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Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: PN1993, PN1990
British cinema has long been intertwined with television. The\ud buzzwords of the transition to digital media, 'convergence' and\ud 'multi-platform delivery', have particular histories in the British\ud context which can be grasped only through an understanding of the\ud cultural, historical and institutional peculiarities of the British film\ud and television industries. Central to this understanding must be two\ud comparisons: first, the relative stability of television in the duopoly\ud period (at its core, the licence-funded BBC) in contrast to the repeated\ud boom and bust of the many different financial/industrial combinations\ud which have comprised the film industry; and second, the cultural and\ud historical connotations of 'film' and 'television'. All readers of this\ud journal will be familiar – possibly over-familiar – with the notion that\ud 'British cinema is alive and well and living on television'. At the end of\ud the first decade of the twenty-first century, when 'the end of medium\ud specificity' is much trumpeted, it might be useful to return to the\ud historical imbrication of British film and television, to explore both\ud the possibility that medium specificity may be more nationally specific\ud than much contemporary theorisation suggests, and to consider some\ud of the relationships between film and television manifest at a textual\ud level in two recent films, Red Road (2006) and The Unloved (2009).
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