Including the Irish: taken-for-granted characters in English films

Walter, Bronwen (2011) Including the Irish: taken-for-granted characters in English films. Irish Studies Review, 19 (1). pp. 5-18. ISSN 1469-9303

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The Irish have become embedded in the ‘diaspora space’ of England so that their presence is taken for granted. This article explores the ways in which films made by English directors include Irish characters in apparently unplanned and incidental ways which reflect their own assumptions and those of their audiences about the ‘natural’ place of the Irish in English social landscapes. It interrogates the understandings and intentions of the director (Richard Eyre), screenwriter (Patrick Marber) and actors (Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson) in the film Notes on a Scandal which adds an Irish character to Zoë Heller's novel. Many other narrative films contain small clues, usually denoted by voices, but also ‘looks’, culture and roles. These sources enrich the evidence available to social scientists analysing the deep entanglement of the Irish with both the long-settled and more recently arrived populations living in England.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: sameness, diaspora space, Notes on a Scandal, Irish accents, ‘Irish looks’
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 30 May 2013 13:19
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17

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