Realism and censorship in the 1970s

Alan Clarke

in Alan Clarke

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719068300
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702987 | DOI:
Realism and censorship in the 1970s

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This chapter traces the development of Alan Clarke's dominant themes and aesthetic approaches. The banning of Scum (1977, 1979), was a turning point in his career; the chapter focuses on this and contextualises it within debates on drama-documentary and academic writing on ideologically progressive form. It discusses the issues raised by its banning, including the changing status of radical single drama, administrative intervention and censorship, and the concern of both practitioners and theorists with realism and ‘progressive’ form. A decade on from debates on the visual epistemology of realism, Clarke, in his juxtaposition of highly expressive effects, narrative experimentation and a problematising of documentary elements, evolved an ideological form that foregrounded ‘the camera's misleading faculty of being able to record the real’ and represented a ‘terminus for British social realism’.

Keywords: realism; aesthetics; radical single drama; drama-documentary; academic writing; censorship; British social realism

Chapter.  18590 words. 

Subjects: Television

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