This first chapter introduces Michael Winterbottom’s cinema. One of the characteristic features of Winterbottom’s films is a self-conscious and sophisticated attention to the film image as well as to the mediating processes of contemporary culture. Rather than simply adopting and refining the formal and narrative conventions of mainstream film and television, his body of work displays a restless, playfully heterogenous and experimental audio-visual style in its representation of this world. Thus, his films frequently cross the boundaries between apparently distinct or incompatible genres, breaching the systems of expectation that they comprise. Also, Winterbottom’s work demonstrates a consistent concern with the political potential of popular film and, to lesser but nonetheless significant extent, television.
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