A cinema of surfaces: Jack Clayton's <i>Room at the Top</i>

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:
A cinema of surfaces: Jack Clayton's Room at the Top

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This chapter examines Jack Clayton's 1959 Room at the Top and concentrates on the film's opening sequences in order to achieve two related objectives. It explores in detail the ideas of the arrivals and new beginnings that these sequences bring to attention. It also demonstrates how these two ideas also allow us to overcome the way in which existing considerations of this film have tended to place unnecessary limits upon the interest and importance of Room at the Top's miseen-scène. Room at the Top offers far more than just a linear examination of one man's desire to get ahead. The film offers the opportunity for a more circular discussion of the many (potentially) conflicting concerns that new spaces and their accompanying experiences must inevitably generate. The film articulates its principal thematic concerns through a series of introductions. In Room at the Top, matters of (personal) mobility co-exist with the problem of social paralysis.

Keywords: Jack Clayton; Room at the Top; British New Wave; social paralysis; British cinema

Chapter.  9916 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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