By Barry Forshaw
From the flicks produced by means of the Hammer studios and their competitors within the Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties, to the movies of the twenty first century and their present reputation, Forshaw presents a definitive, wide-ranging research of British horror cinema. starting with a full of life dialogue of the good literary antecedents, British Gothic Cinema discusses the flowering of the style in the midst of the 20 th century and the headline-grabbing serious and institution revulsion over the remarkable degrees of violence and sexuality. It additionally explores the impolite overall healthiness of the sector and its carrying on with effect. With enthusiasm and scholarship, Forshaw celebrates the British cinema's lengthy love affair with the Gothic and the macabre, either persevering features of recent movie and tv.
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Extra resources for British Gothic Cinema
Edgar Allan Poe (American, but schooled for a period in England – in Stoke Newington, in fact) remained an occasional preoccupation of British filmmakers during the 1930s and 1940s, his name (even at this period) virtually a synonym for Gothic horror; an adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher was directed by Ivan Barnett in 1949. Compared to such handsome-looking versions as Roger Corman’s later colour remake for American International Pictures (AIP), this was a threadbare affair, poorly acted with all of Poe’s melancholy poetry and febrile ambience leached from the film.
However, the tone of public pronouncements in this area was more along the lines of a sad, fatalistic acceptance that the public should be drawn to such unpleasant fare rather than hectoring demands that such films should be banned. In the silent era, one of the most impressive films made in the genre of the macabre was directed by a young man who would go on to become Great Britain’s greatest filmmaker. Alfred Hitchcock’s film version of the Jack the Ripper story, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), was made at the Islington studios of Gainsborough Pictures (a company which would enjoy a profitable relationship with the Gothic), and it was a calling card film for the youthful Hitchcock, heavily influenced by the German Expressionists he was so impressed by (he had previously worked in the German film industry).
Ironically, the censorship problems that British horror films were plagued with during their heyday in the late 1950s and 1960s were customarily directed at the more sanguinary aspects of the films, although various censors were invariably disturbed by what they perceived as the linking of sexual and violent aspects. John Trevelyan of the BBFC (with whom Hammer was to have many battles, both amicable and acrimonious) was exercised by this particular conjunction, but not as much as one of Trevelyan’s successors, James Ferman, who decided that ‘blood on breasts’ (needless to say, a standard image in Hammer films) was a trigger for rapists and routinely attempted to excise such images.
British Gothic Cinema by Barry Forshaw