Studying British Cinema: 1999–2009 reflects on a diverse and surprising range of films – from the populist and mainstream to more esoteric, low budget art-house releases – produced in a decade of tremendous global shifts and surprises that had an impact, one way or another, on British cinema culture.
John Fitzgerald considers the institutional and financial factors around UK film production in the ‘Noughties’ as well as assessing issues around genre, representation, authorship in the broadest sense, social, economic and political contexts. The growth of the co-production is assessed by looking at Aardman Animation and the Harry Potter franchise. Issues around representation and social class are considered in relation to films as diverse as Red Road (2006) and Love Actually (2003) and there is an assessment of developments in social realism, primarily coming from female directors such as Lynne Ramsay. In terms of genre, the revival of the British science fiction and horror film are covered in detail, with case studies ranging from 28 Days Later (2002) to Eden Lake (2008). There are also chapters on how ethnic groups and economic migrants are represented (such as Dirty Pretty Things, 2002) and the growth of films concerning British protagonists in Africa (The Last King of Scotland, 2005).