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With regard to UK television:

You could start with the British TV series "Brideshead Revisted" (Granada
Television, UK, 1981). The character Charles Ryder is not exactly a
tortured artist but certainly, in the first episode, one who is at odds
with much around him. I mention this largely for its timeliness with regard
to your publication. I believe production was to start on a cinematic
version a few months ago. Both are obviously adapted from the Evelyn Waugh
novel.

There was also an episode of Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected" (Anglia
Television, UK, 1979-1988) which - if my memory serves me correctly -
featured a stereotypical 'mad' sculptor. Not sure how you'd go about
sifting through the many episodes however, or if they are available at all
even.

Finally, Jack Gold's "The Naked Civil Servant" (Thames Television, UK,
1975) dramatises the early art school years of Quentin Crisp along  lines
that might prove worthy of investigation.

Ian McKay






Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>@BAMA.UA.EDU> on 11/29/2004 08:29:04 PM

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Subject:    [SCREEN-L] Authors and Artists on Television Shows


I'm currently working on a revision of the textbook, Television: Critical
Methods and Applications.  Specifically, I'm revising/enlarging the chapter
on critical methods.  Although I think the auteur theory has very limited
application to television, I have a small section discussing it.

This has led me to thinking about the Romantic, Byronic conception of the
artist--meaning both painters and poets, novelists, musicians, et al.--as a
tormented and usually demented individual.  While it's easy to come up with
dozens of examples of FILMS about such poor souls (e.g., POLLACK, BASQUIAT,
etc. etc. etc.), I'm struggling to think of a single television series.

I suppose there's THE MONKEES and FAME.  And LOVE, SIDNEY did cast Tony
Randall as an artist.  But surely there are better examples than that.

Or does episodic television not favor the Romantic artist as a stereotype
the way that the cinema does?

I have been thinking mostly of U.S. television since that is where the
textbook is principally distributed, but I'd be curious to hear about any
instances of television series (and not just one-time documentary-style
biographies) centered on an artist, author, or musician.

Thanks.


Jeremy Butler
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Television: Critical Methods and Applications:
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