Nigel Mather publishes ‘Sex and desire in British films of the 2000s: Love in a damp climate’

Coinciding with the return of Love Island to our television screens (and complementing that programme’s tragi-comic portrayals of male-female relationships), Nigel Mather’s Sex and desire in British films of the 2000s: Love in a damp climate (Manchester University Press: 2021) explores how film-makers in Britain during the 2000s engaged with the themes of love, sex and desire in a generically diverse series of compelling and contentious narratives.

Nigel Mather says, “The book includes studies of the ways in which the lives, loves and sometimes tormented relationships of writers Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath and Iris Murdoch were dramatised on film, and examines a powerful group of films – Kidulthood and its sequels, My Summer of Love, Closer, Disobedience and Perfect Sense – all aimed at exploring how ‘we live now’ during an age of uncertainty and social distancing, and featuring characters torn between settling down and moving on (what in Love Island terminology is known as coupling and recoupling). In lighter mood, a chapter also considers Bridget Jones’s iconic experiences of love and sex and her emotional journey from the ‘edge of reason’ to marriage and motherhood. The book will appeal to literature enthusiasts, film students and readers interested in exploring how we may currently live out our hopes, fears and dreams in relation to sexual matters and affairs of the heart in this ‘sceptered isle’ and post-Brexit universe.”

Nigel would like to express his deep gratitude and thanks to the School of Arts and the University of Kent for allowing me to write the book as an Honorary Researcher (Film) in the School of Arts. He would also like to acknowledge the huge emotional and intellectual debt owed to the Templeman Library for its outstanding research facilities, which were extensively drawn upon in the writing of the book.