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Charlie Chaplin

The UK has had a large impact on modern cinema, producing some of the greatest actors, directors and motion pictures of all time including, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, David Lean, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins and Daniel Day-Lewis. The BFI Top 100 British films is a poll conducted by the British Film Institute which ranks what they consider to be the 100 greatest British films of all time. Two of the biggest actors in the silent era were Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel. English photographer Eadweard Muybridge pioneered motion picture,[56] while pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson coined the term "documentary" to describe a non-fiction film in 1926.[57] Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929), is often regarded as the first British sound feature,[58][59] while The 39 Steps (1935) features a signature Hitchcock cameo. Sir Alexander Korda's The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), was the first British production to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Boris Karloff played the leading role in several major Hollywood horror films in the 1930s. Famous for recording many motion picture film scores, the London Symphony Orchestra first performed film music in 1935.[60] The first British Academy Film Awards ceremony took place in 1947. Sir Laurence Olivier starred in and directed Henry V (1944), and Hamlet (1948), the latter being the first non-American film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and also picked up the BAFTA Award for Best Film. The third Shakespearean film directed by Olivier was Richard III (1955). The British film-making partnership of Powell and Pressburger made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s, with The Red Shoes (1948) their most commercially successful film. Carol Reed directed The Third Man (1949), regarded among the best British films of the 20th century.[61]

David Lean emerged as a major filmmaker in the 1940s with Brief Encounter (1945) and Great Expectations (1946), and his first big-screen epic The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) won seven Academy Awards. Towards the end of the 1950s, Hammer Films embarked on their series of influential and wildly successful horror films, including lavish colour versions of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), with actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee at the forefront. A West Country native where many well-known English pirates hailed from, Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in 1950s films popularised the stereotypical West Country pirate accent.[62] Films that explored the "Swinging London" phenomenon of the 1960s included, Alfie (1966), Blowup (1966) and Bedazzled (1967). The James Bond film series began in the early 1960s, with Sean Connery in the leading role. After The Beatles films A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965), it became standard for each new pop group to have a verité style feature film made about them.



 

 

Alfred Hitchcock, often regarded the greatest British filmmaker of all time.[63]

Other major British films of 60s included Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Tom Jones (1963), Zulu (1964) and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965). Four of the decade's Academy Award winners for best picture were British productions, including six Oscars for the film musical Oliver! (1968), based on Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist. British actors in starring roles in 1960s films included Sir Alec Guinness, Richard Burton, Peter Sellers, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Christie, Michael Caine, Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and David Niven. In 1969 Ken Russell directed Women in Love starring Glenda Jackson, who won the Academy Award for best actress. In the 1970s, Ronald Neame directed the festive favourite Scrooge (1970), while adaptations of Agatha Christie stories Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Death on the Nile (1978) were critically acclaimed. British musical comedy film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) featuring Tim Curry, is the longest-running theatrical release in film history.[64][65] In the mid-1970s, seminal British comedy team Monty Python switched their attention to films, beginning with Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), followed by Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), the latter regularly voted the funniest film of all time by the British public.[66][67] Hollywood blockbusters that were filmed at major British studios in 1977–79, include Star Wars (featuring Alec Guinness, and 'the dean of special effects' John Stears)[68] at Elstree Studios, Superman II (featuring Terence Stamp) at Pinewood, and Alien (directed by Ridley Scott) at Shepperton.

 

 

The Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, London during screening of Casino Royale in 2006.[69] The cinema hosts numerous European and World film premieres.[70][71]

British films won back to back Academy Award for best picture in the 1980s, with Chariots of Fire (1982), followed by Gandhi (1983). John Hurt won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his titular role as 19th century Englishman Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980). Richard Marquand directed Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in 1983, the only non-American to direct a Star Wars film. The 1990s saw a large number of traditional British period dramas, including Sense and Sensibility (1995), Restoration (1995), Emma (1996), Mrs. Brown (1997), The Wings of the Dove (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Topsy-Turvy (1999). Anthony Minghella's biggest directorial success was The English Patient (1996), winning nine Academy Awards. English film composer Michael Nyman wrote the critically acclaimed score for The Piano (1993). Elton John and lyricist Sir Tim Rice collaborated to write music for Disney's The Lion King (1994), winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as did Phil Collins for Disney's Tarzan (1999). Scottish composer Craig Armstrong wrote the award winning score for the modern version of Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996). BAFTA award winning British films included Danny Boyle's drama Trainspotting (1996) that centres on life in Edinburgh, the 1997 comedy The Full Monty set in Sheffield, and the biographical drama Elizabeth (1998). Richard Curtis's scripted Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), set a pattern for British-set romantic comedies, including Sliding Doors (1998) and Notting Hill (1999).

