Fires Were Started: British Cinema and Thatcherism

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Lester D. Friedman
Wallflower Press, 2006 - Performing Arts - 341 pages
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Fires Were Started is a provocative analysis of the responses of British film to the policies and political ideology of the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and it represents an original and stimulating contribution to our knowledge of British cinema. This second edition includes revised and updated contributions from some of the leading scholars of British cinema, including Thomas Elsaesser, Peter Wollen and Manthia Diawara. The book discuss prominent filmmakers such as Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman, Ken Russell, Nicolas Roeg and Stephen Frears, it also explores some lesser known but equally important territory such as the work of Black British filmmakers, the Leeds Animation Workshop and Channel 4's Film on Four. Films discussed include Distant Voices, Still Lives, My Beautiful Launderette, Chariots of Fire and Drowning by Numbers.

 

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Contents

Thatcherite Politics and the British Film of the 1980s
15
Modernism in the British Films of the Thatcher Era
30
The New British Cinema
45
Channel 4 Television Films of the 1980s
58
Visual Representations of Northern Ireland
77
Nostalgia and Pastiche in the Heritage Film
91
Representations of Mothers in the Maternal
110
The Emergence of Black British Film Collectives
125
Ken Russell in the 1980s
182
Thatcherite Ideology in the Films
195
Crossing Class
209
Television and the Apocalypse
223
Gender Oppression in the Films of Terence Davies
243
Ken Loach and the Cinema of Dispossession
259
The Politics of Sickness and the Films
301
Mike Leigh Meets Margaret Thatcher
315

Four Women Filmmakers
136
The Case of Leeds Animation Workshop
159

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About the author (2006)

Lester D. Friedman is Scholar-in-Residence for the Media and Society Program at Hobart William Smith Collage, Washington DC. Previous publications include The Jewish Image in American Film (1987), Unspeakable Images: Multiculturalism in American Cinema (1991), and Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1999).

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