All 10 entries tagged Contemporary British Directors

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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

The Wind That shakes the Barley

The Wind That Shakes the Barley. 2006. dir Ken Loach

(Palm d'Or Winner, Cannes Film Festival 2006)

Currently there has been no time to give the film a proper review however interested visitors can follow the links below. From the perspective of  contemproary British cinema winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes is highly prestigious and very unusual for a low budget left-wing fim maker. 



The top 20 UK films grossed £151 million at the box office in 2006 with Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code, Flushed Away, The Queen, Stormbreaker, Children of Men, The History Boys and The Wind that Shakes the Barley the most popular. The latter proved to be Ken Loach’s most successful film to date whilst also picking up the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival. (My emphasis, cited in Screen South film Report for 2006)




Webliography 

Sweet Sixteen: The Wind That Shakes the Barley  . This site is part of the Ken loach production team and provides a wealth of information about the film and is a good first port of call

BBC Ken Loach interview (Trailer also viewable) 

BBC news report on Ken Loach winning the Palm d'Or at Cannes

Guardian review of Wind That Shakes the Barley

Open Democracy site. Historian Stephen Howe cast an analytical eye upon The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Daily Telegraph Review of The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Wikipedia on the original song "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" inspiring the film.

Wikipedia on the Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes the Barley




Film Availability :      Wind That Shakes the Barley DVD Cover




RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 



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 



Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold (1961- )

Andrea Arnold photo by Sara Lee

Andrea Arnold. (Photo by Sara Lee) 

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.





Extract from the short film Wasp (2003)







Red Road

Funding Regime: for the purpose of studying Contemporary British Cinema as most of them are small budget compared to Hollywood films it is important to be aware of the funding sources. Raising funds is only one hurdle which is linked to issues of distribution and exhibition. The reality is that it is very hard to see British films in British cinemas. (See the entry on The Irresistable Rise of the Multiplex for a partial explanation of this problem. Also see entry The Role of TV in the British Film Industry).  

Co-funded by the UK Film Council's New Cinema and Development funds, BBC Films, the Glasgow Film Office and Scottish Screen, the film was produced by Glasgow-based Sigma Films in collaboration with Lars Von Trier's Zentropa Films.

Filmography

Full Feature Films

Red Road (2006)

Shorts

Wasp ( 2003)

Dog (2001) 

Webliography 

British Council Brit Films entry on Andrea Arnold

Guardian Interview with Andrea Arnold

Report from Time Out on a visit to the set of Red Road 

Time Out feature on Red Road

BBC Press Office report on  Prix du Jury at Cannes for Red Road

BIFA Award for Red Road

Wikipedia entry on Andrea Arnold 

Red Road and the Surveillance Society

Verve Pictures. Full Production notes downloadable as a PDF.

Greencine interview with Andrea Arnold at Toronto Film Festival

New Statesman Review of Red Road 

RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


Lynne Ramsay

Lynne Ramsay (1969-)

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.

Filmography

Morven Callar (2002)

Ratcatcher (1999)

Kill the Day (1997)

Webliography

Screenonline Biography of Lynne Ramsay

Guardian Interview with Lynne Ramsay

Guardian on Ramsay's development  

Another Guardian Article on Ramsay

Ramsay at Cannes

Ramsay interviewed at Cannes

British Short Films  

BFI NEws Ratcather wins Sutherland Trophy

Magical Urbanism:Walter Benjamin and Utopian Realism in the film Ratcatcher

Morvern Callar DVD Cover

Films Available:  Ratcatcher DVD Cover

RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


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