At the start of the 21st century, three major international British successes were the romantic comedies Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), and Richard Curtis's directorial debut Love Actually (2003). In 2000, Leavesden Film Studios began filming the first instalment of the Harry Potter film series.[72] English composer Clint Mansell's score for Requiem for a Dream has been well received,[73] and its main theme Lux Aeterna has gained wide usage in popular culture and has featured in a number of film trailers. Famous for his creation Mr. Bean, the much celebrated comedian Rowan Atkinson starred in Johnny English (2003). Wallace and Gromit creator and four time Academy Award winning animator Nick Park directed Chicken Run (2000) and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). Helen Mirren starred as Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), winning Academy and Bafta Awards for best actress. Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008) was the most successful British film of the decade, receiving critical acclaim and won eight Academy Awards.[74] Historical drama The King's Speech (2010), featuring Colin Firth as George VI, received widespread acclaim, won four Academy Awards and seven Baftas, and is being hailed as the most successful independent British film ever.[75][76] In 2012, the twenty-third James Bond film Skyfall became the highest-grossing film of all-time in the UK.[77]

 

 

Kate Winslet

The five most commercially successful British directors in recent years are David Yates, Christopher Nolan, Mike Newell, Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass.[78] Other contemporary British film directors include Guy Ritchie, Alan Parker, Tony Scott, Terry Gilliam, Richard Attenborough, Kenneth Branagh, Paul W. S. Anderson, Tom Hooper, Edgar Wright, Matthew Vaughn and Sam Mendes.

British actors and actresses have always been significant in international cinema. Well-known currently active performers include the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ian McKellen, Clive Owen, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ewan McGregor, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Orlando Bloom, Tilda Swinton, Christian Bale, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Paul Bettany, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Michael Sheen, Helena Bonham Carter, Hugh Laurie, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, Alan Rickman, Jason Isaacs, John Hurt, Emily Blunt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sienna Miller, Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan, Ray Winstone, Peter O'Toole, Jeremy Irons, Gary Oldman, Helen Mirren, Liam Neeson, Tim Roth, Robert Pattinson, Julie Andrews, Sean Bean, Gemma Arterton, Gerard Butler, Tom Hiddleston, Maggie Smith, Russell Brand, Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Tom Hardy, Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine.

 

 

The Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland, commemorates William Wallace, the 13th-century Scottish hero depicted in Braveheart (1995).

Hollywood films with a British dimension have had enormous worldwide commercial success. Many of the highest-grossing films worldwide of all time have a British historical, cultural or creative theme. Films based on British historical events; RMS Titanic,[79] Piracy in the Caribbean,[80] Mutiny on the Bounty,[81] The Great Escape,[82] historical people; William Wallace, Lawrence of Arabia, King Arthur, Elizabeth I, British stories; The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, James Bond, The Chronicles of Narnia, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Treasure Island, The War of the Worlds among many others, while British video game Tomb Raider featuring English archaeologist Lara Croft, has been made into feature films. British influence can also be seen with the 'English Cycle' of Disney animated films, which feature Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Rescuers and Winnie the Pooh.[83]

 

[edit]Broadcasting

Main articles: Television in the United Kingdom and Radio in the United Kingdom

 

 

Television Centre, the main broadcasting centre for the BBC situated in White City, London.

The UK has been at the forefront of developments in film, radio, and television. Broadcasting in the UK has historically been dominated by the state-run British Broadcasting Corporation or BBC, although independent radio and television (ITV, Channel 4, Five) and satellite broadcasters (especially BSkyB which has over 10 million subscribers[84]) have become more important in recent years. BBC television, and the other three main television channels are public service broadcasters who, as part of their license allowing them to operate, broadcast a variety of minority interest programming. The BBC and Channel 4 are state-owned, though they operate independently.

