All 33 entries tagged British Cinema

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January 02, 2008

Elizabeth the Golden Age, 2007 . Dir Shekhar Kapur

Elizabeth the Golden Age, 2007 . Dir Shekhar Kapur

Elizabeth the Golden Age 1



Introduction

I was very impressed with Kapur's first rendering of the early part of Elizabeth's life and it will be interesting to see how this history film stands up to its predecessor. It is improtant to differentiate the genre of history film from that of costume drama as a genre. The latter are usually stories set in a specific historical period but which often have no historical grounding in the facts. By comparison the history film is about specific people and events which are accepted as facts although interpretations of these facts will of course differ.  It is also important to note the creation by critics of the notion of the 'heritage film' which suggested that countries undergoing some sort of crisis perhaps of identity often recourse to a golden past which is something of a mythical one (See also Heritage Cinema in France). There is an abundance of films about the Tudor period and Elizabeth 1st whilst there is a paucity of films about large tracts of other parts of British history. There will be a comparison of this film with the earlier versio of Elizabeth in due course. 

Shekhar Kapur's previous version was very succesful in financial terms by the standards of British films. Kepur was a controversial choice the last time after his film Bandit Queen was banned in India. It was a fine film and Film Four backed the original project. I'm looking forward to seeing this one in any case.

Elizabeth the Golden Age 2

Film availability: 

Not currently available as a DVD in the UK. Still in cinemas.  

Webliography

Historian Alison Weir on Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Radio One interviews with Shekhar Kapur and others.

Guardian Blog for Elizabeth the Golden Age. A nice quality viewing extract available here.

Guardian Review of Elizabeth the Golden Age

Long live the queen. Guardian feature on clothing design and the representations of queens in film

Observer  review of Elizabeth the Golden Age

Official marketing site for Elizabeth the Golden Age

Working Title: Producers of Elizabeth the Golden Age

Kinoeye History of Working Title

About.com interview with Kapur 

Wikipedia on Elizabeth the Golden Age



RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 



January 01, 2008

British Directors: Paul Andrew Williams

British Directors: Paul Andrew Williams

Go to London to Brighton (2006)

paul_andrew_williams.jpg

Director Paul Andrew Williams

Brief Overview

Paul Andrew Williams  has proved to be a highly successful new British director. His first feature film London to Brighton was very successful for a low budget film. This has helped to attract more support from the purseholders. 

Williams' next film is going to be The Cottage. It is a thriller which includes in its acting line-up Andy Serkis who was in Lord of the Rings. The UK Film Council's Premiere Fund has provided £770,000 of backing. Isle of Man Film, Screen Yorkshire and Pathe have also provided support. 

Awards 

London to Brighton won the Skillset New Director’s Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film has also won the Jury Prizes at Dinard and Raindance, and earned three nominations at the British Independent Film Awards.

London to Brighton named by The Guardian as “best British film of the year”

Filmography 

london to Brighton Kitchen

London to Brighton. Pimp Derek orders Kelly to get him a girl for a client 

London to Brighton (2006)

The cottage 1

The Cottage 2008 '...an anarchic, gory horror-comedy'

The Cottage (2008)

Webliography 

Sight and Sound London to Brighton Review

BBC  Film Network. Includes video extract.

Shooting People Blog: Interview with Paul Williams

Kingston University: Paul Williams becomes a visiting professor

Guardian Interview with Williams on bad critical reception of The Cottage

Guardian Review of The Cottage

Film Availability: 

A DVD is currently available 

London to Brighton DVD Cover

RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


Globalisation

Globalisation


Global Wealth distribution in 2000

Please note currently under construction

For further Kinoeye reference pages please go to the: Kinoeye Reference Hub

Introduction 

Globalisation is a very important concept which helps to explain the state of the contemporary World. Media and  Communications theorists have played an important role in developing the theories of globalisation going back to the work of Marshall McLuhan in the early 1960s. Globalisation itself can be broken down into several distinct spheres for the purposes of discussion. These spheres of course overlap in practice but it is useful to identify the spheres as economic, political, and cultural. If you have found this page and others associated with it as they are built, you are likely to have come from a films page. The importance of this more abstract work is to try and gain a more anchored understanding of what it is the fim makers are representing at the level of the underlying process which position particular human actors in these sorts of positions and which the film actors are portraying.

Rocco Migrant Train in Milan from the South

From Rocco and His Brothers 1960. Arrival in Milan carrying migrant labour from the Mezzogiorno

Whilst contemporary British cinema is currently perhaps  the best in the World when it comes to representing these issues it should not be forgotten that other films have represented the economic and political processes which force migration and diaspora. Notable amongst these are Visconti's Rocco and his Brothers (1960) which charted through representing the developments in a single family the massive internal migration in Italy from south to north which was the basis of the Italian postwar 'economic miracle' , and Fassbinder's Fear Eats the Soul (1974) about the infamous Gastarbeiter economic system which existed in Germany and was crucial to its postwar economic re-development. By comparison Britain and France were reliant upon their colonies and empires which as they were breaking up also provided much needed labour upon which their postwar restructuring and development was based upon. Another film which shows the brutal exploitation of ordinary people especially women is Lucas Moodysson's Lilya 4-Ever based upon the true story of a Lithuanian teenage girl who gets trapped  into the global sex-slave trade as the former Soviet Union is economically devastated by the shock therapy regime imposed by the Thatcher Reagan neo-liberal planners. 



Fear Eats The Soul 1

Image from Fassbinder's powerful film Fear Eats the Soul (1974) examining the Gastarbeiter sytem and also tackling ageism and attitudes to mixed race relationships in society.



Globalisation and Economics

In talking about globalisation and economics what is meant is the transformation of the different styles and types of economies into an integrated system in which each part becomes increasingly interdependent with the other parts.

The most important area of change has been the globalisation of financial markets. This is apparent in the flows of capital around the world with money being exchanged electronically. The money is used to finance international trade and for a range of investment purposes. Thiese could range to the investment in physical goods especially by Multinational companies (NMCs) or else by financial institutions using financial instruments such as the 'carry trade'. The carry trade is where institutions buy a currency such as the Japanese Yen which is at a very low interst rate. They then reinvest this money in a fairly safe currency like the US Dollar which pays a much higher interest. The finacial company concerned pockets the difference. (Mad or what?). 

Financial globalisation really got under way once information technology had improved. Global markets can now operate in real time and funds can be transferred instantaneously.

another key aspect of economic globalisation is the continuing increase in wealth and power of Multi-National Companies.  They are largely responsible for the massive increase in global trade since the middle of the 1980s. The largest ones have economic turnovers and earn greater amounts of money that far exceed many smaller nations. As a result say Abercrombie et al MNCs: 

...are largely beyond the control of any national government (Abercrombie et al 2000 p 153).

With the increasing intensifcation of the networked society Castells identified a tendency for the increasing power of criminal networks which have a global reach.  

Globalisation and Culture

It is argued that there is an increasing globalisation of culture especially through the:

  1. The increasing power and extended global reach of Mass Media Companies - which are often MNCs. Some argue there is a form of cultural imperialism being operated through mass media companies
  2. Mechanisms of mass tourism
  3. Increasing flows of migration as a response to economic change
  4. An ideology of consumerism which some argue is 'debasing' local cultures
  5. The marketing activites of Multi-National Companies (MNCs)

In the field of culture these influences and processes have lead to the theorisation of hybridity which refers to the ways in which these processes are articulated in tensions and changes concerning local customs and practices in relation to emerging standards and ideas often present in the cosmopolitan mega-cities or megalopolis.

    Globalisation and Politics 

    In the realm of politics but with strong overlaps to economics there has been a rise in the importance of powerful international agencie such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). These are in an increasingly powerful position to regulate the World economy and thus limit the powers of national states.

