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Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema$
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John Orr

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640140.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Conclusion: into the new century

Conclusion: into the new century

(p.180) Chapter 9 Conclusion: into the new century
Romantics and Modernists in British Cinema

John Orr

Edinburgh University Press

One of the striking features of the new century is that three major British films as of June 2009 were identical in two ways. All three are biopics and all are debut features by visual artists who have come from outside cinema. They are Douglas Gordon's Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait (2006), Anton Corbijn's Control (2007), and Steve McQueen's Hunger (2008). Control and Hunger are less experimental, but more ambitious, than Zidane. In revisiting the divide and crossover between romanticism and modernism, this chapter looks at Hunger and Control and especially the way in which their contrasting nature shows the legacy of both romantic and modernist forms. They are biopics of the same period, the start of the 1980s when the modernist period of cinema in Britain was coming to a close. They have real-life protagonists who both killed themselves. Control reworks through Joy Division singer Ian Curtis the mythos of the doomed young artist, and Hunger through Bobby Sands, the Irish Republican Army hunger striker.

Keywords:   Britain, cinema, romanticism, modernism, Zidane, Control, Hunger, biopics, Ian Curtis, Bobby Sands

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