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Title: A very British spectacle? : critical reception of the fantasy genre within contemporary British cinema
Author: Rickards, Carolyn
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 6605
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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In the period since 2001, cinema has witnessed what David Butler refers to as a ‘golden age’ of fantasy film production. The majority of fantasy films released during this time have originated from British literature, and have to some extent been produced and located within Britain, showcasing a wealth of national characters, acting talent, and landscapes on screen. Yet, despite vital revisionist work conducted on British horror, science fiction and melodrama, there remains a hesitancy to embrace fantasy as a genre intrinsically connected with national cinema and domestic film production values. This thesis applies the contention that perceptions and understandings of British film and fantasy are influenced by the critical ‘writing machine’, which informs existing tensions between aesthetics, genre and film production, and also wider meanings attached to ideas around national identity and representation. However, this study argues that such discursive processes do not function as a homogenous entity and instead are prone to fluctuation across different critical sites and at different ‘moments’ in time. In order to determine how British cinema and fantasy genre are appropriated by the critical ‘writing machine’, this research adopts a historical reception studies approach to examine meanings and associations as generated by the contemporary British mainstream press in the subsequent decade since 2001 onwards. Building on work conducted by Barbara Klinger and Kate Egan, amongst others, this thesis examines a broad range of critical materials, including press reviews and film-related articles, which circulated across a national, regional and local spectrum of mainstream distribution. This research contributes to existing scholarship by investigating how the critical ‘writing machine’ operates to inform and influence cultural appropriations of British cinema and fantasy genre, and considers how these meanings can shift over time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available