    Political sociologists have identified a number of issues which appear to be eroding the power of national states. These include environmental issues, citizenship rights and definitions, migration and inter-ethnic / inter-racial conflict. 

    Bibliography

    Abercrombie, Hill and Turner. 2000 (4th edition): The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. Harmondsworth: Penguin

    Webliography 

    Globalisation A BBC Hub Page


    December 31, 2007

    Representing Changing Britain: Ethnicity & Hybridity

    Representing Changing Britain: Ethnicity and Hybridity

    Return to Contemporary British Cinema Hub


    Preface:

    If you have arrived here from the Chronology of European Cinema Page it is because the film you are interested in can be understood as part of a theme you will find the film you were after hyperlinked below. Hopefully you will be interested in following up the thematic approach as well.

    Some of this page is still under development however there are a range of useful links available.

    (See also Kinoeye Reference on Globalisation

    Introduction


    This is the second of the themes being covered in Contemporary British Cinema. One of the most important things that a form of mass media should be doing is ensuring that it represents aspects of social change in society for no society stays fast-frozen in time for long. Britain has had a proud history of being a safe haven for many persecuted individuals and groups and they have often played an important role in the developments of British history itself not only making Britian what it is today but shaping it for things to come. In many ways British cinema as a whole institution doesn't do a very good job in representing social change and different aspects of the multiple layers of society which form Britain today.  

    It must be emphasised here that in writing of British cinema I'm considering the whole institution of the cinema which is largely in thrall to rampant commercialism in the twin forms of the multiplex and Hollywood dominance of film making and it concommittent marketing power. It is ironical that it is British TV which has been central to the maintenance of good quality and challenging films in Britain since the early 1980s up until the present day.   

    The main purpose of this page is to introduce some of the concepts of ethnicity and hybridity and the importance of these representations for the development of the concept of cultural citizenship.  By talking of citizenship this implies that citizens should have a right of representation within the media, however as with most rights they have to be hard fought for as it is not perceived as being in the immediate interests of those in the dominant positions to give those positions up without a fight.  There will then be a list of hyperlinked films which are ones which have dealt with this aspect of social change in Britain. Lastly there will be a general webliography however the individual film entries will hold the film specific links. 

    The Concept of Ethnicity

    Sorry under construction

    The Concept of Hybridity

    Sorry under construction

    List of Relevant Films

    Links will redirect to film specific pages once these are ready.  

    My Beautiful Laundrette, 1985. Dir: Stephen Frears

    Bahji on the Beach, 1993. Gurinder Chadha

    Wild West, 1992. Dir: David Attwood

    My Son the Fanatic, 1997. Dir. Udayan Prasad

    East is East, 1999. Dir:Damien O' Donnell

    Bend it Like Beckham, 2002. Dir Gurinder Chadha

    Anita & Me, 2002. Dir: Metin Hüseyin

    Ae Fond Kiss, 2003. Dir Ken Loach

    Yasmin, 2004. Dir: Kenny Gleenan

    Brick Lane, 2007. Dir: Sarah Gavron



    Webliography 

    Institute of Ideas. (They run the Culture Wars review site)

    Director Munira Mirza on diversity 

    Meet the Immigrants.  A joint BBC & Open University Broadcasting initiative helping to create a better understanding of global issues.



    December 30, 2007

    It's A Free World,2007: Dir: Ken Loach


    It's a Free World. 2007. Dir Ken Loach

    (See also the Kinoeye Reference Section: Globalisation

    Introduction

    This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography rather than a full critique and analysis. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally

    It's a Free World (2007)

    From the persepctive of the successes of British cinema and the importance of their film makers this is a prize winning film gaining an important award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival of Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2007 as well as Best Film, Seville Film Festival 2007. Yet again the British cinematic system prefers to recognise profits rather then prophets so this did not appear in a multiplex near you despite the accolades.

