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By Dave Rolinson

The British tv director Alan Clarke is essentially linked to the visceral social realism of such works as his banned borstal play Scum, and his research of soccer hooliganism, The Firm. This publication uncovers the whole variety of his paintings from the mythic delusion of Penda's Fen, to the unconventional brief movie on terrorism, Elephant. Dave Rolinson makes use of unique learn to envision the advance of Clarke's profession from the theatre and the "studio process" of provocative tv play strands of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, to the more and more own paintings of the Eighties, which demonstrated him as one among Britain's maximum auteur tv directors.

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It is interesting, therefore, that Clarke’s approach to this scene problematises the language of the cop show; as John Tulloch (1990: 64) argued, police series often excise two-thirds of the legal apparatus, including court and prison, creating the ‘ideological effect of inscribing police within the genre as agents of an immediate and self-sufficient justice’. Clarke’s work often examines this, opening with the after-effects of arrest in A Life Is for Ever, Scum and Made in Britain. Confusion reigns as the police burst into the Bentley home, and our sympathies are complicated by the hostility and suspicion of the family with whom we are initially positioned.

Rolinson_AC_02_Chap 1 34 17/5/05, 9:05 am The director in television’s ‘studio system’ 35 John Caughie (1980) distinguished two forms of drama-documentary. Much of Clarke’s work could be located within what Caughie called ‘documentary drama’, in which writers and directors create an essentially dramatic (albeit heavily researched) fiction, which they validate as a truth representation through the use of documentary visuals. However, To Encourage the Others resides in Caughie’s other category, the ‘dramatised documentary’, in which research is conducted as rigorously as if for a documentary, often by journalists or current affairs departments, and is then dramatised, often around transcripted material.

Spewed out from the ‘womb’ of the state, Christopher is as institutionalised as the patients who fear leaving a psychiatric hospital in Funny Farm, the trainees of Scum, the residents of an old people’s home who return early from their honeymoon to that safe environment in A Follower for Emily (1974), and other figures in Clarke’s work both with and without Minton. Much of this work appeared at the BBC, which, as I will argue in Chapter 2, is where Clarke began to develop a truly individual voice.

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