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  1. #1
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    I�m a stinky student requesting nerdy help. I'm a newbie, but I got stuck into a really interesting thread on British social realism and thought I might be able to take it some place else, perhaps.



    I�m studying for my MA in documentary photography. I�ve decided to centre my thesis on the representation of identity in british social documentary over the past 30 years. I�m looking to throw my research net as wide as possible to form strong arguments, so I�m looking at film/TV, music, literature, comedy as well as the still image. Soooo, I was wondering if you folk could add to the social realist films already commented upon? We�re looking at Britain in the 70s/80s/90s/and the naughties. Can you think of any pertinent films that represent an element of cultural or British identity?



    Thanks for any help/guidance or advice!



    Best regards,



    Chloe

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain scenesixty's Avatar
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    name='Nahm']I�m a stinky student requesting nerdy help. I'm a newbie, but I got stuck into a really interesting thread on British social realism and thought I might be able to take it some place else, perhaps.



    I�m studying for my MA in documentary photography. I�ve decided to centre my thesis on the representation of identity in british social documentary over the past 30 years. I�m looking to throw my research net as wide as possible to form strong arguments, so I�m looking at film/TV, music, literature, comedy as well as the still image. Soooo, I was wondering if you folk could add to the social realist films already commented upon? We�re looking at Britain in the 70s/80s/90s/and the naughties. Can you think of any pertinent films that represent an element of cultural or British identity?



    Thanks for any help/guidance or advice!



    Best regards,



    Chloe


    Try: Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Up The Junction, Poor Cow, Cathy Come Home, Terence Davies Trilogy. Bst B.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tipsters! These are pretty old representations don't you think? I was thinking something like Dirty Pretty Things, was a brilliant contemporary depiction of what London is really like to live in [minus the lack of Kidneys of course]. Not to say I won't look at what you suggested again. Also I suppose in documentary photography a lot of what is represented is similiar to British realism in film [the underclass, underpriviledge, poverty, industry etc. So I was wondering in film if there are other areas that have been covered? Something like multi-culturalism - I really can't think of a film at the minute that deals with this - can you?

  4. #4
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    Hi, a few filmmakers you I think you should be looking at for modern social realism, apart from veterans like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, include Shane Meadows for a look at the northern white midlands experience; perhaps Isaac Julien for the Black British experience?? screenonline: Julien, Isaac (1960-) Biography or Gurinder Chadha for the black Asian perspective?? screenonline: Chadha, Gurinder (1960-) Biography I'm sure there must be many more, but these are the bigger names...perhaps you could follow the trails...

  5. #5
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Nahm']Thanks for the tipsters! These are pretty old representations don't you think? I was thinking something like Dirty Pretty Things, was a brilliant contemporary depiction of what London is really like to live in [minus the lack of Kidneys of course]. Not to say I won't look at what you suggested again. Also I suppose in documentary photography a lot of what is represented is similiar to British realism in film [the underclass, underpriviledge, poverty, industry etc. So I was wondering in film if there are other areas that have been covered? Something like multi-culturalism - I really can't think of a film at the minute that deals with this - can you?


    Dirty Pretty Things was a brilliant depiction of life in London, for some people. But not everyone in London lives like that. Far from it. But life for the underclass working in the hidden parts of hotels hasn't changed much since George Orwell wrote Down and Out in Paris and London. It's not a side of London, or any other big city, that is often shown. The only other depiction of it I can think of in recent years in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere which showed a fantasy life led by a lot of "invisible" people.



    Steve

  6. #6
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    What about Pawel Pawlikowski's (brilliant) Last Resort? (Last Resort (2000))

  7. #7
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    Brilliant! I'm not aware of these. Apart from This is England of course, which was set in the 70s to early 80s though. Intimacy is a good one for the 90s I think, again it's only looking at fragment or a section of people, but it reflected a more up to date Britain perhaps? I think finding films dealing with contemporary British culture, which offers some form of representation of British Identity in the past 10-20 years is going to be the most difficult. Has anyone ever seen that TV doc called Lido, now that depicts a very 90s London to me and the cinemaography is amazing, so poetic. Ohhh what about Brick Lane? But that was so romantasied, but it did deal with a very significant aspect of the Asian community, perhaps.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    You may get some more ideas via these threads which were running a while ago ....



    http://filmdope.com/forums/br...ish-films.html



    http://filmdope.com/forums/me...-identity.html

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Off on a bit of a tangent from your original question,thought I would mention that Britain's most famous documentary stills photographer Don McCullin is linked to surreal 60s film "Blow Up" insofar as his images are used as the portfolio which David Hemmings shows to his agent in the restaurant. Not sure if its worth weaving that into your thesis somehwere! Good luck with it, I also studied for an MA in Photography many moons ago at the RCA here in London.

  10. #10
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    Yep! You're totally right there were old Don's images. Interesting film on realism really don't you think. Yeah, it's bit out of the time frame. I need to keep the research tight. I might even do away with the 70s/80s and just look at the 90s/00s. Oh much material to look at... but please do keep any little films of inspiration coming my way!! Thanks a lot so far.



