Visions of England: Class and Culture in Contemporary Cinema

Visions of England: Class and Culture in Contemporary Cinema

by Paul Dave

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Overview

Visions of England is a provocative and original exploration of Englishness, in particular English class, in contemporary cinema.
Class has been a central part, whether consciously or not, of much of English social analysis and artistic production for over a century. But as a way of interpreting society, class has found itself sidelined in a postmodern world. Visions of England presents a detailed analysis of the changing landscape of English class and culture.


Visions of England explores a wide range of film production - from gangster thrillers like Lock, Stock Two Smoking Barrels to the period cinema of Elizabeth, from cult classics like Performance and Trainspotting to the mainstream romantic comedy of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones, from the social realist drama of Billy Elliot and The Full Monty to the multicultural comedy of Bend it like Beckham, and the experimentalism of films such as London Orbital and Robinson in Space.
An extraordinarily wide-ranging and incisive study, Visions of England rewrites the relationship of film and Englishness.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Visions of England reinvigorates class analysis in film studies, mirroring Kracauer and Benjamin in its sensitivity to film aesthetics and film scenarios. Delving into mainstream and obscure films alike, it offers something entirely different to celebrity-driven film gabble, dully-empirical accounts of audiences or high-theory shenanigans with little reference to the filmic-ness of film.'” —Esther Leslie, author of Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde

Visions of England moves delicately but incisively through significant contemporary political and cultural concerns that have engaged critics of media, culture, and politics in the last decades. At the center of the book is an examination of how social class, a necessary element in any comprehension of the changing landscape of England as expressed in cinema, is coded in the films. The breadth of readings - major English historians, early and contemporary British literature, writings on cinema, and cultural theory - as well as the discussion of a wide range of popular and experimental films is astounding. A fascinating book and one of the best studies of national identity and cinema available.” —Marcia Landy, author of British Genres and Fascism in Film

Marcia Landy


Visions of England moves delicately but incisively through significant contemporary political and cultural concerns that have engaged critics of media, culture, and politics in the last decades. At the center of the book is an examination of how social class, a necessary element in any comprehension of the changing landscape of England as expressed in cinema, is coded in the films. The breadth of readings - major English historians, early and contemporary British literature, writings on cinema, and cultural theory - as well as the discussion of a wide range of popular and experimental films is astounding. A fascinating book and one of the best studies of national identity and cinema available.

Esther Leslie


'Visions of England reinvigorates class analysis in film studies, mirroring Kracauer and Benjamin in its sensitivity to film aesthetics and film scenarios. Delving into mainstream and obscure films alike, it offers something entirely different to celebrity-driven film gabble, dully-empirical accounts of audiences or high-theory shenanigans with little reference to the filmic-ness of film.'

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845202934
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2006
Series: Talking Images
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.47(d)

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