'I don't think I believe in scenery': escaping landscape in recent British cinema

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In her discussion of the cultural history of cartography, Guilana Bruno refers to a ‘tender car-tography’, one that offers a ‘sensuous orientation to cognitive mapping, creating a spatial ar-chitechtonics for mobile, emotional mapping.’ (Bruno, 2002:251). This paper takes Bruno’s tender cartography as a starting point for considering a tendency in recent British films to draw attention to landscape whilst avoiding, or escaping from, a traditional emphasis on ob-servation and pictorialism. It will be argued that the films under discussion produce post-national landscapes, i.e. cinematic spaces of entrapment and escape in relation to both the pas-toral landscapes of British culture and the digi-scapes of globalisation.

I consider manifestations of a tender cartography through which ‘landscape manifests itself in an interpretive gaze’ (Lefebvre, 2006:51). Such mapping, it will be argued, is a response to neoliberal transformation at both a local and a global level. Whilst this transformation has been addressed by explicitly ‘psycho-geographical’ filmmakers concerned with the politics of landscape such Patrick Keiller and Chris Petit, it is less obvious how the same problems of landscape have been addressed in contemporary British, narrative-based and genre films. This paper, therefore, will examine horror, comedy and the music bio-pic in relation to their negotiations of genre, narrative and national landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2014
Event24th International Screen Studies Conference - University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201429 Jun 2014


Conference24th International Screen Studies Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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