Many successful British TV shows have been exported around the world, such as Pop Idol (created by Simon Fuller), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Britain's Got Talent (created by Simon Cowell), The X Factor, Hell's Kitchen (created by Gordon Ramsay), The Office (created by Ricky Gervais), Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Top Gear. The British Film Institute drew up a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000, voted by industry professionals.[85] In 2004 the BBC conducted a nationwide poll to find "Britain's Best Sitcom".[86]

The United Kingdom has a large number of national and local radio stations which cover a great variety of programming. The most listened to stations are the five main national BBC radio stations. BBC Radio 1, a new music station aimed at the 16–24 age group. BBC Radio 2, a varied popular music and chat station aimed at adults is consistently highest in the ratings. BBC Radio 4, a varied talk station, is noted for its news, current affairs, drama and comedy output as well as The Archers, its long running soap opera, and other unique programmes. The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, also runs minority stations such as BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 1Xtra and BBC Radio 6 Music, and local stations throughout the country. Talksport is one of the biggest commercial radio stations in the UK.[87]

List of radio stations in the United Kingdom

List of television stations in the United Kingdom

[edit]Visual arts

Main article: Art of the United Kingdom

 

 

The Lady of Shalott 1888 by John William Waterhouse in the Pre-Raphaelite style

From the creation of the United Kingdom, the English school of painting is mainly notable for portraits and landscapes, and indeed portraits in landscapes. Among the artists of this period are Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), George Stubbs (1724–1806), and Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788). William Hogarth painted far more down-to-earth portraits and satires, and was the first great English printmaker.

The late 18th century and the early 19th century was perhaps the most radical period in British art, producing William Blake (1757–1827), John Constable (1776–1837) and William Turner (1775–1851), three of the most influential British artists, each of whom have dedicated spaces allocated for their work at the Tate Britain.[88]

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) achieved considerable influence after its foundation in 1848 with paintings that concentrated on religious, literary, and genre subjects executed in a colourful and minutely detailed style. PRB artists included John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and subsequently Edward Burne-Jones. Also associated with it was the designer William Morris, whose efforts to make beautiful objects affordable (or even free) for everyone led to his wallpaper and tile designs to some extent defining the Victorian aesthetic and instigating the Arts and Crafts movement.

Visual artists from the United Kingdom in the 20th century include Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon (an Anglo-Irishman), David Hockney, Bridget Riley, and the pop artists Richard Hamilton and Peter Blake. Also prominent amongst twentieth century artists was Henry Moore, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general.[89] Sir Jacob Epstein was a pioneer of modern sculpture. In 1958 artist Gerald Holtom designed the protest logo for the British CND, which later became a universal peace symbol used in many different versions worldwide.[90] As a reaction to abstract expressionism, pop art emerged originally in England at the end of the 1950s. Known for his thickly impasted portrait and figure paintings, Lucian Freud was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time.[91] The 1990s saw the Young British Artists, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway, John Tenniel, Aubrey Beardsley, Roger Hargreaves, Arthur Rackham, John Leech, George Cruikshank and Beatrix Potter were notable book illustrators. The subversive political artwork of Banksy (pseudonym of the renowned English graffiti artist whose identity is concealed) can be found on streets, walls and buildings all over the world, and has also featured in TV shows.[92][93] Arts institutions include the Royal College of Art, Royal Society of Arts, New English Art Club, Slade School of Art, Royal Academy, and the Tate Gallery (founded as the National Gallery of British Art).

[edit]Architecture

Main article: Architecture of the United Kingdom

 

 

Big Ben at dusk, with the London Eye (left) giving a panoramic view of the city.[94]

The architecture of the United Kingdom includes many features that precede the creation of the United Kingdom in 1707, from as early as Skara Brae and Stonehenge to the Giant's Ring, Avebury and Roman ruins. In most towns and villages the parish church is an indication of the age of the settlement. Many castles remain from the medieval period such as; Windsor Castle (longest-occupied castle in Europe),[95] Stirling Castle (one of the largest and most important in Scotland),[96] Bodiam Castle (moated castle), and Warwick Castle. Over the two centuries following the Norman conquest of England of 1066, and the building of the Tower of London, castles such as Caernarfon Castle in Wales and Carrickfergus Castle in Ireland were built.

