British rural landscapes on film

Edited by Paul Newland

British rural landscapes on film


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  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0469-4
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: September 2016
  • BIC Category: Literature, Films, cinema, Film history, theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism, Rural Communities


British rural landscapes on film offers insights into how rural areas in Britain have been represented on film, from the silent era, through both world wars, and on into the twenty-first century. It is the first book to exclusively deal with representations of the British countryside on film. The contributors demonstrate that the countryside has provided Britain (and its constituent nations and regions) with a dense range of spaces in which cultural identities have been (and continue to be) worked through. British rural landscapes on film demonstrates that British cinema provides numerous examples of how national identity and the identity of the countryside have been partly constructed through filmic representation, and how British rural films can allow us to further understand the relationship between the cultural identities of specific areas of Britain and the landscapes they inhabit.


'This is a useful work ... Newland's Introduction valuably locates the debates about landscape in film within a social and cultural context. He gives an interesting account of the contributions of art history and cultural geography to the issue in hand, and makes a large (and in my view justifiable) claim that cinema has a privileged role in prefiguring social expectations of rural space. Essentially, film mines the available fields of topography and iconography and recycles them in a palatable form. To be sure, this edited volume, like all of its kind, has some internal contradictions because of the plural authorship. But what is gained is variety and richness of texture ... overall, this is a very stimulating book and one which rewards re-reading.'
Sue Harper, The Journal of British Cinema and Television.

'This fine collection of essays and interviews investigates the modes and significance of British rural landscape on screen within the history of British national cinema. It sets out to challenge heritage cinema's representational paradigm of treating landscape as mere spectacle, and focuses instead on films in which the notion of the rural incorporates the depiction of the interconnectedness of land and its inhabitants [.] The book may serve as an excellent introduction to the topic for students, as well as a source of new ideas and some refreshingly new perspectives for the initiated expert.'
Erzsébet Stróbl, Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Winter 2018)


Introduction: approaching British rural landscapes on film - Paul Newland
1 Silent landscapes: rural settings, national identity and British silent cinema - Andrew Higson
2 British landscapes in pre-Second World War film publicity - Paul Moody
3 Rural imagery in World War Two British cinema - Tom Ryall
4 'An unlimited field for experiment': Britain's stereoscopic landscapes - Keith M. Johnston
5 The figure (and disfigurement) in the landscape: The Go-Between's picturesque - Mark Broughton
6 'Here is Wales, there England': Contested borders and blurred boundaries in On the Black Hill - Kate Woodward
7 Where the land meets the sea: liminality, identity and rural landscape in contemporary Scottish cinema - Duncan Petrie
8 Fantasy, fallacy and allusion: reconceptualizing British landscapes through the lens of children's cinema - Suzanne Speidel
9 Picturesque, pastoral and dirty: uncivilised topographies in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights - Stella Hockenhull
10 Folk horror and the contemporary cult of British rural landscape: the case of Blood on Satan's Claw - Paul Newland
11 sleep furiously: interview with Gideon Koppel - Paul Newland
12 Film and the repossession of rural space: interview with Patrick Keiller - Paul Newland


Paul Newland is Senior Lecturer in Film at Aberystwyth University

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