    The film has a title which is steeped in irony for what it is seeking to do is to represent at the level of the individuals who play their part how these parts link up to the wider scheme of things. The fact that Angie and her mate Rose don't have any form of secure work to go to as a matter of providing for everyday existence means they need to become entrepreneurial. when you have nothing behind you in terms of financial or cultural capital (a combination of education and contacts to work with) then people become attracted to  the 'cowboy', 'shadow', 'underground' or 'black' economy. Angie and Rose establish a recruitment agency for migrant workers, who come to Britain because conditions have become so bad for them in their original countries of residence. combined with the entrepreneurs who are a bit further up the scale actually providing the underpaid and deperate conditions in which the migrants get recruited into form the other link in the equation. The migrants form an essential part of what Marx called the 'reserve army of labour' and what Loach is doing here is introducing audiences to this palpable aspect of globalisation.  

    Success abroad and straight to DVD in the UK

    As is frequently the case this British film received accolades at a prestigious film festival however because of the distribution and exhibition in the UK being so weighted against more independent films this film was distributed differently.  

    "Osella" for Paul Laverty at Venice Film Festival:
    "It's a Free World" wins "Best Screenplay"

    (Sept. 9th 2007) Paul Laverty won the "Osella" for the Best Screenplay for "It's a Free World" (directed by Ken Loach) at this year's Venice Film Festival. Besides the drama was awarded with a EIUC Human Rights Film Award and got a special mention a the Signis Awards.

    Trailer in Italian available here

    Review from Amanda Palmer of It's a Free World as part of a film review programme from Al Jazeera

    Production Credits

    Director: Ken Loach

    Producer: Rebecca O'Brien

    Screenplay by: Paul Laverty

    Music by: George Fenton

    Cinematography by: Nigel Willoughby

    Editor: Jonathan Morris

    Production Design: Fergus Clegg


    Cast 

    Angie: Kierston Wareing

    Rose:  Juliet Ellis

    Karol:  Leslaw Zurek

    Geoff (Angie's father) : Colin Caughlin

    Jamie: Joe Siffleet

    Webliography for It's a Free World

    The Sweet Sixteen Website It's a Free World This website is a core resource for anybody interested in or studying the cinema of Ken Loach. Not only does it provide details of the film but in depth production note, external links and extracts of interviews form the actors are included. 

    Observer report on It's a Free World

    Socialist worker interview with Ken Loach about Its a Free World

    European Films.Net Review of It's a Free World

    Reuters Report on It's a Free World 

    A different Reuters Report on It's a Free World

    Guardian interview with Loach and Laverty at the Southbank

    Independent Review of It's a Free World

    Fujifilm PDF on Its a Free World. (Excellent images on this)

    Loach makes union workers aware of wider issues attending screening for Unison branch 

    Webliography for Migrant Labour conditions in Britain 

    May 08/2008: "Gangmaster Stripped of License". The BBC reports on real life exploitation of Polish workers. Loach is not exaggerating!! 

    New evidence of 'bonded labour'

    BBC Video on migrant labour conditions:

    RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


    December 26, 2007

    In This World: Michael Winterbottom

    In This World: 2002. Dir. Michael Winterbottom


    Introduction

    This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally


    Awards and Accolades

    Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear 2003

    BAFTA Film Award 2004  best film not in the English Language category.  

    Webliography 

    BBC Review In This World

    BBC Interview with Michael Winterbottom

    Wikipedia In This World 

    Indiewire disussion with Michael Winterbottom

    Daily Telegraph review: In This World

    Chris Darke on Globalisation and In This World

    Guardian on In This World

    Observer commentary on In This World. (Very useful comments on the industrial and exhibitionary background)

    Tony Grisoni on his role in In This World 

    Screenonline Bibliography of Michael Winterbottom 

    Daily Telegraph Film Makers on Film: Michael Winterbottom

    Senses of Cinema on Michael Winterbottom

    Philip French Observer Review


    Film Availability :           In This World DVD Cover


    In This World is available from MovieMail here.  


    RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


    Dirty Pretty Things. Dir Stephen Frears

    Dirty Pretty Things: 2003. Dir. Stephen Frears

    (For Kinoeye entry on Stephen Frears link here)

    (See also Kinoeye Reference on Globalisation

    NB:

    Warning: Teacher and Lecturer Warning. It is possible for students to subscribe to a response to a question on this film !

    Introduction

    This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally



    Awards and Accolades

    The Political Film Society has nominated Dirty Pretty Things as best film exposé and best film on human rights of 2003. MH


    BIFA awards won by Dirty Pretty Things

    2003

    BIFA nominations received by Dirty Pretty Things

    2003

    • Best Screenplay (Steve Knight)
    • Best Director of a British Independent Film (Stephen Frears)
    • Best British Independent Film
    • Most Promising Newcomer (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
    • Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film (Chiwetel Ejiofor)
    • Best Performance by a Supporting Actor or Actress in a British Independent Film (Sophie Okonedo)
    • Best Performance by a Supporting Actor or Actress in a British Independent Film (Benedict Wong)


    Webliography 

    BBC Film Review Dirty Pretty Things

    BBC Interview with Stephen Frears

    Daily Telegraph review of Dirty Pretty Things

    Daily Telegraph interview with Stephen Frears

    Indiewire review and interview of Dirty Pretty Things and Frears

    Wikipedia on Dirty Pretty Things

    Guardian Review Dirty Pretty Things

    Guardian Review with Chiwetel Ejiofor

    Literary London review of Dirty Pretty Things

    British Council Brit Films Catalogue entry Dirty Pretty Things

    Political Film Society Review of Dirty Pretty Things

    British Medical Journal Review of Dirty Pretty Things

    Camera Obscura article on Dirty Pretty Things. This requires subsription access 

    Screenonline biography of Stephen Frears 




    Film Availability :             Dirty Pretty Things DVD Cover

    Dirty Pretty Things is available from MovieMail here.


    RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 



    Last Resort:2000. Pawel Pawlikowski

    Last Resort:2000. Pawel Pawlikowski

    Introduction


    This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally


    Webliography 

    BBC 4: Film and Drama

    BBC as a production commissioner

    BBC Interview with Pawlikowski 

    Guardian on Last Resort

    Guardian Pete Bradshaw on Last Resort

    Philip French on Last Resort

    Oxford Brookes University Comment 

    AHRC research project on 'Migrant and Disaporic Cinema' 

    Open Democracy comparative commentary on Last Resort and Haneke's Code Unknown




    Film Availability :      Last Resort DVD Cover


    Last Resort is available from MovieMail here.  


    RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


    December 25, 2007

    Contemporary British Cinema: Representing The World Locally

    Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally

    Preface:

    If you have arrived here from the Chronology of European Cinema page the reason is that the film you are interested can be understood as part of the theme above.  You will find  a link below which will take you to a specialist page. See also Globalisation and Cinema Hub Page

    Introduction: The Misrepresentations of Global Cinema

    As an important media form Cinema as a whole functions through systems of representing the world . How it represents the world and what it represents are extremly important in terms of influencing opinion. The whole global economy is currently in a phase which Manuel Castells has described as a 'Networked society' others call it 'information society' and the 'information economy'. Whilst some consider that the Capitalist system underpinnng this phase is 'Late' Capitalism this comment is more speculative and / or polemical than proven. What is the case is that liberal, largely uncontrolled and deregulated, free market capitalism as an economic system has never been so powerful as it is in its current phase. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc of Eastern and Central Europe from 1989 onwards has been a central part of this process. The economic regime institued by the Thatcher / Reagan coupling was called "Shock Therapy" in which vast numbers of citizens in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc lost their savings and their jobs. The old style communict China becoming increasingly isolated it has been  changing its  internal model  of the economy and the  political management of this to accomodate capitalism. As a result it now plays a hugely important role in world markets as it has taken over the mantle of 'workshop of the world', a mantle that was a British one for much of the 19th century. 

