By Ben Thompson
The release of Mary Whitehouse's 'Clean Up TV' crusade (at Birmingham city corridor in 1964) made this devoutly Christian Shropshire school-teacher a media celebrity in a single day. Over the following 37 years, her identify turned a byword for censoriousness. all of the thousands of letters this redoubtable campaigner despatched, and lots of the many hundreds of thousands she consequently acquired, have been preserved within the documents of her nationwide audience and Listeners Association.
Sifting via this specific compendium of shock and affront, Ben Thompson uncovers a startling new standpoint on Mary Whitehouse's stand opposed to a tsunami of swearing and sexual license. faraway from the final of a death breed, may well she even have been the harbinger - if no longer rather the agent - of a transformation within the tide of cultural history?
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Extra info for Ban This Filth!: Letters From the Mary Whitehouse Archive
Recent criticisms of the Griersonian form have charged that Grierson’s alignment of the documentary project with official funding functioned to institutionalize Grierson’s foundational principles of documentary thereby denying alternative modes of documentary representation which emphasized different theoretical ideas and varying production practices (Winston, 1995). The practices of autobiographical film (examined in Chapter 7), and the recent examples of popular factual entertainment (analysed in Chapter 10), demonstrate ways in which documentary diverges from or reworks the formal approaches and content of Griersonian documentary.
Throughout the film, images of human labour, nature (birds, sea, sky, fish) and machine (the ship’s engine and winches) are juxtaposed. The editing style suggests the connection and interaction of various elements: (male) worker and machine, worker and nature and machine and nature. Over-lapping dissolves are used to draw attention to the relationships of elements. Grierson’s patterning and layering of images demonstrates the ways in which aspects of the process of herring fishing are interconnected and, in turn, the visual practice constructs an argument concerning the interaction of social relations generally (Aitken, 1990: 191).
Ultimately, however, the financial success of Nanook of the North stemmed from a reliance on a form in which, as Grierson observed, factual ‘raw material’ was structured into a dramatized narrative. The formal structure of Nanook of the North was, in commercial and aesthetic terms, an impressive achievement. Nanook of the North: dramatized narrative Nanook of the North deals with a family of Itivimuit, a group of Inuit living on the shore of Hopewell Sound in Québec. The narrative of this silent film involves a series of simple experiences and daily routines: Nanook repairs a kayak, he and his family travel to a trading post to trade their furs, Nanook fishes in the frozen sea and hunts a walrus, the family builds an igloo and retires for the night.