Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation 1900-1955

Colour Films in Britain: The Negotiation of Innovation 1900-1955

By: Sarah Street (author)Paperback

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How did the coming of colour change the British film industry? Unlike sound, the arrival of colour did not revolutionise the industry overnight. For British film-makers and enthusiasts, colour was a controversial topic. While it was greeted by some as an exciting development - with scope for developing a uniquely British aesthetic - others were deeply concerned. How would audiences accustomed to seeing black-and-white films - which were commonly regarded as being superior to their garish colour counterparts - react? Yet despite this initial trepidation, colour captivated many British inventors and film-makers. Using different colour processes, these innovators produced films that demonstrated remarkable experimentation and quality. Sarah Street's illuminating study is the first to trace the history of colour in British cinema, and analyses the use of colour in a range of films, both fiction and non-fiction, including The Open Road, The Glorious Adventure, This is Colour, Blithe Spirit, This Happy Breed, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The Tales of Hoffmann and Moulin Rouge. Beautifully illustrated with full colour film stills, this important study provides fascinating insights into the complex process whereby the challenges and opportunities of new technologies are negotiated within creative practice. The book also includes a Technical Appendix by Simon Brown (Kingston University, UK), which provides further details of the range of colour processes used by British film-makers.

About Author

SARAH STREET is Professor of Film at the University of Bristol. Her publications include Cinema and State: The Film Industry and the British Government, 1927-84 (co-authored with Margaret Dickinson, 1985); British National Cinema (1997, 2nd edition 2009); British Cinema in Documents (2000); Transatlantic Crossings: British Feature Films in the USA (2002); Black Narcissus (2005), and Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema (coauthored with Tim Bergfelder and Sue Harris, 2007). She is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of British Cinema and Television and of Screen. Technical appendix by Simon Brown: SIMON BROWN is Director of Studies for Film and Television at Kingston University, UK. A historian and former film archivist, he has published widely on early and British cinema, including pieces on British colour films in the 1920s and in the 1930s, with a particular focus on Dufaycolor. Alongside Sarah Street and Liz Watkins, he is also co-editor of the forthcoming book Colour and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive (New York, Routledge, 2012).


Acknowledgements.- Introduction.- Colour and Silent Cinema.- Colour and Sound Cinema.- Genre: Colour, Fantasy and Realism.- Questions of Aesthetics: Image, Sound, Colour.- Colour and the Audience: Stars, Gender, Colour and Society.- Creating Colour in British Cinema: Questions of Authorship and Aesthetics.- Technical Appendix; S.Brown.- Notes.- Bibliography.- Index.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781844573127
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9781844573127
  • ISBN10: 1844573125

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