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Discomfort and Joy

The Cinema of Bill Forsyth


Jonathan Murray

Filmmaker Bill Forsyth is one of the most important and fondly regarded of all living Scottish artists. His filmmaking career, beginning with That Sinking Feeling (1979), paved the way for the emergence of an indigenous Scottish cinema. It also established Forsyth as one of the most distinctive and original voices in late twentieth-century European film. This book offers the first integrated and comprehensive study of the director’s complete œuvre. Through extended textual analysis and contextual discussion of each of Forsyth’s eight features, it traces the key formal and thematic characteristics of a remarkable career, one which encompasses both three-figure production budgets in Glasgow and multi-million-dollar adventures in the heart of Hollywood. The book also uses Forsyth’s films to explore the diverse range of film industrial contexts the director has worked within. Most importantly, it sheds light upon the hitherto under-documented zero-budget travails of 1970s Scotland and inflated expectations of early-1980s British film.

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