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British Avante Garde Films - Essay Example

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British Avante Garde Films

In spite of their seeming records for a status in a new anti-realist genre (including crime films and science fiction film), most of them were placed in the sunset world of lukewarm black and white B-movies.
Such censures ultimately could stir the scholars and experts a bit and in recent times there is a sturdy growth in publications on British cinema although compared to the American scene the subject is still suffers from a relative lack of material. The tidy and wide contours the Hollywood cinema attained during the fifties and sixties and profited from the growth of film studies in the seventies.
This is yet to be imitated in British cinema. Among the many revealing dealing of British film history Sarah Street's book British National Cinema (published in 1997). Street shows that "there is no such thing as a typical British film" (198). She , in this book has made a much more fascinating study by explaining the range in British movie making while revealing its evident historical trends - a study that could really snub those critics who always jeer at British cinema for not being "particularly interesting or worthy of study" (199). Here, she has traced the growth of the British Film industry, from the Lumiere brothers' first viewing in London in 1896, the manipulative power of Hollywood and the harsh financial disasters that affected British films. Sarah Street uses the ideas of 'official' and 'unofficial' cinema showing how British cinema has been both 'respectable' and 'disreputable' and eventually making us reveal why British cinema has constantly been treated indifferently by the authority and administration. Comparing Britain and Hollywood, Sarah asks what was the real historical and social function of the British 'star system'.
"British films" are always films that have been produced in England rather than Scotland, Wales and Ireland, or to be even more exact films made in London and its outer suburbs. Another interesting point here is the way "British Cinema" clutches "British-ness", the historical, cultural, social and psychological factors, traditions and values that most frequently linked with the British identity involving the duty to rebuild the British cinematic image implying the national identity. British film industry had the same starts and novelties as its foils in Europe and America and that all through its history it was both part of a larger cinematic society and it had to deal with same challenges as other national film industries. The British cinema has a history as lengthy as the history of cinema itself. There are also directors in British cinema that can gloriously be entitled as "the inventor of cinema", the most remarkable among them being William Friese-Greene (1855 -1921), a portrait photographer turned film director, who, just like his French and American matching parts, was working for the creation of the cinematographic tools and is referred by many as the initiator in motion photography. He was a creator who conducted tests with moving image devices at the beginning of cinema that, after his death, was claimed ...Show more


In the early thirties, there was a very pessimistic attitude even among internationally known noted film directors that the art of films does not match the English psyche. This cynical approach towards British cinema has, to some extent, been endorsed by British critics and scholars by showing an outward unwillingness to study the national cinema…
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British Avante Garde Films essay example
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