    What are you doing with yer MA then? Still making pictures.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    name='Nahm']Yep! You're totally right there were old Don's images. Interesting film on realism really don't you think. Yeah, it's bit out of the time frame. I need to keep the research tight. I might even do away with the 70s/80s and just look at the 90s/00s. Oh much material to look at... but please do keep any little films of inspiration coming my way!! Thanks a lot so far.



    What are you doing with yer MA then? Still making pictures.


    very much so, been a photographer here in London for more than 20 years!

  12. #12
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    You're doing alright then. What sort of stuff do you like doing?

  13. #13
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    Nahm:



    Not much more up-to-date, but worth a look for background: MOONLIGHTING (Jerzy Skolimowski 1982) is a prescient look at England's new underclass. Eastern European workers imported without language skills or right of residence.



    It is a very bleak comedy led by Jeremy Irons, the only character who speaks English (barely, with a convincing Polish accent). Better than DIRTY PRETTY THINGS? Umm, I'm not sure, but certainly simpler and more believable. Worth a look.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England
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    You could also look at the work of Bill Douglas, particularly his marathon and much maligned 'Comrades' which is superficially, a look at the events surrounding the arrest and deportation to Australia, of the 'Tolpuddle Martyrs'. The gritty realism is all there in this film, albeit tempered with a few imaginary scenarios, that no one could ever verify!

  15. #15
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    Well I think my research is drawing to a close, but I thought I'd share my list with yous. Not defining in anyway and is not suppose to represent the best of British realism in the last 30 years. More just some of the more well know and perhaps, more interesting to explore, which perhaps collectively offer many different representations of British Identity? I have A LOT to watch, but should be very engaging. If you think there are any other worth while titles to explore, please do add! Thanks for all your help. NAHM



    1970s

    Pressure: Horrace Ov [1975]

    A Clock Work Orange: Stanely Kubrick [1970s]

    Scum: Alan Clarkes [1979]

    Performance [1970s]

    The Go-Betweens: Harold Pinter [1971]

    Days of Hope: Ken Loach [1975]

    Family Life: Ken Loach [1971]

    Jubilee: Derek Jarman [1978]

    The Price of Coal: Ken Loach [1977]

    Rank and File: Ken Loach [1971]

    Bloody Kids: Stephen Frears [1979]



    1980s

    Boys From The Black Stuff: Phillip Saville [1989]

    Brazil: Terry Guillem [1984]

    Burning An Illusion: Menelik Shabazz [1981]

    Educating Rita: Lewis Gilbert [1983]

    High Hopes: Mike Leigh [1988]

    Letter to Breznev: Peter Firth [1985]

    Looks & Smiles: Ken Loach [1981]

    MeanTime: Mike Leigh [1980s]

    My Beautiful Lauderette: Hureshi Kanif [1985]

    Rita, Sue and Bob too: Alan Clarke [1986]

    Which Side Are You On?

    Ken Loach [1984]

    The Long Good Friday [1980]

    Defence in the Realm [1981]

    The Last of England: Derek Jarmen [1988]

    Sammie and Rosie Get Laid [1985]

    Rocinate [1986]

    Giro City [1982]

    Eat the Rich [1987]

    Gregorys Girl [1980]

    Withnail and I [1986]

    Another Country [1984]

    1984: Micheal Radford [1984]

    Britannia Hospital: Lindsey Anderson [1982]

    Chariots of Fire: Hugh Hudson [1982]

    The Cook, The Theif, His Wife and His Lover: Peter Greenaway [1989]

    Distant Voices, Still Lives: Terance Davies [1988]

    Handsworth Songs: John Akomfrah [1986]

    Made in Britain: Alan Clarke [1982]

    The Ploughmans Lunch: Richard Eyre [1983]

    Sammie and Rosie Get Laid: Stephen Frears [1987]

    Scrubbers: Mai Zetterling [1983]





    1990s

    My son the fanatic: Huref Kurishi [1998]

    Brassed Off (Mark Herman 1996).

    Face: Antonia Bird's [1997]

    Fever Pitch: [1997]

    Full Monty: Peter Cattaneo [1997]

    Green Mile: ? [1999]

    High Hopes: Mike Leigh [1989]

    Human Traffic [1999]

    I�m British But�Gurinda Chandra

    Jude: 1996

    Ladybird, Ladybird: Ken Loach [1994]

    Life is Sweet: Mike Leigh [1990]

    Welcome to Sarajevo: Michael Winterbottom (1998)

    Naked: Mike Leigh [1993]

    Neverwhere � Neil Gainmans

    Nil By Mouth: Gary Oldman [1997]

    Raining Stones: Ken Loach [1993]

    Riff Raff: Ken Loach [1990s]

    Room for Romeo Brass: Shane Meadows [1999]

    Secrets and Lies: Mike Leigh [1996]

    Shallow Grave: Danny Boyle [1994]

