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September 1999, Week 3


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Peter Warren <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 14:50:02 -0400
text/plain (64 lines)
Elena: As the UK was, and to a lesser extent still is, a class ridden
society, almost every film made has echoes, even unconscious ones, of this.
You may want to break down your presentations into decades, with
representative films or references. In the thirties the leading film actors
were classically  trained stage actors and spoke with upper class accents
(eg:  Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Merle Oberon, Vivien Leigh) and
the working class was represented usually by supporting "comic" characters.
(compare with blacks in Hollywood movies of the time). Some of these
performers with working class/ regional accents became very popular,
usually in low budget films (eg: Gracie Fields, George Formby, Old Mother
Riley, Will Hay with Graham Moffat and Moore Marriot, Flanagan and Allen).
Things began to level off in the forties, due to World War Two (eg: In
Which We Serve, The Way To The Stars, It Always Rains On Sunday, some of
the Ealing Studio comedies in the fifties) though in the forties the Rank
Organization's "Gainsborough Gothics" with actors such as Margaret Lockwood
and James Mason were very popular, as were the Anna Neagle/Michael Wilding
films such as Spring In Park Lane - all "upper class" works. In the fifties
and into the sixties you had the "angry young man" movement, usually
working class lads trying to protest or improve their lot (eg: Look Back In
Anger, The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner, Room At The Top, A Kind
Of Loving, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Billy Liar, The Entertainer).
Some of these originated in the theatre, a kind of reversal to what
happened in the thirties. In more recent times, consider the working class
films of Mike Leigh (Life is Sweet, Secrets and Lies) and particularly Ken
Loach (Raining Stones, Ladybird,Ladybird), as well as the suggestions from
other members. If you need any more information, you can email me directly
at [log in to unmask]

> From: elena <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: CFH: British Studies
> Date: Monday, September 20, 1999 7:12 AM
> Dear All,
> I am trying to select titles for a program that will supplement our
> (introductory) British Cultural Studies module (weekly screening of 1
> film throughout the term, i.e. 14 weeks/films; possibly more per week).
> The students are M.A. (British Cultural Studies) students who have
> ultra-traditional English Philology background (RRL = reading, 'riting
> and linguistics). The selection I have compiled so far is limited by the
> availability of the titles in our British Council Resource library, but
> I could try and order tapes from the UK, possibly:
> ""Educating Rita", "Howards End", "Letter to Brezhnev", "Quadrophenia",
> "Breaking Glass", "Room At the Top", "The Loneliness of the Long
> Distance Runner","The Krays", "The Piano", "Trainspotting", "My
> Beautiful Laundrette", "The Crying Game", "Fever Pitch", "The Full
> Monty", "Pride and Prejudice" (as marketing heritage)
> Any suggestions on- or off-list will be really very precious!
> Thanks,
> Elena
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