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Heritage Film AudiencesPeriod Films and Contemporary Audiences in the UK$
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Claire Monk

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638246

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638246.001.0001

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Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 2: ‘Quality’, Literary Pleasures, Adaptation and Cultural Value

Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 2: ‘Quality’, Literary Pleasures, Adaptation and Cultural Value

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter 7 Audience Pleasures, Attitudes and Perspectives 2: ‘Quality’, Literary Pleasures, Adaptation and Cultural Value
Source:
Heritage Film Audiences
Author(s):

Claire Monk

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638246.003.0007

This chapter explores Heritage Audience Survey respondents' conceptions of ‘quality’ in relation to the period films they watched, and their positioning in relation to the ‘literary’ pleasures offered by many period films (including, but not solely with reference to, literary adaptations), as well as attitudes and expectations in relation to adaptation itself. The function of period films as a substitute for reading classic novels or factual history, or going to the theatre, was given as a (or the) primary reason why the respondent enjoyed them. In addition to the ‘British cinema’ attitude statement, the questionnaire had pre-suggested two pleasures: ‘seeing leading British actors/actresses at their best’ and ‘pride in seeing British cinema at its best’ — which conflated the notions of ‘quality’ with ‘Britishness’. Many respondents associated American cinema with an inauthenticity not confined to period detail. National Trust subsamples' self-worded replies confirmed that at least some of them did indeed believe that recent, particularly post-1980, British period films and television dramas were superior to those of earlier decades, centrally due to their scrupulous ‘authenticity’.

Keywords:   Heritage Audience Survey, literary pleasures, quality, period films, literary adaptations, theatre, television dramas, Britishness, authenticity, cinema

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