Kitchen sink realism
Kitchen sink realism is a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, novels and television plays, whose protagonists could be described as "angry young men" who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism, which depicted the domestic situations of working class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness; the harsh, realistic style contrasted with the escapism of the previous generation's so-called "well-made plays". The films and novels employing this style are set in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, use the accents and slang heard in those regions; the film It Always Rains on Sunday is a precursor of the genre, the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger is thought of as the first of the genre. The gritty love-triangle of Look Back in Anger, for example, takes place in a cramped, one-room flat in the English Midlands.
Shelagh Delaney's 1958 play A Taste of Honey, is about a teenage schoolgirl who has an affair with a black sailor, gets pregnant, moves in with a gay male acquaintance. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders. In art, "Kitchen Sink School" was a term used by critic David Sylvester to describe painters who depicted social realist–type scenes of domestic life; the cultural movement was rooted in the ideals of social realism, an artistic movement, expressed in the visual and other realist arts, which depicts working class activities. Many artists who subscribed to social realism were painters with socialist political views. While the movement has some commonalities with Socialist Realism, another style of realism, the "official art" advocated by the governments of the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries, the two had several differences. While social realism is a broader type of art that realistically depicts subjects of social concern, Socialist realism is characterized by the glorified depiction of socialist values, such as the emancipation of the proletariat, in a realistic manner.
Unlike Socialist realism, social realism is not an official art produced by, or under the supervision of the government. The leading characters are often'anti-heroes' rather than part of a class to be admired, as in Socialist realism. Protagonists in social realism are dissatisfied with their working class lives and the world, rather than being idealised workers who are part of a Socialist utopia in the process of creation; as such, social realism allows more space for the subjectivity of the author to be displayed. Social realism developed as a reaction against Romanticism, which promoted lofty concepts such as the "ineffable" beauty and truth of art and music, turned them into spiritual ideals; as such, social realism focused on the "ugly realities of contemporary life and sympathized with working class people the poor.". In the United Kingdom, the term "kitchen sink" derived from an expressionist painting by John Bratby, which contained an image of a kitchen sink. Bratby did bathroom-themed paintings, including three paintings of toilets.
Bratby's paintings of people depicted the faces of his subjects as desperate and unsightly. Kitchen sink realism artists painted everyday objects, such as trash cans and beer bottles; the critic David Sylvester wrote an article in 1954 about trends in recent English art, calling his article "The Kitchen Sink" in reference to Bratby's picture. Sylvester argued that there was a new interest among young painters in domestic scenes, with stress on the banality of life. Other artists associated with the kitchen sink style include Derrick Greaves, Edward Middleditch and Jack Smith. Before the 1950s, the United Kingdom's working class were depicted stereotypically in Noël Coward's drawing room comedies and British films. Kitchen sink realism was seen as being in opposition to the "well-made play", the kind which theatre critic Kenneth Tynan once denounced as being set in "Loamshire", of dramatists like Terence Rattigan. "Well-made plays" were a dramatic genre from nineteenth-century theatre which found its early 20th-century codification in Britain in the form of William Archer's Play-Making: A Manual of Craftmanship, in the United States with George Pierce Baker's Dramatic Technique.
Kitchen sink works were created with the intention of changing all that. Their political views were labeled as radical, sometimes anarchic. John Osborne's play Look Back In Anger depicted young men in a way, similar to the then-contemporary "Angry Young Men" movement of film and theatre directors; the "angry young men" were a group of working and middle class British playwrights and novelists who became prominent in the 1950s. Following the success of the Osborne play, the label "angry young men" was applied by British media to describe young writers who were characterised by a disillusionment with traditional British society; the hero of Look Back In Anger is a graduate. It dealt with social alienation, the claustrophobia and frustrations of a provincial life on low incomes; the impact of this work inspired Arnold Wesker and Shelagh Delaney, among numerous others, to write plays of their own. The English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre, headed by George Devine
British Film Institute
The British Film Institute is a film and charitable organisation which promotes and preserves filmmaking and television in the United Kingdom. It was established by Royal Charter to: Encourage the development of the arts of film and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film and the moving image and their impact on society, to promote access to and appreciation of the widest possible range of British and world cinema and to establish, care for and develop collections reflecting the moving image history and heritage of the United Kingdom; the BFI maintains the world's largest film archive, the BFI National Archive called National Film Library, National Film Archive, National Film and Television Archive. The archive contains more than 50,000 fiction films, over 100,000 non-fiction titles, around 625,000 television programmes; the majority of the collection is British material but it features internationally significant holdings from around the world.
