January 2, 2017

British Cinema History

001dPart of the failure of the British cinema to achieve an independent stature is undoubtedly due to the accident of a shared language with the United States. American influence and domination of the distribution companies in Britain have led to the dichotomy of British production. On the one hand American companies have regarded Britain as an American out post , a place in which to make films. But the financing of such films was bound to be superior to that of the completely British product, largely because the market potential in Britain is too small to produce a profit return on anything more than the most modestly budgeted production. The second factor, seemingly in contradiction, is that of quota. The ‘quota quickies’ of the thirties may have kept people in work, but they did little to generate enthusiasm for British films, and until the Second World War they were, with few exceptions, notorious for their shoddy and vapid values.

1980: The Long Good Friday
1981: Chariots of Fire
1982: Gandhi
1983: Educating Rita
1984: The Killing Fields
1985: Brazil
1986: Mona Lisa
1987: Withnail and I
1988: A Fish Called Wanda
1989: Shirley Valentine

The 80′s and 90′s have seen a resurgence in British film fortunes, starting with Channel4 offshoot FilmFour Ltd. Since Channel 4 was launched in 1982 it has funded a large amount of home-grown successes such as Trainspotting, Brassed Off, Elizabeth, The Full Monty, Naked and Secret’s and Lies. It has been and continues to be at the forefront of the recent renaissance in British film making.

1990: Life Is Sweet
1991: The Commitments
1992: The Crying Game
1993: The Remains of the Day
1994: Four Weddings and a Funeral
1995: Secrets & Lies
1996: Trainspotting
1997: The Full Monty
1998: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
1999: Ratcatcher

2000: Billy Elliot
2001: Bridget Jones’s Diary
2002: Bend It Like Beckham
2003: Touching the Void
2004: Shaun of the Dead
2005: Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
2006: London to Brighton
2007: This is England
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: Moon

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