    Territories � Issac Julien

    Ratcatcher [1999]

    This Years Love [1999]

    Tina Goes Shopping: Penny Woolock. [1999]

    Trainspotting: Danny Boyle[1995]

    Truly, Madly, Deeply: ? [1992]

    Twenty Four Seven: Shawn Meadows [1997]

    Twin Towns: ? [1997]

    Twockers: Pawel Pawlikowski/Ian Duncan [1998]

    Under the Skin: Carine Adler's [1997]

    Young Soul Rebels � Black DJs in London

    Babymother: Julien Henriques [1998]

    Bhaji on the Beach: Gurinder Chandha [1993]

    Career Girls: Mike Leigh [1997]

    Four Weddings and a Funeral: Mike Newall [1994]

    Girls with Brains in her Feet: Robert Banguru [1997]

    High Fidelity: Stephen Frears [2000]

    My Name is Joe: Ken Loach [1998]

    Notting Hill: Roger Mitchell [1999]

    Scream: Wes Craven [1996]

    Shakespear in Love: John Madden [1998]

    Sliding Doors: Peter Howitt [1998]

    Stella Does Tricks: Coky Giedroyc [1997]

    Up �n� Under: John Godber [1998]

    The War Zone: Tim Roth [1999]





    2000s


    A Way Of Life: Amma Asante's [2004]

    All Or Nothing: Mike Leigh [2002]

    Attonement:

    Bend it Like Beckham: [2002]

    Billy Elliott: ? [2000]

    Brick Lane: Sarah Gavron [2007]

    Bridget Jones Diary: Richard Curtis [2001]

    Cab Hustle:

    Cashback [2006]

    Cassandras Dream: Woody Allen [2007]

    Cherps: [2005]

    Chromophbia: [2005

    Clubbing to Death: Lee Phillips [2007]

    Coffee Sex You: Marcel Grant [2007]

    Control: Anton Corbijn [2007]

    Dirty Preety Things: Stephen Frears [2002]

    Ealing Comedy: Neville Raschid [2008]

    Eastern Promises: David Croenberg [2007]

    Edict: A Documental: Barbara Praise Bowton [2007]

    England: Lucy Kaye [2005]

    Every Good Marriage Began with Tears; Simon Chambers [2006]

    Exudos: Penny Woolock [2008]

    Feral Generation: Andrew Jones [2008]

    Flummox: Sam Mason Bell [2008]

    FreeBird: Jon Ivays, roadmovie to Wales. [2008]

    Happy Go-Lucky: Mike Leigh [2008]

    Hold Me Tight Let Me Go: Kim Longnitto [2008]

    Hot Fuzz: Edgar Wright [2007]

    I really hate my job: ? [2007]

    Imperium: Jameal Ali [2008

    Intimacy: ? [2000]

    It's A Free World: Ken Loach

    Johnny Was: John Hammond

    Last Resort: Pawel Pawlikowski [2000]

    Late Night Shopping: ? [2001]

    Like Father: ? [2000]

    Morvan Callar: Lynne Ramsay [2002]

    Navigators: Ken Loach [2001]

    Second Generation

    Shaun of the Dead: ? [2004]

    Some Day my Prince Will Come: Marc Issac [2005]

    Sweet Sixteen: Ken Loach [2002]

    The Wind that Shakes the Barley: Ken Loach [2006]

    This is England: Shane Meadows [2007]

    Venus: Harish Kureishi [2004]

    Tina Takes A Break: Penny Woolock [2001]

    When I was Twelve: Dominic Savage [2001]

    Hi Fidelity: Stephen Frears [2000]






  16. #16
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    In all the films I have seen recently the characters know that they have rights.



    The leads in The Dambusters, Brief Encounter, Woman In A Dressing Gown etc gave the impression that they had obligations as well.

  17. #17
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    Right? I'm not sure what your saying here? I was just looking at how British Identity had been represented through social realist films in the past 30 years. So these films don't fall into that line of questioning, no? Or your saying in comtemporary portrayls the idea of knowing your rights has changed? And women of a certain era had more obligations? Am I following you, or just being confusing?

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='trelawnee']In all the films I have seen recently the characters know that they have rights.



    The leads in The Dambusters, Brief Encounter, Woman In A Dressing Gown etc gave the impression that they had obligations as well.


    What I understand you to mean trelawnee is that in films these days people's 'rights' are paramount, but they have no concept of their 'obligations' that they have to 'society'. It's all take and no give.



    I hope I haven't misinterpreted you.

  19. #19
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    name='luthien']You could also look at the work of Bill Douglas, particularly his marathon and much maligned 'Comrades' which is superficially, a look at the events surrounding the arrest and deportation to Australia, of the 'Tolpuddle Martyrs'. The gritty realism is all there in this film, albeit tempered with a few imaginary scenarios, that no one could ever verify!


    Bill Douglas is underated in my opinion so its great to see someone else acknowledge his good work - Comrades is a classic but i also really like the trilogy - earlier in his career.

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