International sexpionage! European popular film on sixties British cinema screens

Smith, Adrian (2021) International sexpionage! European popular film on sixties British cinema screens. Contemporary British History, 35 (3). pp. 340-364. ISSN 1361-9462

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Abstract

The history of British cinema is often approached from the perspective of charting and analysing the history of British film production, taking in the contribution made by directors, actors, writers and studios. In this article I assert that a history of British cinema ought to take into consideration what was being presented to British audiences in cinemas. During the period under discussion independent distributors imported hundreds of European films into the UK to fill the constant need that cinemas had for new product; a need which could not be met by Hollywood or the British film industry alone. This article focuses on specific popular genres including the peplum, or ‘sword-and-sandal’ film, the Eurospy thriller and the sexploitation film. The latter is further divided into loose sub-genres; the prostitution drama, the “Mondo” documentary and the sex education film. Taking the lead from the New Film History and the work of Sarah Street in document analysis, material from several different archives is used to reveal information about the practices of these chosen distributors, which enables an original view on the way independent distribution worked in the 1960s and 1970s. Oral history interviews with people who either worked in the sector or who had direct contact with the distributors under discussion are also used, offering new information and historical data. These interviews provide a unique insight into a part of the film industry which has otherwise been neglected by official histories of British cinema.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: D History > D History (General) > D900 Europe (General)
Depositing User: Adrian Smith
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 13:17
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 11:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/99434

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