Friday, 23 July 2010

On "England" and "Englishness" in British Cinema and Television

Updated July 27, 2010
Image from Went the Day Well? (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942)

Film Studies For Free was recently very inspired by Nick James's wonderful overview of the career of Brazilian Alberto Cavalcanti for next month's Sight and Sound magazine. As a huge fan of Cavalcanti's work, and in particular of his (and Ealing's) Went the Day Well? (indeed, FSFF's author lives in a English village uncannily like that portrayed in this film), it immediately set about researching a list of links to online scholarly works on the Brazilian filmmaker, only to discover very few openly accessible ones in English (do check out, though, Kristin Thompson and David Cairn's essays on Went the Day Well?, and the latter's other postings on Cavalcanti here, here, here, here, and here).

FSFF's author's rage at this overall lack of anglophone material (see the photographic evidence above) was eventually sublimated in a different curatorial project, one still connected to themes at the heart of Cavalcanti's work, and also to some related topics explored in further August 2010 Sight and Sound articles (ones sadly not [yet] online: William Fowler's 'Absent authors: Folk in artist film', and Rob Young's 'The pattern under the plough').

Anyhow, below you will find the fruit of this inspiration and frustration: a list of links to thoughtful and thought-provoking international scholarship on expressions of "England" and (multifarious) "Englishness" in (mostly) British cinema and television.


      Juan J Ramos said...

      This is such an interesting topic. Thanks for posting about it and including all those useful links!

      Catherine Grant said...

      Thanks Juan. I recently discovered your very interesting film studies blog which I want to share with FSFF readers -- Amateur Film Studies -- keep up the good work!

      Juan J Ramos said...

      Hi Catherine

      Thank you! You're very kind. I'm just getting started with my blog and yours is certainly a very valuable source of inspiration for me.

      D Cairns said...


      I've slowly been able to track down more obscure Cavalcanti films, and have written a few little pieces:

      Anonymous said...

      There's a really interesting article that's free to access on My Beautiful Laundrette by Monica Calvo Pascual in the 2002 volume of Miscelanea. The journal is at the University of Zaragoza (The article is in English.

      Catherine Grant said...

      David, thanks a lot for those additional, very welcome Cavalcanti entries: I've added clickable links above. And Nick, many thanks for the Calvo Pascual suggestion - also added in full above; a perfect addition to the list.