assess the narrowing divide through the films of Terence Davies and Bill Douglas and concludes by analysing its persistence in the new century, in the prize-winning features Control and Hunger.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Concise and superbly organized, with a brace of excellent stills to complement the text.... Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748649372
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 3/20/2012
  • Series: Edinburgh Studies in Film Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Orr is Formerly Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

List of figures ix

Introduction: romantics versus modernists? 1

1 1929: romantics and modernists on the cusp of sound 5

The documentary legacy: Drifters 7

The forging of the fugitive film: A Cottage on Dartmoor 11

Transgressing triangles: Piccadilly and The Manxman 14

Blackmail'and transition 18

Constructive and deconstructive: Number Seventeen 23

2 The running man: Hitchcock's fugitives and The Bourne Ultimatum 25

Jason's Waterloo: Hitchcock, Greengrass and deepest fears 25

The fugitive kind: pre-war, wartime, post-war 28

British Hitchcock: from romance thriller to post-romantic fable 32

The poetics of treachery: Dickinson and Cavalcanti 34

The triumph of the short film: Bon Voyage and Aventure malgacbe 37

Post-romantic fugitives: Stage Fright and Frenzy 40

Epilogue: the Frenzy murders 42

3 Running man 2: Carol Reed and his contemporaries 44

Fable versus romance: The Third Man and They Made Me a Fugitive 54

Reed and subterfuge: The Man Between and Our Man in Havana 57

Reed's successors 62

4 David Lean: the troubled romantic and the end of empire 64

Forgotten Lean: the Ann Todd trilogy 64

Madeleine: the perverse unveiled 70

The Sound Barrier, the faltering sublime and the end of empire 77

Enthusiast or fanatic? The paradox of Lean's 'Lawrence' 79

5 'The trauma film from romantic to modern: A Matter of Life and Death to Don't Look Now 86

Prelude: Thorold Dickinson and Anton Walbrook 88

Juxtaposition: A Matter of Life and Death and Dead of Night 89

Powellian trauma: Black Narcissus, The Small Back Room, Peeping Tom 94

Female 'madness' and modernism: The Innocents and Repulsion 101

The trauma double bill: Don't Look Now and The Wicker Man 108

The neo-romantic turn and death in Venice: Don't Look Now 110

Romantic symbol and modernist edit 112

6 Joseph Losey and Michelangelo Antonioni: the expatriate eye and the parallax view 115

Losey and Pinter: the modernist moment in The Servant and Accident 119

Coda: Providence as Resnais's riposte to Losey 128

Antonioni's parallax view: Blow- Up and The Passenger 129

What's in a title? The Passenger or Profession: Reporter 135

Coda: the native eye in Radio On 139

7 Expatriate eye 2: Stanley Kubrick and Jerzy Skolimowski 141

Freedom and fate: Barry Lyndon 148

Skolimowski and running water: or, Deep End and Cul-de-Sac 152

Rise and fall: The Shout, Moonlighting, Success is the Best Revenge 156

Bringing it all back home: Moonlighting and Success is the Best Revenge 159

8 Terence Davies and Bill Douglas: the poetics of memory 164

Mimetic modernism and family mysteries: the Douglas trilogy 167

Davies: the romantic imagist and the poetry of memory 171

Floating through space and time: The Long Day Closes 173

The past as present: The House of Mirth and The Wings of the Dove 177

9 Conclusion: into the new century 180

Select bibliography 185

Index 189

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