 

 

Dunrobin Castle, Scotland, designed by the architect Charles Barry. Today there are thousands of castles throughout the UK.[97]

English Gothic architecture flourished from the 12th to the early 16th century, and famous examples include Westminster Abbey, the traditional place of coronation for the British monarch, which also has a long tradition as a venue for royal weddings);[98] Canterbury Cathedral, one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England; Salisbury Cathedral, which has the tallest church spire in the UK;[99] and Winchester Cathedral, which contains the longest nave and overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.[100]

In the United Kingdom, a listed building is a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. About half a million buildings in the UK have "listed" status.

 

 

Norman Foster's 'Gherkin' (2004) rises above the 13th century church St. Andrew Undershaft in the City of London. The architecture of the United Kingdom is diverse

In the 1680s, Downing Street was built by Sir George Downing, and its most famous address 10 Downing Street, became the residence of the Prime Minister in 1730.[101] One of the best known English architects working at the time of the foundation of the United Kingdom was Sir Christopher Wren. He was employed to design and rebuild many of the ruined ancient churches of London following the Great Fire of London. His masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, was completed in the early years of the United Kingdom.[102] Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the British monarch, was built in 1705.[103]

In the early 18th century baroque architecture – popular in Europe – was introduced, and Blenheim Palace was built in this era. However, baroque was quickly replaced by a return of the Palladian form. The Georgian architecture of the 18th century was an evolved form of Palladianism. Many existing buildings such as Woburn Abbey and Kedleston Hall are in this style. Among the many architects of this form of architecture and its successors, neoclassical and romantic, were Robert Adam, Sir William Chambers, and James Wyatt.

The aristocratic stately home continued the tradition of the first large gracious unfortified mansions such as the Elizabethan Montacute House and Hatfield House. During the 18th and 19th centuries to the highest echelons of British society, the English country house served as a place for relaxing, hunting and running the countryside. Many stately homes have become open to the public; Knebworth House, now a major venue for open air rock and pop concerts,[104] Alton Towers, theme park and the most popular in the UK,[105] and Longleat, the world's first safari park outside Africa.[106][107]

 

 

St. Paul's Cathedral, English Baroque architecture and a red telephone box

In the early 19th century the romantic medieval gothic style appeared as a backlash to the symmetry of Palladianism, and such buildings as Fonthill Abbey were built. By the middle of the 19th century, as a result of new technology, construction was able to develop incorporating steel as a building component; one of the greatest exponents of this was Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal Palace. Paxton also continued to build such houses as Mentmore Towers, in the still popular retrospective Renaissance styles. In this era of prosperity and development British architecture embraced many new methods of construction, but ironically in style, such architects as August Pugin ensured it remained firmly in the past.

At the beginning of the 20th century a new form of design arts and crafts became popular, the architectural form of this style, which had evolved from the 19th century designs of such architects as George Devey, was championed by Edwin Lutyens. Arts and crafts in architecture is symbolised by an informal, non-symmetrical form, often with mullioned or lattice windows, multiple gables and tall chimneys. This style continued to evolve until World War II.

 

 

The Forth Railway Bridge is a cantilever bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. It was opened in 1890, and is designated as a Category A listed building.

Following the Second World War, reconstruction went through a variety of phases, but was heavily influenced by Modernism, especially from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Many bleak town centre redevelopments—criticised for featuring hostile, concrete-lined "windswept plazas"—were the fruit of this interest, as were many equally bleak public buildings, such as the Hayward Gallery. Many Modernist inspired town centres are today in the process of being redeveloped, Bracknell town centre being a case in point.

However, in the immediate post-War years many thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of council houses in vernacular style were built, giving working-class people their first experience of private gardens and indoor sanitation.

Modernism remains a significant force in UK architecture, although its influence is felt predominantly in commercial buildings. The two most prominent proponents are Lord Rogers of Riverside and Norman Foster. Rogers' iconic London buildings are probably Lloyd's Building and the Millennium Dome, while Foster created the 'Gherkin' and the City Hall. When completed in 2012, the Shard London Bridge will be the tallest building in the European Union.[108] Other major skyscrapers under construction in London include The Pinnacle, and Heron Tower.[109][110] Modernist architect Nicholas Grimshaw designed the Eden Project in Cornwall, which is the world's largest greenhouse.[111]

[edit]Performing arts

 

 


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 959


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