Realism, Nationalism and ‘Film Culture’

Paul Grainge, Mark Jancovich and Sharon Monteith

in Film Histories

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619061
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670888 | DOI:
Realism, Nationalism and ‘Film Culture’

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This chapter discusses how the coming of sound was an important phase in the bid for naturalism in the cinema. By the end of the 1920s many filmmakers across different national cinemas were in pursuit of forms of cinematic realism that would convey ‘modernity’. The 1920s would also see the beginnings of an intellectual tradition that read cinema as a self-reflexive medium and a distinctively public phenomenon that might translate, or at the very least comment on, modernity for a mass audience. A burgeoning film culture began to involve critics and reviewers as taste-makers, categorising and theorising about films as art, and film journals and magazines as the forum in which the patrons of film clubs and societies could begin to find the films they enjoyed contextualised. The chapter also includes the study, ‘Writing the Cinema into Daily Life: Iris Barry and the Emergence of British Film Criticism in the 1920s’ by Haidee Wasson, which assesses Barry's role in opening up film criticism to a massive readership.

Keywords: sound technology; naturalism; cinema; filmmakers; cinematic realism; modernity; film critics; film criticism; Iris Barry; Haidee Wasson

Chapter.  10716 words. 

Subjects: Film

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