What does it mean to talk about a 'national' cinema? To what extent can British cinema, dominated for so many years by Hollywood, be considered a national cinema? Waving the Flag investigates these questions from a historical point of view, and challenges the received wisdoms of British cinema history in many ways. Andrew Higson investigates theories of national cinema, and surveys the development of the British film industry and film culture. Three case studies combine histories of production and reception with textual analysis of key films from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s such as Sing As We Go, Comin Thro the Rye, and This Happy Breed. Drawing some revealing conclusions about the extent to which the many rich traditions of British film-making share the same distinctive stylistic and ideological characteristics, what emerges is a sometimes surprising picture of a specifically national cinema. Combining detailed analyses of film texts with studies of industrial and cultural contexts, including critical reception, Waving the Flag is an impressive and wide-ranging survey of the concept of national cinema as it has developed in Britain.
'by far the best book about British film yet published' Choice; 'a thoughtful, stimulating, and well-researched book.' - Sunday Telegraph; 'this painstaking piece of scholarship, which manages to home in on the most minute narrative and stylistic details of the films under scrutiny and to excoriate notions of what "Britishness" is all about.'- TLS; 'a valuable addition to British film writing...which adds considerably to our understanding of British cinema history' Screen; 'the book is packed with detailed analysis, dense arguments, and an impressive breadth of cultural reference' - Media, Culture, and Society; 'an exciting new book...valuable to all those concerned with how the cultural analysis of film relates to the economic context.' - Film Quarterly.
the book offers a comprehensive survey of national cinema in the UK./CAB Abstracts/28/9/98
`Waving the Flag represents a valuable addition to British film writing which pulls together and adds to his earlier discussions ... The case-studies are relatively self-contained and could, I imagine, be profitably read in isolation. Indeed, the details accumulated and the issues raised in each case aree so extensive that they characteristically exceed the strict requirements of the developing argument ... an impressive piece of scholarly research which
adds considerably to our understanding of British film history.'
John Hill, Screen, Vol. 37, No. 1, Spring '96
'At long last, the identity of British cinema is a subject of sustained and serious scholarly investigation.'Marcia Landy, Twentieth Century British History, February 1999
`Higson presents a fascinating and challenging examination of the connections between cinema and culture. I fully believe this book will be valuable for all those concerned with how the cultural analysis of films relates to the films' economic context. Higson writes in a clear and accessible manner ... his knowledge of production history,grasp of film aesthetics, and insightful interpretations make the connections between economics and art simply
Lester D. Friedman, Film Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 4, Summer '96
2: British Film Culture and the Idea of National Cinema
3: The Heritage Film, British Cinema, and the National Past: Comin' Thro' The Rye
4: Economic Competition and Product Differentiation - Popular Cinema and the Film Industry in the Mid-1930s: Sing As We Go and Evergreen
5: The Documentary Idea and the Melodrama of Everyday Life - the Public, the Private, and the National Family: Millions Like Us and This Happy Breed
6: Constructing a National Cinema in Britain - Some Conclusions
Appendices (Credits and Plot Synopses) -- I: Comin' Thro' The Rye; II: Sing As We Go; III: Evergreen; IV: Millions Like Us; V: This Happy Breed
Filmography; Bibliography; Index
Number Of Pages: 334
Published: 1st June 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88
Weight (kg): 0.58