Starting as early as the late 1880s, film and cinema in Britain has seen a long and variable history. Some of its developments were due to innovations in media technology (e.g., the introduction of sound film in 1928 and the success of colour in the 1940s), others had to do with the economic conditions of the British Film industry vis-à-vis the US American studios. It has been debated to what extent British Cinema has had an identity of its own, but some trends, such as Heritage Cinema and Social Realism appear to be distinctly British contributions to film history.
In this seminar, we will trace the development of British Cinema from its beginnings until today. The aim of the class is to make transparent the networkss of conditions that shape a particular medium, including technological, economic, social, cultural and aesthetic aspects. We will do so by close analysis and interpretation of some representative films.
Working materials required for the preparation of individual sessions and the workgroups will be uploaded to the Lernraum towards the beginning of the semester.