Chapter

Major themes and minor movements: composition and repetition in John Schlesinger's <i>Billy Liar</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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719069086.003.0020
Major themes and minor movements: composition and repetition in John Schlesinger's Billy Liar

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This chapter provides a detailed reading of John Schlesinger's 1963 film Billy Liar. It aims to demonstrate that a British film such as this sustains the kind of detailed aesthetic discussion that is usually reserved for films from other modes of cinema. Towards the end of Billy Liar, Billy Fisher, the liar of the title, having previously arranged to go to London with his friend Liz, is faced with the possibility that he might finally have to go. The time for talking has now finished and Billy needs to act but it becomes increasingly clear that he cannot go through with his plan. The spaces and places of Billy Liar are vital and a fully integrated component in this film's specific examination of the sometimes contradictory and often problematic relationship between one man and the world in which he lives.

Keywords: John Schlesinger; Billy Liar; British film; Billy Fisher; modes of cinema

Chapter.  8735 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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