Viewfinder Magazine

Articles Archive - page 2

  • Sunday Sunday Here Again: Indian Cinema on Channel 4

    Published on: 7th December 2022

    In the early 1980s, the price of a cinema ticket in Britain was approaching £2, compared to the cost of an annual black and white television licence at £15. Films such as The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Superman II (1980) and E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), came and went unseen, particularly for families from low-income… continue reading.

  • Beyond the Snowman: Channel 4 and Christmas broadcasting

    Published on: 7th December 2022

    The Christmas season is a very significant time for broadcasters, who are keen to offer entertainment that both makes a statement about their organisation and wins favour with audiences in terms of ratings. Channel 4’s approach to seasonal broadcasting makes a fascinating case study in this respect. Various media scholars have pointed out the eclectic… continue reading.

  • The Channel 4 Daily and Channel 4 News in War and Peace, 1989-92

    Published on: 7th December 2022

    It rained solidly everywhere across the UK and the rest of Europe on 25 September 1992 (with parts of Northern Ireland excepted), as the black, black clouds on the final weather report on the Channel 4 Daily showed (1). The pathetic fallacy for the demise of a great, but failed, experiment was clear — although… continue reading.

  • Channel 4 at 40

    Published on: 7th December 2022

    The UK’s Channel 4 turns 40 on 4 November 2022. How can we assess the achievements (and failures) of this unique broadcasting initiative? The UK’s fourth TV channel was set up by a Conservative government to be innovative in the form and content of programmes. Now it is just one small group of channels among… continue reading.

  • EDITORS' NOTE: ISSUE 120 - ARENA

    Published on: 6th July 2022

    Welcome to ViewFinder Issue 120: Arena This term we will be exploring the landmark BBC arts and culture series Arena. Rightly included in Broadcast Magazine’s 50 most influential programmes of all time as well as the BFI’s 100 BBC Gamechangers, Arena has been essential viewing for the culturally curious since its 1975 launch. Always innovative… continue reading.

  • INTERVIEW WITH ARENA SERIES EDITOR ANTHONY WALL

    Published on: 6th July 2022

    Anthony Wall worked on the landmark BBC arts and culture series Arena for 40 years, starting as a researcher in 1978 before moving on to producing and directing. A crucial figure in Arena’s development and direction he became the longest-serving Series Editor, taking over the role from Alan Yentob in 1985 together with Nigel Finch… continue reading.

  • Attitude, Alchemy, and Archive – Arena’s Arts Television and its Fight for Survival

    Published on: 5th July 2022

    With the demise of the terrestrial version of the South Bank Show (ITV, 1978 – 2010; Sky Arts, 2012 - ), the BBC’s flagship arts programme Arena survives as the oldest established arts documentary strand on public service television. Launched in October 1975 on BBC Two, the past 47 years have seen the series evolve,… continue reading.

  • The Arena Samuel Beckett Season: Art, Drama and Adaptation

    Published on: 5th July 2022

    Beckett’s plays written or adapted for British television during the author’s lifetime were rarely screened in drama slots but instead in arts series on BBC2. It was under the auspices of Arena in 1982 that BBC’s most significant Beckett season was broadcast, in December of that year. Arena had not commissioned any of the productions,… continue reading.

  • No proper job for a grown person: Hugh McIlvanney and the BBC Arena documentary Sportswriter

    Published on: 5th July 2022

    Introduction The idea that intrinsic meaning and value can be found in sport, which are unique to the human experience, is the driving force of the BBC Arena documentary Sportswriter produced by Francis Hanly, which was written and presented by the acclaimed Observer and Sunday Times sport journalist Hugh McIlvanney. The documentary sets about the… continue reading.

  • Arena’s Memorial Portrait of Henry Moore

    Published on: 5th July 2022

    Arena (BBC2, 1975- ) introduced new subject matters and forms to public service broadcasting arts programming. By the mid-1980s, the editors of this critically acclaimed arts series had firmly steered away from traditional high art forms, adopting a more expansive notion of the popular arts. To the seasoned Arena audiences, then, who might have been… continue reading.