British New WaveAims:1. To understand the origins of British New Wave film2. To recognised the codes and conventions of British New Wave3. To understand how British New Wave affected future productionsObjectives1. Learners will create a synopsis for a British New Wave film and explain where it adheres to the codes and conventions of the British New Wave
UK in the 1950s • Post war affluence – “British people have never had it so good‟ • Class divisions, eroded by war started to resurface • Lots of musicals • Lean towards cinema „experience‟ • Free Cinema Movement (documentaries) • Working class people used as a source of humourKarel Reisz
Origins• Lindsay Anderson – Co-founded Sequence; wrote for Sight and Sound and The New Staesman (a liberal, leftist publication and wrote „Stand Up! Stand Up!‟ – The British Film Manifesto• Karel Reisz – Co-founded Sequence; writer for Sight and Sound• Free Cinema Movement (Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson)• Out of these documentaries, came socially realistic film, known as British New Wave films, drected and written by the „Angry Young Men‟• Influenced by the 1930‟s documentary movement
Angry Young Men• Gritty social realism films• Set in the north of England, in industrial towns• Belching chimneys, canals• Not an advert for British life• Focused on problems that „working class‟ people might encounter• Regional dialect• Non-professional actors
Themes• Unhappy marriages John Hill (1999):• Drinking• Adultery [T]he novelty of the movement• Unplanned pregnancies was largely conceived in terms of “contents”(subjects) – of the• Scrapping presentation of the working class• Generation gaps on the screen no longer as the• Improvised lines stock types or comic butts of• Breaking the fourth wall “commercial” British cinema, but• Shot on location as “real”, “fully-rounded”• Extras were often real characters in “real” settings (the people regions, cities, factories etc.) with• Handheld shots “real” problems (both everyday and of the culture/• Black & White freedom/restraint,• Desire to escape purity/corruption, tradition/modernity, affluence/authenticity).
Social Realism• Usually focus on characters not found in mainstream films• Marginalised characters• This usually means, working class characters• Shown in times of social and economic change• There must have been the intention to capture the experience of the event depicted• The film-maker must have a specific argument or message to make about the social world employing realist conventions to express this• Early social realism has been criticised as sexist, with women faring particularly badly in British New Wave
The Four RulesRaymond Williams on Social Realism:1. Firstly that the texts are secular, released from mysticism and religion2. Secondly that they are grounded in the contemporary scene in terms of setting, characters and social issues3. Thirdly that they contain an element of social extension by which previously under-represented groupings in society become represented4. Fourthly there is the intent of the artist which is mostly a political one although some artists have used the genre as route into a mainstream film- making career
Politics• News Left – skeptical about communism• Concern moves towards cultural politics, or, the importance of culture in the formation of class and identity• The New Left politics grew especially among university students – most of the angry young men were uni students• Wrote for The New Statesman Lindsay Anderson
Legacy…• Martin Scorsese has arguably been influenced by BNW techniques – “British film is something that was formative for me”• Modern British Film (Dead Man’s Shoes, This is England)• Northern British bands• Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (1962)
Criticism• Too short and lacking in quantity to be considered a „new wave‟• Failed to achieve financial success• Guided by personal ethos• Artistically intelligent?• Negative view of women – Badly treated• Adheres so stereotypical gender roles• Little representation of non-white citizens
TASK!• Write a synopsis / treatment for a British New Wave film• Consider the following:• Location• Main characters• Themes – what is the story• Occupation• Shooting style
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