The Archive collects films which feature key British actors and the work of British directors. The BFI runs the BFI Southbank and London IMAX cinema, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London; the IMAX has the largest cinema screen in the UK and shows popular recent releases and short films showcasing its technology, which includes 3D screenings and 11,600 watts of digital surround sound. BFI Southbank shows films from all over the world critically acclaimed historical & specialised films that may not otherwise get a cinema showing; the BFI distributes archival and cultural cinema to other venues – each year to more than 800 venues all across the UK, as well as to a substantial number of overseas venues. The BFI offers a range of education initiatives, in particular to support the teaching of film and media studies in schools. In late 2012, the BFI received money from the Department For Education to create the BFI Film Academy Network; the BFI runs the annual London Film Festival along with BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival and the youth-orientated Future Film Festival.
The BFI publishes the monthly Sound magazine as well as films on Blu-ray, DVD and books. It runs the BFI National Library, maintains the BFI Film & TV Database and Summary of Information on Film and Television, which are databases of credits and other information about film and television productions. SIFT has a collection of about 7 million still frames from television; the BFI has co-produced a number of television series featuring footage from the BFI National Archive, in partnership with the BBC, including The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon, The Lost World of Friese-Greene, The Lost World of Tibet. The institute was founded in 1933. Despite its foundation resulting from a recommendation in a report on Film in National Life, at that time the institute was a private company, though it has received public money throughout its history—from the Privy Council and Treasury until 1965 and the various culture departments since then; the institute was restructured following the Radcliffe Report of 1948 which recommended that it should concentrate on developing the appreciation of filmic art, rather than creating film itself.
Thus control of educational film production passed to the National Committee for Visual Aids in Education and the British Film Academy assumed control for promoting production. From 1952–2000, the BFI provided funding for new and experimental filmmakers via the BFI Production Board; the institute received a Royal Charter in 1983. This was updated in 2000, in the same year the newly established UK Film Council took responsibility for providing the BFI's annual grant-in-aid; as an independent registered charity, the BFI is regulated by the Charity Commission and the Privy Council. In 1988, the BFI opened the London Museum of the Moving Image on the South Bank. MOMI was acclaimed internationally and set new standards for education through entertainment, but subsequently it did not receive the high levels of continuing investment that might have enabled it to keep pace with technological developments and ever-rising audience expectations; the Museum was "temporarily" closed in 1999. This did not happen, MOMI's closure became permanent in 2002 when it was decided to redevelop the South Bank site.
This redevelopment was itself further delayed. The BFI is managed on a day-to-day basis by its chief executive, Amanda Nevill. Supreme decision-making authority rests with a board of up to 14 governors; the current chair is Josh Berger, who took up the post in February 2016. He succeeded Greg Dyke, who took office on 1 March 2008. Dyke succeeded the late Anthony Minghella, chair from 2003 until 31 December 2007; the chair of the board is appointed by the BFI's own Board of Governors but requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Culture and Sport. Other Governors are co-opted by existing board members; the BFI operates with three sources of income. The largest is public money allocated by the Department for Culture and Sport. In 2011–12, this funding amounted to £20m; the second largest source is commercial activity such as receipts from ticket sales at BFI Southbank or the BFI London IMAX theatre, sales of DVDs, etc. Thirdly and sponsorship of around £5m
Sanctuary (1961 film)
For the 1933 film version of the Faulkner novel, see The Story of Temple Drake. Sanctuary is a 1961 drama film directed by Tony Richardson; the film, based on the William Faulkner novels Sanctuary and Requiem for a Nun, is about the black maid of a white woman who kills the latter's newborn in order to give her employer a way out of a predicament, faces the death penalty. In 1928, in the county of Yoknapatawpha, Nancy Mannigoe, a 30-year-old black woman, is condemned to death for the willful murder of the infant son of her white employer Mrs. Gowan Stevens, the former Temple Drake. On the eve of the scheduled execution, Temple tries to save Nancy by telling her father, the governor, of the events leading up to the murder. Six years earlier, Temple was a pleasure-loving college girl carrying on a flirtatious romance with young Gowan Stevens. One night, Gowan got drunk and took her to a backwoods still where she was raped by Candy Man, a Cajun bootlegger; the next morning, although in a state of semi-shock, she willingly submitted to more of his lovemaking, agreed to live with him in a New Orleans brothel.
