Alan Clarke - download pdf or read online

By Dave Rolinson

ISBN-10: 0719068304

ISBN-13: 9780719068300

The British tv director Alan Clarke is essentially linked to the visceral social realism of such works as his banned borstal play Scum, and his learn of soccer hooliganism, The Firm. This ebook uncovers the whole variety of his paintings from the mythic delusion of Penda's Fen, to the novel brief movie on terrorism, Elephant. Dave Rolinson makes use of unique learn to envision the improvement of Clarke's profession from the theatre and the "studio approach" of provocative tv play strands of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, to the more and more own paintings of the Nineteen Eighties, which validated him as one in every of Britain's maximum auteur tv directors.

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Extra resources for Alan Clarke

Example text

The following section provides a case study of To Encourage the Others, to discuss the themes and visual approaches which mark it out as a landmark in Clarke’s career, as well as the issues which it raises with regards to television direction. To Encourage the Others (1972) Nineteen-year-old Derek Bentley was the victim of one of the most horrific miscarriages of justice in British legal history. On the night of 2 November 1952, he and sixteen-year-old Christopher Craig attempted to break into a wholesaler’s warehouse in Croydon.

Coming down the stairs to answer the door to the police, Iris Bentley is framed in a lowangle wide-shot. Rather than cutting to another camera, he pans left with her, and holds an over-the-shoulder shot as she opens the door. Although admittedly undeveloped, this demonstrates one of Clarke’s visual tropes, the placing of the viewer on the side of a character by positioning us with them and, notably, against the state. Writing about Ken Loach’s The Big Flame (1969), Raymond Williams (1977a: 70–1) remarked upon ‘how regular and how naturalised the position of the camera behind the police’ is in reports of social disturbance, to the extent that ‘The police are seen with the camera’ whilst the disturbance ‘is the object’.

The play’s chilling success lies in a striving for the opposite effect, as Clarke told Michael Behr: ‘the main thing about the production was to keep it reasonably low-key. It’s not by any means as theatrical and bizarre as the reality of it was. ’ It compares favourably with other miscarriage of justice films such as In the Name of the Father (1993), Jim Sheridan’s film about the Guildford Four. Chief among Sheridan’s dramatic devices was the stirring but invented High Court speech of a solicitor played by Emma Thompson.

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Alan Clarke by Dave Rolinson


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