Chapter 10

Enjoying the British Invasion: From Brit-Grit to Frock Flicks

In This Chapter

arrow Depicting real life with Free Cinema and New Wave

arrow Tracing the relationship between British TV and film

arrow Watching the book, reading the film

arrow Building box-office blockbusters

When screenwriter Colin Welland accepted his Oscar for Chariots of Fire (1981), he declared optimistically that ‘The British are coming!’ A full-scale invasion of Los Angeles by Brits in shorts has yet to take place, but the story of competition, complicity and collusion between the British and American film industries is as dramatic and satisfying as any Richard Curtis rom-com.

Instead of attempting to compete with Hollywood glitz and glamour, British film-makers have often taken the opposite approach by turning the camera onto the grittier side of life. Although these social realist film-makers originally saw television as the enemy of cinema, they soon came to enjoy its increased production funding.

The British film industry has survived ups and downs and continues to enjoy success in film adaptations of classic literature ...

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