Nancy became her personal maid, Temple reveled in her new life, until Candy Man was reported killed in an auto accident and Temple was forced to go home. Marriage to Gowan followed. Candy Man returned, Temple decided to abandon her home and marriage and once more run off with him. To bring Temple to her senses and prevent her from ruining her life, Nancy sacrificed the infant child by smothering it to death. Though shocked by the candor of his daughter's confession, the governor is unable to grant a pardon for Nancy; the next morning Temple visits Nancy in her cell. As the two women beg each other's forgiveness, Temple realizes that it is only through Nancy's sacrifice that she has been able to find salvation. Lee Remick as Temple Drake Yves Montand as Candy Man Bradford Dillman as Gowan Stevens Odetta as Nancy Mannigoe Howard St. John as Gov. Drake Strother Martin as Dog Boy Harry Townes as Ira Bobbitt List of American films of 1961 Sanctuary on IMDb Sanctuary at the TCM Movie Database
Laughter in the Dark (film)
Laughter in the Dark is a 1969 French-British drama film directed by Tony Richardson and starring Nicol Williamson and Anna Karina. It is based on the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. Nicol Williamson was brought in as a late replacement for Richard Burton, who had shot several scenes; the director, Tony Richardson, found Burton's lack of punctuality intolerable. For the film, the story’s setting was changed from nineteen-thirties Berlin to the swinging London of the sixties; the film drew respectable reviews, but for reasons that are unclear, it was subsequently removed from distribution. The film has only twice been shown on British television, has not been released on any home video format. Laszlo Papas was slated to direct a 1986 remake of the film which would have starred Mick Jagger as Axel Rex and Rebecca De Mornay as the young seductress. Nicol Williamson as Sir Edward More Anna Karina as Margot Jean-Claude Drouot as Herve Tourace Peter Bowles as Paul Siân Phillips as Lady Elizabeth More Sebastian Breaks as Brian Kate O'Toole as Amelia More Edward Gardner as Driver Sheila Burrell as Miss Porly Willoughby Goddard as Colonel Basil Dignam as Dealer Philippa Urquhart as Philippa Helen Booth as Maid Walker, Alexander.
Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0802137692. Richardson, Tony. Long Distance Runner - A memoir. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-16852-3. Laughter in the Dark on IMDb
Mademoiselle (1966 film)
Mademoiselle is a 1966 French - British drama film directed by Tony Richardson. The dark drama won a BAFTA award and nomination and was featured in the 2007 Brooklyn Academy of Music French film retrospective. Jeanne Moreau plays an undetected sociopath and poisoner, a respected visiting schoolteacher and sécretaire at the Mairie in a small French village; as the film begins, Mademoiselle is shown opening floodgates to inundate the village, so there's never a moment in the film that the audience believes she's a normal upstanding citizen, as the villagers do. But the film provides little insight into her motivation, she sets fire to houses and poisons the drinking troughs, causing the death of farm animals. Out of pure prejudice, an Italian woodcutter is the chief suspect. Sexual tension arises between Manou during a series of encounters in the forest. After a night of somewhat perverse intimacy in the fields, she falsely denounces him and the villagers hack him to death. In a final scene, as Mademoiselle is leaving the village for it is made obvious that the woodcutter's son knows the secret.
Having a script written by Marguerite Duras based on a story by Jean Genet, Mademoiselle could pass as an art film, a sexual thriller, or subtle horror. The film was shot on location in and around the tiny village of Le Rat, in the Corrèze département of central France; the entire production team stayed in what accommodation they could find locally for the duration of the shoot. The director always saw Jeanne Moreau as the lead, he wanted Marlon Brando for the male lead, but scheduling could not be arranged. The film was released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment in the United States in 2002. 1967 - Won: BAFTA award for Best Costume Design in B&W.1968 - Nominated: BAFTA Film Award: BAFTA Best British Cinematography. The film was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival. Mademoiselle on IMDb Mademoiselle at AllMovie Mademoiselle, The Belle From Hell
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (film)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a 1962 British coming-of-age film. The screenplay adaptation was written by Alan Sillitoe from Sillitoe's short story of the same name; the film was directed by Tony Richardson, one of the new young directors emerging from the English Stage Company at the Royal Court. It tells the story of a rebellious youth, sentenced to a borstal for burgling a bakery, who gains privileges in the institution through his prowess as a long-distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of important events before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his status as the prize athlete of the Governor undertaking a rebellious act of personal autonomy and suffering an immediate loss of privileges; the film poster's byline is "you can play it by rules... or you can play it by ear – WHAT COUNTS is that you play it right for you...". The notion is echoed by other contemporary films, such as a rapid series of three contemporary Lone Ranger films; the film depicts Britain in the late 1950s to early 1960s as an elitist place, bleak for working- to middle-class people.
