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In Fading Light: The Films of the Amber Collective

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In Fading Light

The Films of the Amber Collective

James Leggott

268 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-650-0 $149.00/£110.00 Hb Published (April 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-651-7 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Discussing Amber’s entire oeuvre is a formidable task, and Leggott accomplishes it with panache. His detailed readings of the individual films are insightful and informed, illustrated not only with reference to the local and regional contexts in which they were made but also to the wider contexts of British politics, culture and film history.” • Steve Presence, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)

“This is an impressive and very detailed analysis of all works of the Amber collective from 1968 to the present. The book takes a systematic approach to categorizing the works thematically and aesthetically, often contextualizing them within the broader traditions of British documentary filmmaking and social realism.” • Ib Bondebjerg, University of Copenhagen


For over five decades, the Newcastle-based Amber Film and Photography Collective has been a critical (if often unheralded) force within British documentary filmmaking, producing a variety of innovative works focused on working-class society. Situating their acclaimed output within wider social, political, and historical contexts, In Fading Light provides an accessible introduction to Amber’s output from both national and transnational perspectives, including experimental, low-budget documentaries in the 1970s; more prominent feature films in the 1980s; studies of post-industrial life in the 1990s; and the distinctive perils and opportunities posed by the digital era.

James Leggott lectures in Film and Television Studies at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of Contemporary British Cinema: From Heritage to Horror (2008), and the co-editor of volumes on UK science fiction film and television, the comedy of Chris Morris, and British period-drama television. He is a founding editor of the Journal of Popular Television.

Subject: Film and Television Studies Media Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Area: Northern Europe


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Histories of Amber
Chapter 2. Salvaging the Past, 1968 to 1980
Chapter 3. Can’t Beat It Alone: Current Affairs and Investigations, 1982 to 1988
Chapter 4. The Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen Films, 1983 to 1994
Chapter 5. Dream On: Drama Features, 1981 to 1991
Chapter 6. From the Tyne to the Coalfields: Feature Films, 1995 to 2005
Chapter 7. Still Here: Amber in the Twenty-First Century

Conclusion: Amber at Fifty

Select Bibliography
Amber Filmography

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