Chariots of Fire rerun: locating film’s cultural capital on a contemporary stage

Tom Rice, Joshua Yumibe

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Abstract

The title sequence of Chariots of Fire – filmed on the West Sands beach of St Andrews, Scotland – has become one of the most reworked and reinterpreted moments of British cinema, transposed across a variety of places, politics and times. In exploring these moves – from the period of its setting in 1924, through its production in 1980, and to its most recent reworkings in the London 2012 Olympics – the article examines the constantly evolving legacies of the sequence and the cultural capital which it has accrued via these various contexts. By considering the original production and its subsequent multiple receptions, the article positions the sequence at the vanguard of shifts in film production and cultural heritage. Viewed from the vantage point of the 2012 Olympics, the film provides an integral source of cultural capital not just for national but also for local and regional economies as they increasingly target new sources of revenue in a post-industrial age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-341
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Chariots of Fire
  • Cultural capital
  • Heritage cinema
  • London Olympics
  • National identity
  • Post-imperial
  • St Andrews

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