Sillitoe was one of the angry young men producing media vaunting or depicting the plight of rebellious youths. The film has characters entrenched in their social context. Class consciousness abounds throughout: the "them" and "us" notions that Richardson stresses reflect the basis of British society at the time, so that Redgrave's "proper gentleman" of a Governor is in contrast to many of the young working class inmates; the film opens with Colin Smith running, along a bleak country road somewhere in rural England. In a brief voiceover, Colin tells us that running is the way his family has always coped with the world's troubles, but that in the end, the runner is always alone and cut off from spectators, left to deal with life on his own. Colin is shown with a group of other young men, all handcuffed, they are being taken to Ruxton Towers, a detention centre for juvenile offenders, an Approved School. It is overseen by the Governor, who believes that the hard work and discipline imposed on his charges will make them useful members of society.
Colin and rebellious catches his eye as a test of his beliefs. An important part of the Governor's rehabilitation programme is athletics, he soon notices that Colin is a talented runner able to outrun Ruxton's reigning long-distance runner; the Governor was once a runner himself, he is keen on Colin's abilities because, for the first time, his charges have been invited to compete in a five-mile cross-country run against Ranley, a nearby public school with privileged pupils from upper-class families. The Governor sees the invitation as an important way to demonstrate the success of his rehabilitation programme; the Governor takes Colin under his wing, offering him outdoor gardening work and the freedom of practice runs outside Ruxton's barbed-wire fences. This is shown interspersed with a series of flashbacks showing how Colin came to be incarcerated, beginning with one showing his family's difficult, poverty-stricken life in a lower-class district of industrial Nottingham, where they live in a prefab.
The jobless Colin indulges in petty crime in the company of Mike. Meanwhile, at home, his father's long years of toil in a local factory have resulted in a terminal illness for which he refuses treatment. Colin rebels by refusing a job offered to him at his father's factory; the company has paid a paltry £500 in insurance money, he watches with disdain as his mother spends what Colin considers an offensive sum. Colin symbolically burns some of his portion of the insurance money and uses the rest to treat Mike and two girls they meet to an outing in Skegness, where Colin confesses to his date, Audrey that she is the first woman he's had sex with, his mother moves her lover into the house. He and Mike take to the streets, they spot an open window at the back of a bakery. There is nothing worth stealing except the cashbox, which contains about £70. Mike is all for another outing to Skegness with the girls, but Colin is more cautious and hides the money in a drainpipe outside his house. Soon the police call.
He tells the surly detective. The detective finds nothing. Frustrated and angry, he returns to say he'll be watching Colin; as the two stand at Colin's front door in the rain, the torrent of water pouring down the drainpipe dislodges the money, which washes out around Colin's feet. This backstory is interspersed in flashbacks with Colin's present-time experiences at Ruxton Towers, where he must contend with the jealousy of his fellow inmates over the favouritism shown to him by the Governor—especially when the Governor decides not to discipline Colin, as he does the others, for rioting in the dining hall over Ruxton's poor food. Colin witnesses the kind of treatment given to his fellows who are not so fortunate: beatings, bread-and-water diets, demeaning work in the machine shop or the kitchen; the day of the five-mile race against Ranley arrives, Colin identifies Ranley's star runner, Gunthorpe. The proud Governor looks on. Colin soon has a comfortable lead with a sure win.
