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Title: Writing for film : the role of the Production Board of the British Film Institute
Author: McNamee, Robert V.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3388 6387
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis provides detailed textual analysis of four films made (with BFI Production Board assistance) by two important, though contrasting, British writer/directors― My Childhood, My Ain Folk and My Way Home (Bill Douglas, 1972-77); and The Draughtsman's Contract (Peter Greenaway, 1982). Though the thesis is focused on those films, its form and substance have been governed by the fact it is text-based and presented within the Faculty of English. The first chapter briefly considers early national and governmental concerns about the role of film in British life, includes a survey of films legislation and looks at the proposals for a National Film Institute. The second chapter looks at the specific outcome of those proposals, namely, the creation of the British Film Institute. It also looks at the history of BFI film production up to 1982, which is the terminal date of the period under study. The discussion then turns to the main topic of the thesis, a detailed textual analysis of the Douglas and Greenaway films. As both discussions demanded, as a sine qua non of the descriptions offered, accurate texts of each work in its final, achieved form, editions of each have been specially prepared and are submitted with the thesis for ease of consultation. While the discussion of each work is primarily concerned to establish its distinct nature and quality, the two chapters devoted to them implicitly serve also a larger argument, dealt with more summarily in the thesis, about the perceived conflict between the demands of art and industry. Where the Douglas trilogy demonstrates a thoroughly uncommercial enterprise in the pursuit of a highly personal statement by its director for whom an integrity of personal experience was the prime concern, analysis of Greenaway's film demonstrates a contrasting achievement in terms of a commercial cinema and a quite different aesthetic. Where the one was in part made possible by the BFFs earlier commitment to experimental filmmaking, The Draughtsman's Contract is the expression of the Production Board's later concern to produce work for a broader audience poised on the borderline of art and entertainment. The conclusion briefly takes up those issues and offers some suggestions as to the ideological and historical origins of the art/industry debate. This is complemented by a substantial bibliography of further reading on 'Culture, Art/Industry, and Avant-Gardism'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature