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Alan Clarke$
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Dave Rolinson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719068300

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719068300.001.0001

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Realism and censorship in the 1970s

Realism and censorship in the 1970s

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 Realism and censorship in the 1970s
Source:
Alan Clarke
Author(s):

Alan Clarke

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719068300.003.0012

This chapter traces the development of Alan Clarke's dominant themes and aesthetic approaches. The banning of Scum (1977, 1979), was a turning point in his career; the chapter focuses on this and contextualises it within debates on drama-documentary and academic writing on ideologically progressive form. It discusses the issues raised by its banning, including the changing status of radical single drama, administrative intervention and censorship, and the concern of both practitioners and theorists with realism and ‘progressive’ form. A decade on from debates on the visual epistemology of realism, Clarke, in his juxtaposition of highly expressive effects, narrative experimentation and a problematising of documentary elements, evolved an ideological form that foregrounded ‘the camera's misleading faculty of being able to record the real’ and represented a ‘terminus for British social realism’.

Keywords:   realism, aesthetics, radical single drama, drama-documentary, academic writing, censorship, British social realism

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