    The human cost of this process has been and is horrendous but much of this process has been largely unrepresented in the popular media. where it has been represented the outcomes of these vast global changes has been represented as a threat from the desperate victims  who have been placed in camps in France whilst trying to gain access to the UK by both legal and illegal means.

    The reality which many especially those in the middle and controlling elites choose to ignore is that large cities operate largely on the basis of this informal economy of undocumented labour who through this process lose many of thier human rights. It is a process which has been going on longer in the United States and the theorist Mike Davis in his book City of Quartz out in the early 1990s reported on whole shanty cities full of undocumented workers from Latin America as satellite cities of Los Angeles. Naturally Hollywood cinema has not seen fit to represent these social and cultural issues at a serious level.


    Contemporary British Cinema: Representions of the Oppressed 


    British cinema, even in Britain itself, is on the margins of the dominant systems of representation (see The Irresistable Rise of the Multiplex) in recent years it has developed a proud tradition of representing the underdog and ensuring that at least a few people gain a different understanding to the process of real life away from the pathetic populist celebrity glamour that dominates so many media forms. 

    As can be seen from the list of films below the themes of diaspora and migration and a range of different perspectives upon these processes give us a chance to gain a better understanding of the world.  Of the various subthemes which this important response led by British cinema has neglected perhaps the organised criminality associated with sexual exploitation and the sex trade is the most important. It is dealt with partially in Last Resort and Dirty Pretty Things but the film which most powerfully represent this deeply nasty trade is Lilya 4-ever. Finally the British government is in the process of creating legislation to clamp down on this social evil:


    Do we think it's right in the 21st Century that women should be in a sex trade or do we think it's exploitation and should be banned (Harriet Harman in BBC report)

    This is of course controversial but should not be cosidered as creating a prurient regime rather as removing a mechanism of exploitation in society. Despite the outrage - mainly from men - in the BBC comments box, sexual commodification deeply degrades and denases humanity. Most of those who are victims of it are forced in by economic circumstance, other pressures or through a childhood of sexual abuse. As such the sex trade reinforces and reflects the unequal relationships of economic and gender power within society.


    British Cinema and Diaspora

    The list of recent British films which have diaspora and migration as a strong underlying theme include:



    Diaspora Cinema 

    Conference on the Industrial Context of Diaspora and Migrant Cinema


    Film Availability : in_this_world_dvd_cover.jpg   last_resort_dvd_cover.jpg dirty_pretty_things_dvd_cover.jpg Ghosts DVD Cover    It


     



    December 24, 2007

    Shane Meadows

    British Directors: Shane Meadows (1973 -)


    Introduction  


    Along with many other British director entries this entry is 'work in progress' nevertheless it will provide a basic signposting to other available resources on the web in the first instance until I'm able to make a fuller evaluation. 

    There are some useful links in the webliography including an extract at the BBC Film Network site.  


    Filmography


    2008: Somers Town

    2006: This Is England

    2004: Dead Man's Shoes

    2002: Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

    1999: A Room for Romeo Brass

    1997: TwentyFourSeven

    1996: Smalltime 

    Film availability: These DVDs are available

    This is Engalnd DVD Cover Twenty Four Seven DVD Cover A Room for Romeo Brass DVD cover Dead Man




    Webliography 

    BBC Film Network interview with Shane Meadows. (Viewable extract available).  

    Screenonline Biography

    BFI: Twenty Four Seven

    Screenonline: Smalltime (Debut Feature)

    Guardian interview with Shane Meadows 

    Shane Meadows on Guardian arts blog

    Time Out interview Shane Meadows 




    RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 



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