Over 39 chapters The Routledge Companion to British Cinema History offers a comprehensive and revisionist overview of British cinema as, on the one hand, a commercial entertainment industry and, on the other, a series of institutions centred on economics, funding and relations to government.
Whereas most histories of British cinema focus on directors, stars, genres and themes, this Companion explores the forces enabling and constraining the films’ production, distribution, exhibition, and reception contexts from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
The contributors provide a wealth of empirical and archive-based scholarship that draws on insider perspectives of key film institutions and illuminates aspects of British film culture that have been neglected or marginalized, such as the watch committee system, the Eady Levy, the rise of the multiplex and film festivals.
It also places emphasis on areas where scholarship has either been especially productive and influential, such as in early and silent cinema, or promoted new approaches, such as audience and memory studies.
I.Q. Hunter is Professor of Film Studies at De Montfort University, UK. He is the author of British Trash Cinema (2013) and Cult Film as a Guide to Life (2016), editor of British Science Fiction Cinema (1999) and co-editor with Laraine Porter of British Comedy Cinema (2012).
Laraine Porter is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at De Montfort University, UK. She was Director of the Broadway Media Centre in Nottingham for ten years between 1998 and 2008 and is the co-founder and director of the British Silent Film Festival. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a major three-year AHRC-funded project researching the transition between silent and sound cinema in the UK.
Justin Smith is Professor of Media Industries at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He is the author of Withnail and Us: Cult Films and Film Cults in British Cinema (2010), and, with Sue Harper, British Film Culture in the 1970s: The Boundaries of Pleasure (2011). He is Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded project Fifty Years of British Music Video (2015-17).