From microscope to telescope: the films of Tony Richardson

B. F. Taylor

in The British New Wave

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780719069086
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701218 | DOI:
From microscope to telescope: the films of Tony Richardson

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This chapter considers Tony Richardson's contribution to British New Wave. Richardson's first film Look Back in Anger (1959), despite its faults, was important for the development of ‘a style to the purposes of the piece’. Look Back in Anger is an interesting film for many reasons. It represents the beginning of Richardson's efforts to establish a new and separate position within the British film industry. The film also helped to generate a new series of critical debates about the development of a British cinematic style, or the lack of it. The film also became allied with other films trying to do similar things, such as Clayton's Room at the Top. It can best be characterised by the extremity of shot scale deployed to show the claustrophobic relationship between Alison and Jimmy, and the construction of The Entertainer demonstrates a willingness to move out from this extreme proximity. Richardson's four films from this period need to be seen as indicative of a talent being developed rather than the achievements of a director at the height of his creative ability.

Keywords: Tony Richardson; British New Wave; Look Back in Anger; Alison and Jimmy; A Taste of Honey

Chapter.  14877 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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