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Dickens, Lawrence and Zhivago, David Lean's Art of Cinema

Lecture on Monday 7th June 2021 at 1:45PM

Lecturer: Neil Faulkner
Venue: Larruperz Centre

Cinematic images are modern art forms. In the ‘golden age’ of cinema – before the development of CGI technology – film-makers had to construct sets to represent landscapes, townscapes, and interiors. Sometimes they used paintings and photographs, sometimes they built scale models, sometimes they constructed full-size replicas. In each case, they created an art installation they then captured in celluloid images.

Drawing on new insights from the archaeology of cinema, this lecture will use the films of renowned British director David Lean to explore the art of cinema. How do the ‘artists’ – in this case formed of large collaborative teams (directors, screenwriters, production designers, costume designers, camera crews, fixers, etc) – choose locations, construct sets, dress actors, and, more generally, ‘imagine’ the world they seek to represent? How much is authentic, and how much preconception and prejudice? What are the influences on the way the cinema depicts the world?

Neil Faulkner was educated at King's College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL. He works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster. He is a Research Fellow, University of Bristol, also Editor, Military History Monthly; Director, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project; and Director, Great Arab Revolt Project. He is the author of The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain, Apocalypse, Hidden Treasure, Rome: Empire of the Eagles, and The Ancient Greek Olympics: a visitor's guide. Also author of the forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia's War. His major TV appearances include Channel 4's Time Team, BBC2's Timewatch, Channel Five's Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic's The British.

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