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The British New WaveA Certain Tendency?$
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B. F. Taylor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719069086

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719069086.001.0001

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A cinema of surfaces: Jack Clayton's Room at the Top

A cinema of surfaces: Jack Clayton's Room at the Top

(p.69) 3 A cinema of surfaces: Jack Clayton's Room at the Top
The British New Wave

B. F. Taylor

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines Jack Clayton's 1959 Room at the Top and concentrates on the film's opening sequences in order to achieve two related objectives. It explores in detail the ideas of the arrivals and new beginnings that these sequences bring to attention. It also demonstrates how these two ideas also allow us to overcome the way in which existing considerations of this film have tended to place unnecessary limits upon the interest and importance of Room at the Top's miseen-scène. Room at the Top offers far more than just a linear examination of one man's desire to get ahead. The film offers the opportunity for a more circular discussion of the many (potentially) conflicting concerns that new spaces and their accompanying experiences must inevitably generate. The film articulates its principal thematic concerns through a series of introductions. In Room at the Top, matters of (personal) mobility co-exist with the problem of social paralysis.

Keywords:   Jack Clayton, Room at the Top, British New Wave, social paralysis, British cinema

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