Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-6794-9 • Hardback • July 2013 • $178.00 • (£138.00)
978-0-8108-8026-9 • eBook • July 2013 • $169.00 • (£131.00)
Alan Burton initially taught at De Montfort University before moving to Klagenfurt University in Austria. He has also written extensively, including books on directors, and is presently on the editorial board of Journal of British Cinema and Television.
Steve Chibnall is an exceptionally experienced film historian who is director of De Montfort University’s Cinema and Television History Research Centre and curator of several archives. He has been teaching British cinema for decades already and produced numerous articles and longer works during this time.
Part of the 'Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts' series, this work by Burton (Klagenfurt Univ., Austria) and Chibnall (De Montfort Univ., UK) features brief essays, ranging from half a page to upwards of five pages, covering the lively and innovative record of British film art, production, and industry. The volume opens with a useful chronology of British cinema, beginning in 1888 and running through January 2012. The bulk of the book's contents comprise the extensively cross-referenced essays that cover directors, writers, producers, actors, films, series, characters, genres, studios, and other organizations involved in British film. The 300-plus entries are prefaced by a list of acronyms and abbreviations. Appendixes include chronological lists of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Annual Awards, beginning in 1948; and the Evening Standard British Film Awards, starting in 1974. The book closes with a lengthy bibliography subdivided into thematic areas. The short essays are easy to read, but are nevertheless filled with historical facts and academic insight. Burton and Chibnall are established authorities on British film, with extensive records of academic publishing on film history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers.
— Choice Reviews
The British film industry, one of the world's oldest, has gone through periods of boom and bust. Two eminently qualified specialists, Chibnall, who owns a private collection of thousands of pieces of British film, and Burton, who's written extensively on silent film and directors, here describe that tortuous history beginning with a detailed chronology and following with an overview and then a dictionary section on outstanding actors, producers, directors, organizations, and studios. Among recent helpful signs, according to the authors, are lottery funding and a reputation for heritage films and literary adaptations. Lists of awards and an exhaustive bibliography complete this outstanding work.
— Library Journal
Until now, students and scholars interested in the broad scope of British cinemas had few collected sources to begin their research. . . .Together Alan Burton and Steve Chibnall have created a work of broad historical synthesis. Coupled with a chronology, a detailed and thorough introduction contextualizes Britain’s film industry within the historical confines of both national and global issues. Entries are arranged alphabetically and mostly consist of four categories: film studio, actor, film, and genre. However, broader entries such as 'women' and 'gay and lesbian issues' fill out the sociocultural development of identity within British cinema. Although varying in length, each entry averages three paragraphs. Moreover, to facilitate searching, phrases with individual entries are highlighted in bold and cross-referenced. Two appendixes are included in the dictionary: British Academy of Film and Television Arts Annual Awards, and the Evening Standard British Film Awards. . . .Ranging from silent cinema to individual journals, this robust bibliography reflects the deep subject knowledge both editors bring to the compilation. Overall, this dictionary is constructed for both the novice and expert. Students will inevitably thumb to the entry on Harry Potter, while scholars will devour the bibliography on Derek Jarman.
— American Reference Books Annual
[T]his is an engaging overview of British film which demonstrates how much this industry has contributed to worldwide cinema, and how it reflects British society and the British psyche. It would be of use not only in humanities and film collections but also a good read for all film fans.
— Reference Reviews
• Winner, Library Journal Best Reference of 2013