Local Heroics: Scottish cinema in the 1990s

Murray, Jonathan (2006) Local Heroics: Scottish cinema in the 1990s. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis takes as its starting point the fact that this period witnessed easily the highest and most consistent levels of indigenous feature film production in the history of Scottish film culture. By the end of the 1990s, many observers proposed that it was for the first time possible to talk about the existence of a 'Scottish cinema' and/or a 'Scottish film industry', where before only occasional Scottish films and/or Scottish filmmakers could be discerned. This thesis argues that the most important precipitant of Scottish cinema's unprecedented 1990s industrial expansion involved local filmmakers' pre-mediated, industrially aspirant adaptation of American cinematic precedents and working practices. The nature of this 'adaptation' was two-fold. On one hand, it was institutional, relating to the reformation and creation of the kind of financial, training and plant infrastructures which make feature production possible. On the other, it was creative, relating to the generic and aesthetic influences and reference points preferred by many 1990s Scottish filmmakers. This thesis presents the trajectory of the American agenda which dominated 1990s Scottish cinema within a ??Rise and Fall' paradigm. It proposes that the first half of the decade witnessed predominantly progressive local engagements, both industrially and ideologically speaking, with American film industrial and cultural practices. The latter part of the 1990s, however, was characterised by regressive misinterpretations of earlier, beneficial transatlantic appropriations. By the end of the decade, two things were clear about Scottish cinema's 1990s American agenda. Firstly, that agenda had either created or consolidated many previously lacking material conditions necessary for a sustainable national cinema. Secondly, that agenda had largely exhausted itself as a convincing blueprint for the further development of Scottish cinema.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Caughie, Prof. John and Cowan, Prof. Ted
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Miss Louise Annan
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-6666
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2015 14:25
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015 14:25
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6666

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