Guide Imaging Religion in Film: The Politics of Nostalgia

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The Religious Test - Official Trailer

Matthew Leggatt author Hardback 16 Nov English. Includes delivery to Finland. Check for new and used marketplace copies. This book re-examines the role of the sublime across a range of disparate cultural texts, from architecture and art, to literature, digital technology, and film, detailing a worrying trend towards nostalgia and arguing that, although the sublime has the potential to be the most powerful uniting aesthetic force, it currently spreads fear, violence, and retrospection.

Cultural nationalism: Brexit and the rise of nostalgia identity

In exploring contemporary culture, this book touches on the role of architecture to provoke feelings of sublimity, the role of art in the aftermath of destructive events, literature's establishment of the historical moment as a point of sublime transformation and change, and the place of nostalgia and the returning of past practices in digital culture from gaming to popular cinema. Routledge is the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We publish thousands of books and journals each year, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide.

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Imaging Religion in Film

Skip Navigation and go to main content Bestsellers Books. The good-old-days and the blitz-spirit is intertwined with Brexit anxiety, and helps perpetuate a surge among the English in particular of a sense of defensive and backward looking Englishness and a wave of popular nostalgia. It is a distinctively top-down, traditional and conservative interpretation of history that utilises the use of Churchillian rhetoric and a triumphant and uncritical interpretation of history that has become a dominant conservative narrative of contemporary renewal within a context of disengagement.

One only needs to look at the most popular British films over recent years to see this also played out in the cinema - Churchill, Darkest Hour and Dunkirk are all based upon this recurring theme. There is nothing inherently conservative about these historical periods, however they have been stripped of any radical possibilities and have been re-situated within a longing for a national space set with the past.

These sentiments have always conjured strong mythical images of splendid isolation, that we are a breed apart from those meddling Europeans, that we are not or have never really been European, that we are certainly separate, distinct and of course superior. Again, the symbolic re-purposing of a nation alone, choosing its own destiny yet couched within a language of austerity and images of war fetishism, feed into the symbolic imagery of a national space.

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These narratives of crisis and longing for images of a green and pleasant rustic past are not just located on the small or big screen. Imagery of artisan, handcrafted, bespoke, boutique, rustic and vintage have become culturally homogenous as the cozy appeal of the safety blanket of nostalgia and an imaginary social and cultural utopia is spread over us within an over-riding sense of benevolent manufactured nostalgia through the prism of social and cultural conserv-atism.

The contested meaning of being English in an increasingly globalised world, with a nation trying to come to terms with devolution, EU integration and large scale immigration is clearly problematic but also rich with radical opportunity.

However, the England sold to the world and more importantly to itself through a cultural obsession with tradition and nostalgia is reinforced through nostalgic paraphernalia such as calendars and tea towels, the cosy, comforting cultural security of the National Trust, Waitrose and farmers' markets. Examples such as these point toward a politically and culturally specific construction of nation and heritage, laden with cultural meaning and identity that purposely exclude those who do not fit the traditionalist images or values of the nation.


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It is a predominantly mythical representation that has no relevance to the majority of the population and one that most could never experience - yet it represents a well-established national, cultural and historical narrative, cleansed of social and cultural relevance.

Indeed, dominant, hegemonic cultural constructions have been challenged over recent years.

Again, there is nothing inherent or or natural to support the claim that historical or rural representations need to be conservative. Indeed, there is a wealth of rich examples that can be utilised to represent and support a more radical and left leaning cultural identity, be it the Levellers or Diggers from the s through to the campaign for the right to roam culminating in the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the s. Poldark Call the Midwife Brexit Spirit of Read times Last modified on Thursday, 12 July