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Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain

T HE 1950s REPRESENTS an upheaval in European film history. The financial losses of the Europeans, as compared to the Americans on the popular market, caused drastic changes within the European film industries, leading up to the continental government-subsidised film industries of the present. Even if the historical reasons for the changes in European film policies were mainly

in British cinema of the 1950s
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The Admirable Crichton and Look Back in Anger

this kind of cinematic realism that is important to this argument. Opening out the narrative has the effect of diffusing the claustrophobia of the play. Look Back in Anger sits easily within the dominant conventions of the European naturalist tradition, its single playing space (albeit a lower-class bed-sit rather than a bourgeois drawing-room) functioning as an embodiment of the forces of

in British cinema of the 1950s

at the back of his mind. Similarly, Ralph Thomas’s film of A Tale of Two Cities was released in the tense atmosphere of the Cold War. And it shows. Ten years previously the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Brussels Treaty, allying themselves against armed attack in Europe. Three days after the Treaty was signed, the USSR delegates walked out of the Allied

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Yale’s Chronicles of America

Writing in 1991, Michael Kammen stated, ‘For more than a decade now, the connection between collective memory and national identity has been a matter of intense and widespread interest’. 1 Kammen’s examples, ranging from Brazil to several Eastern and Western European countries, make it clear that he sees this interest as a global phenomenon, but the connection between

in Memory and popular film
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Fixing the past in English war films

a still animated version of English identity not altogether irrelevant to a medium-sized state in the European Union. I shall start with some signs of the times around 1944, beginning with an exemplary tale. The English historian Edward Thompson, professionally known as E.P. Thompson, had a brother, Frank. Frank was a big, handsome young man, born in 1920, who won scholarships to Winchester and Oxford

in British cinema of the 1950s
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will in Europe, Asia, much of the Middle East, and still much of Latin America. The recent revelations that the NSA’s and the UK’s surveillance programmes are linked is big news.1 Oliver Stone has been a fixture in the Hollywood landscape since his Oscar-​winning script for Midnight Express (Alan Parker, 1978). That high-​profile foothold gave him the opportunity to build slowly towards his ambition of capturing on film what he had lived through in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968. The young Yale man who had entered the army was a cerebral romantic in search of

in The cinema of Oliver Stone
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Film festivals and the revival of Classic Hollywood

screenings. The 1993 ‘Gala screening’ of The Searchers also forms part of the Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Classic Film Collection’s promotional activities. Once again, this re-release ‘[has] featured at festivals throughout Europe’ (117). Moreover, the ‘second season, Early Hitchcock, has just completed a successful American tour and is currently to be seen at venues in Belgium

in Memory and popular film
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The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture

. The US experienced its largest waves of immigration from Europe in the first decades of this century, even as it witnessed the mass migrations of African Americans to the industrial centres of the North. With these movements of peoples came the rupture of generational ties, rendering the traditional modes for the transmission of cultural, ethnic, and racial memory – both memories passed from parent to child and

in Memory and popular film

‘sentimental fiction’. He berated Jennings for his ‘fantasy of the Empire’ and his resort to ‘The Past as a refuge’. 26 Although the film’s patriotism is very much of its time, it closes with the realisation that Britain belongs ‘to a communion across the Atlantic and the South Seas … [and] to the family of Europe’. While acknowledging the influence of Britain’s imperial past, Jennings was well aware

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Robert Hamer after Ealing

the film, being far more intense than the nominal love interest. The heroine, a waifish East European refugee, hangs around imploring Davidson to let her stay, but Hamer’s impatience with this pallid and underwritten figure is palpable. The action’s also saddled with a deus ex machina , a creakingly symbolic tramp borrowed from Les Portes de la nuit (Carné and Prévert’s last and weakest film

in British cinema of the 1950s