Chapter

Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 2: ‘Quality’, Literary Pleasures, Adaptation and Cultural Value

Claire Monk

in Heritage Film Audiences

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638246
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651238 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638246.003.0007
Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 2: ‘Quality’, Literary Pleasures, Adaptation and Cultural Value

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This chapter explores Heritage Audience Survey respondents' conceptions of ‘quality’ in relation to the period films they watched, and their positioning in relation to the ‘literary’ pleasures offered by many period films (including, but not solely with reference to, literary adaptations), as well as attitudes and expectations in relation to adaptation itself. The function of period films as a substitute for reading classic novels or factual history, or going to the theatre, was given as a (or the) primary reason why the respondent enjoyed them. In addition to the ‘British cinema’ attitude statement, the questionnaire had pre-suggested two pleasures: ‘seeing leading British actors/actresses at their best’ and ‘pride in seeing British cinema at its best’ — which conflated the notions of ‘quality’ with ‘Britishness’. Many respondents associated American cinema with an inauthenticity not confined to period detail. National Trust subsamples' self-worded replies confirmed that at least some of them did indeed believe that recent, particularly post-1980, British period films and television dramas were superior to those of earlier decades, centrally due to their scrupulous ‘authenticity’.

Keywords: Heritage Audience Survey; literary pleasures; quality; period films; literary adaptations; theatre; television dramas; Britishness; authenticity; cinema

Chapter.  10291 words. 

Subjects: Film

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