Murray Melvin is an English stage and film actor noted for his work with Joan Littlewood, Ken Russell and Stanley Kubrick. He is the author of two books: The Art of Theatre Workshop and The Theatre Royal, A History of the Building. Melvin was born in London; the son of Hugh Victor Melvin and Maisie Winifred Driscoll, Melvin left his north London secondary school at the age of fourteen unable to master fractions but as head prefect, a qualification he says he gained by always having clean fingernails and well combed hair. He started work as an office boy for a firm of travel agents off Oxford Street. To help channel the energies of the young after the disturbing times of the war, his parents had helped to found a youth club in Hampstead, financed by the Co-operative Society of which they were longstanding members. A drama section formed with Melvin its most enthusiastic member. A short-lived job followed as an export clerk in a shipping office, he inadvertently exported quantities of goods to destinations that had not ordered them, followed by two unhappy years of National Service in the Royal Air Force.
He was employed as clerk and secretary to the director of the Royal Air Force sports board at the Air Ministry in Kingsway. Knowing nothing about sport, he considered his clean fingernails, well combed hair and his father's service had done the trick, he attended evening classes at the nearby City Literary Institute and studied drama and classical Ballet. During an extended lunch break from the Ministry, he applied to Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop company at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and auditioned on stage singing and dancing for Joan Littlewood and Gerry Raffles. On being asked to create a character he knew from life he impersonated a rather rotund director of the sports board. Having ascertained that he had to return that afternoon to work for this character Joan Littlewood said to Gerry Raffles: "the poor little bugger, we must get him away from there" – which they did. In October 1957 he became an assistant stage manager, theatre painter and general dogsbody to John Bury, the theatre designer, he went on stage in his first professional role as the Queen's Messenger in the in rehearsal production of Macbeth.
From the Scottish Court to a building site his next performance was as a bricklayer in You Won't Always Be On Top, soon followed by a peasant in And the Wind Blew, Bellie in Pirandello's Man Beast and Virtue, Calisto in De Rojas's Celestina. He was cast as Geoffrey in A Taste of Honey. After the summer break in 1958, he played the title role in the seminal production of Brendan Behan's The Hostage. Both scripts had been transformed in rehearsals by Joan Littlewood's painstaking and inspired methods of getting to the truth of the text and building a lively poetic and dangerous theatrical event. Though both plays were to blow a refreshing wind through the British theatre, neither play transferred to the West End so Melvin stayed on to play Scrooge's nephew in Joan Littlewood's adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In February 1959, A Taste of Honey opened at the Wyndham's Theatre and transferred to the Criterion some six months later, it was the hit of the season. Melvin went on to play his role of Geoffrey in the film of A Taste of Honey, directed by Tony Richardson, for which he won the Prix de Cannes as best actor at the festival in 1962.
He was nominated for the BAFTA "Most Promising Newcomer" award. In April 1960, William Saroyan, on a world tour, stopped off in London where he wrote and directed a play for the workshop in which he cast Melvin as the leading character called Sam, the Highest Jumper of Them All; the workshop paid their annual visit to the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre for the Paris World Theatre Season with Ben Johnson's Everyman in his Humour in which he played Brainworm. Rehearsals started for Stephen Lewis's Sparrers Can't Sing in which Melvin played the role of Knocker Jugg; the following year he transferred to the role Georgie Brimsdown for the film adaptation of the play. The film, her first, was directed by Joan Littlewood. After a break of nearly two years the company came together to create the musical, Oh, What a Lovely War! After its initial run at Stratford it won it; the company returned to the Wyndham's Theatre where the play won the Evening Standard Best Musical Award. Between the end of its London run and the opening at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York, the company visited the Edinburgh Festival with Shakespeare's Henry IV parts 1 and 2, in which Melvin metamorphosed as Gadshill, Shallow and the Earl of March.
The production of Oh, What a Lovely War! in New York in 1964 was his last for Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop Company. The production attracted the interest of filmmakers, including Lewis Gilbert. Melvin became a member of what has been called the Ken Russell Repertory Company, appearing in many of Russell's most celebrated films, including The Devils and The Boy Friend. Lewis Gilbert cast Melvin in H. M. S. Defiant, alongside Dirk Bogarde, in Alfie, where he played Michael Caine's work friend, stealing petrol and taking photographs to sell to tourists; the first Ken Russell film Melvin appeared in was Diary of a Nobody, filmed at the Ealing Studios on a specially built'silent film' set. Alongside Melvin, who played the errant son, were other actors from John Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, including Bryan Pringle and Brian Murphy, who became Russe