British Postwar Cinema 1960-1990.

of the time envisaging these movies to be heralding a ‘renaissance in British cinema.’ [Aldgate, 2006] While British New Wave and the social realism of the post-war years effectively disappeared from the big screen by the mid 60s, realism of the New Wave continues to influence filmmakers as Mark Herman, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, evident in their respective movies Brassed Off (1996) All Or Nothing (2002), Sweet Sixteen (2002).

The New Wave was essentially the British response to French contemporary equivalent—the auteur cinema of Nouvelle Vogue by Truffaut, Godard and others, which focussed on innovative narrative and cinematic techniques, vitally making cinema a personal expression of the director. Even as the British New Wave drew significantly from auteurism of the Nouvelle Vogue, adapting literary and theatrical source material and focusing on realism, the ‘tell-it-like-it-is New Wave movies distinctly differed from its French counterpart in form and style. Perceivably influenced by documentary-style realism, New Wave artistically combined the vision of the novelists or the playwright, and cinematic creativity of the director.

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The paper attempts to analyse the creative aspirations and the artistic influences of the New Wave filmmakers with a view to understanding and categorising the essential genre of British New Wave, as a cinema of the auteur or as a cinema of the writer. Yet, central to the analysis is the idea that while essentially following the historic tradition of British Cinema of adapting successful dramas and novels and persevering the spirit of documentary-style realism of Free Cinema, the British New Wave adapted and altered the auteur theory of contemporary French cinema, combining the art and craft of the writer and director in distinctly remarkable ways.

Crucial to the analysis may be an understanding of the historical development of the movement, and the motives and motivations of the New Wave filmmakers.

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