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Making Sense of Everyday Spaces: A Tendency in Contemporary British Cinema

Cortvriend, Jack (2018) Making Sense of Everyday Spaces: A Tendency in Contemporary British Cinema. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Jack Cortvriend Thesis Final Feb 18.pdf
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It has been argued that British cinema is undergoing something of a renaissance in the 2010s. Directors such as Andrea Arnold, Clio Barnard, Andrew Haigh and Steve McQueen have frequently been singled out as practitioners of a ‘new’ British cinema. However, the precise originality of these films has been troubling to critics who do not quite know how to position them: for some, they are a revitalization of Britain’s longstanding tradition of social realism; others view them as a new form of realism; whilst others believe they could be positioned with traditions in other world cinemas. This thesis then analyses the precise textual idiosyncrasies of these films by utilizing textual analysis, theoretical material on British cinema history and theories of contemporary global cinemas, as well as interviews with practitioners of contemporary British cinema. Through this methodology, this thesis finds that this tendency in contemporary British film has a sensory mode of address which evokes the everyday world of their protagonists. They quite literally make sense of a vast range of contemporary British everydays, exploring how different genders, sexual orientations, classes, ages and ethnicities experience their everydays. In doing so, they also utilize a range of different forms: this is not merely social realism, but also documentary, drama and the spaces in-between. This thesis ultimately argues that this tendency in contemporary British cinema can be aligned with other contemporary forms of global art cinema in privileging an attention to the sensory and subjectivity. Thus, these films mark a departure for British cinema which has now been superseded by global art forms, thus this tendency can now be deemed products of a post-national cinema. However, the national still persists in the evocation of a particularly British world and, particularly, British spaces and places – the literal geographical dimensions of nationhood.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.736573
Depositing User: Mr Jack Cortvriend
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 11:05
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19502

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