Alternative Film Culture in Inter-War Britain

Jamie Sexton

Alternative Film Culture in Inter-War Britain

Jamie Sexton

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

240 pages | 11 halftones | 6 x 9
Cloth $93.00 ISBN: 9780859898102 Published August 2008 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
British culture between the wars has long been the subject of critical appraisal: the artistic patronage of the Sitwell siblings; the multifaceted Modernism of writers like Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Evelyn Waugh; and the folk collections and compositions of Ralph Vaughan Williams have all been explored as key aspects of Britain’s cultural heritage. Similarly, many film studies have focused on the interwar period in France, Germany, and the Soviet Union as the birthplace of avant-garde filmmaking. Alternative Film Culture in Inter-War Britain is the first book-length exploration of the modernist and anti-mainstream currents behind exemplary British institutions like the Film Society and the key cinema journal Close Up in order to illustrate the rise of British experimental filmmaking. Jamie Sexton combines the history of the scene with a rich analysis of the films themselves, as well as their critical reception—taking an interdisciplinary approach to this long-neglected area of cinema history and firmly situating a time and place that championed film as an intellectual, modern art.

Introduction: From Avant-Garde Film to Alternative Film Culture

1. The Network of Alternative Film Culture

2. Deconstruction, Burlesque and Parody

3. Drifters and the Emergence of an Alternative British Cinema

4. Alternative Film Culture in the Shadow of Sound

5. Montage, Machinery and Sound

6. Mechanization and Abstraction

7. Borderline: Subjectivity and Experimentation

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