Shane Meadows and the British New Wave

by Chris Grygiel

This article looks in detail at the relationship between Shane Meadows 'A Room for Romeo Brass'(1999) and 'Dead Mans Shoes' (2004) and 'Saturday Night And Sunday Morning ('1960, Reisz) and 'A Taste Of Honey'(1961, Richardson), two films of the British New Wave. Specifically, I investigate the connections between these eras of British cinema.

In his films Meadows uses similar techniques, structures and methods as the New Wave directors. Prolonged montage sequences, the escape to the countryside and protracted establishing shots are common to both bodies of work, yet Meadows uses these established practices to reach different goals. Is the director paying homage to these earlier works, or is this a subversion of those norms, intended to make us question their purpose? It is important to see how and why Meadows uses similar shots for altogether different purposes, and how these affect his films. I analyse and interpret the relationship between these two eras of British cinema, placing Meadows in a British social realist tradition and draw conclusions in relation to the role in which these earlier films influence both Meadows, and our own reading of these similarities between the two.

With the release of Meadows film Oi! This is England this year, about skinhead culture in early 1980's Britain, it is important at this stage to evaluate the course of his career, taking into account his transition from the margins to popular cinema and his audience. Throughout the article I consider the differences between Britain both culturally and socially in these different eras, and the differing attitudes to the works then and now in what is essentially an entertainment industry.

For more information please see:

Page Two
Screen Journal
Home-werk Blog
Shane Meadows IMDB Entry


To download the article 'Shane Meadows - An Autobiographical fiction' by Chris Grygiel, as a PDF, right click and select download from the menu.


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