Lindsay Anderson: Britishness and National Cinemas
Abstract: This article will explore three key stages in Lindsay Anderson’s career that illustrate the complex relationship between the director’s negotiation of his own national background and the imposition of a national identity in the critical reception of his work. First, I will look briefly at Anderson’s early directorial career as a documentary filmmaker: by using references to the Free Cinema movement and Thursday’s Children (1953), I will show that, in both instances, the question of artistic impact and critical reception took on a transnational dimension. I will then discuss the production of a documentary short in Poland, which Anderson filmed at the request of the Documentary Studio in Warsaw in 1967, and which constitutes the director’s first experience of working in a foreign film industry. Finally, I will discuss Britannia Hospital (1982), the last feature film that Anderson made in Britain. Throughout the paper, I will also use material from the Lindsay Anderson Archive held at Stirling University.