Bodies, critics and <i>This Sporting Life</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:
Bodies, critics and This Sporting Life

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Lindsay Anderson's film, This Sporting Life (1963), is the subject of this chapter. This chapter provides a sustained discussion of the relationship between the film's style and meaning. The key to understanding this film is to examine the relationship between the film's organisation of space and its deployment of characters within this space. This movie demonstrates a remarkable predilection for filling its frames with bodies. In addition, the stylistic choices that Anderson makes in order to pursue this policy have resulted in some of the most interesting critical debates concerning New Wave film. Thematically, there is an overwhelming desire for personal expression evident in Anderson's film. As the film unfolds, the demonstration of this desire is accompanied by the inevitable dissatisfaction that comes from a lack of personal fulfillment. Internally, both of these things contributes with equal ferocity to the wide spaces of the rugby pitch that Frank Machin (Richard Harris), the film's protagonist, plays upon and the narrow rooms of the house he shares with Margaret Hammond (Rachel Roberts), his landlady.

Keywords: Lindsay Anderson; This Sporting Life; New Wave film; narrative cinema; British cinema

Chapter.  10084 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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