New Realism

Contemporary British Cinema

David Forrest

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An indepth study of recent and contemporary British realist cinema
  • Challenges existing debates about realism and British cinema, and sets out new ground in debates around British cinema
  • Covers in depth some of the key British filmmakers of the last 20 years, such as Shane Meadows, Andrea Arnold and Joanna Hogg
  • Addresses recent and contemporary British films which are yet to otherwise receive sustained critical attention
  • Combines close readings of the films with historically-based, contextual analysis

The tradition of British realism has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, where films by directors such as Duane Hopkins, Joanna Hogg, Andrea Arnold, Shane Meadows and Clio Barnard have suggested a markedly poetic turn. This new realism rejects the instrumentalism and didacticism of filmmakers like Ken Loach in favour of lyrical and often ambiguous encounters with place, where the physical processes of lived experience interacts with the rhythms of everyday life. Taking these 5 filmmakers as case studies, this book seeks to explore in depth this new tradition of British cinema – and in the process, it reignites debates over realism that have concerned scholars for decades.

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1: Duane Hopkins

Chapter 2: Joanna Hogg

Chapter 3: Andrea Arnold

Chapter 4: Shane Meadows

Chapter 4: Clio Barnard

Conclusion: New Realism is dead, Long Live New Realism?

References

New Realism: Contemporary British Cinema represents an important intervention and innovation within ongoing debates on British film realism. Through detailed contextualised analysis of films by five distinctive key contemporary directors - Andrea Arnold, Clio Barnard, Joanna Hogg, Duane Hopkins and Shane Meadows -  Dave Forrest makes a highly persuasive and cogent case for their work constituting a new model of realist filmmaking in 21st century British cinema which is no less politically charged for its poetic and haptic qualities. This insightful book is essential reading for anyone interested in film realism or contemporary British cinema.
Dr Melanie Williams, University of East Anglia
David Forrest is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sheffield

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