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Title: The representation of reality and fantasy in the films of Powell and Pressburger, 1939-1946
Author: Wilson, Valerie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3570 5973
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis will examine the films planned or made by Powell and Pressburger in this period, with these aims: to demonstrate the way the contemporary realities of wartime Britain (political, social, cultural, economic) are represented in these films, and how the realities of British history (together with information supplied by the Ministry of Information and other government ministries) form the basis of much of their propaganda. to chart the changes in the stylistic combination of realism, naturalism, expressionism and surrealism, to show that all of these films are neither purely realist nor seamless products of artifice but carefully constructed narratives which use fantasy genres (spy stories, rural myths, futuristic utopias, dreams and hallucinations) to convey their message. Also, that the use of stereotypes as a basis for character was an attempt to achieve universality while retaining topicality and credibility and that these films seek to reconcile the perceived opposites of life and death, youth and age, the industrial and the rural, tradition and innovation, past and present. to show that the authenticity of location, costume, manners and modes of address sustains a more ambitious and imaginative representation of reality which explores inner truth as well as outer verisimilitude and that the films play with and investigate the function and nature of perception by formal experiment with the conventions of film (sound, vision, time). It will do this in eight sections: 1. Preface. 2. Prologue, The Spy in Black and Contraband 3. 49th Parallel and One of Our Aircraft is Missing: 4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. 5. A Canterbury Tale and I Know Where I'm Going! 6. A Matter of Life and Death. 7. Post War. 8. Conclusion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wartime Britain