English Filming, English Writing

English Filming, English Writing

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Jefferson Hunter examines English films and television dramas as they relate to English culture in the 20th century. He traces themes such as the influence of U.S. crime drama on English film, and film adaptations of literary works as they appear in screen work from the 1930s to the present. A Canterbury Tale and the documentary Listen to Britain are analyzed in the context of village pageants and other wartime explorations of Englishness at risk. English crime dramas are set against the writings of George Orwell, while a famous line from Noel Coward leads to a discussion of music and image in works like Brief Encounter and Look Back in Anger. Screen adaptation is also broached in analyses of the 1985 BBC version of Dickens's Bleak House and Merchant-Ivory's The Remains of the Day.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 499g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253221773
  • 9780253221773
  • 1,600,498

Table of contents


Introduction: By Way of Hanif Kureishi and Stephen Frears
1. Wartime Pageantry
The Archers on Pilgrimage
Screen Processions and Village Pageants
The Documentary Pageant: Jennings's Listen to Britain
2. American Gangsters, English Crime Films, and Dennis Potter
George Orwell versus James Hadley Chase
Contending with America
In Search of an English Crime Film
The Singing Detective as Summa Criminologica
3. Two Texts to Screen
How to Adapt Dickens, and How Not to Do It
Ishiguro and Merchant-Ivory, Upstairs and Downstairs
4. The Strange Potencies of Music
Rawsthorne and Rachmaninoff
Rolling Out the Barrel, Looking Up and Laughing
Distant Voices and Lip-Synched Lives
Conclusion: By Way of Tony Harrison and Alan Bennett

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Review quote

A substantive, seductive, charming piece of work, this book is a paradigm of good sense and clarity-neither pedantic nor trendy. . . . Highly recommended. November 2010 * Choice * I recommend this book to those who take pleasure in cinema; I prescribe it to those who need to learn how to write about the aesthetics of cinema, not the ideology of culture.Issue 30 - 2011 * Screening the Past * . . . ambitious and expansive . . . .2/18/11 -- Lucy Scholes * TLS - Times Literary Supplement *
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About Jefferson Hunter

A former department chair and director of film studies, Jefferson Hunter is the Helen and Laura Shedd Professor of English and Film Studies at Smith College. He teaches courses in modern literature and film. His previous publications include Edwardian Fiction; Image and Word: The Interaction of Twentieth-Century Photographs and Texts; and How to Read Ulysses, and Why.
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