Melanie Bell

Academic, historian, writer.

Julie Christie

Julie Christie is one of cinema’s most enigmatic stars. Her early Oscar-winning success as the free-spirited heroine in Darling (1965) was followed by a number of landmark films with cinema’s leading auteurs including David Lean (Dr Zhivago, 1965), Francois Truffaut (Farenheit 451, 1966), Nicholas Roeg (Don’t Look Now, 1973) and Sally Potter (The Gold Diggers, 1983). Although she increasingly shunned the media spotlight in favour of political causes Christie has remained a star; revered by fellow actors and feted by critics and audiences alike.

You can read more about Julie Christie in my recent publication:
Julie Christie: Stardom and Creative Agency (2016, London: British Film Institute)

Julie Christie

On the set of Farenheit 451 (circa 1965)

This original and revealing study analyses Christie’s work in key films including Dr Zhivago (1965), McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971), Don’t Look Now (1973), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Away from Her (2006), demonstrating how the actress developed a poetic and ironic performance style which enabled her to shift convincingly between mainstream and art-house cinema.

Drawing on a range of archival materials including film scripts, correspondence and memoirs, this book reveals for the first time the extent of Christie creative involvement in the production process, from script and costume development on McCabe and Mrs Miller to her support for feminist film-makers and feminist politics. This detailed and absorbing case study restores Christie to her rightful place in film history and addresses important questions about how women’s creative contribution to cinema is recognized, rewarded and archived.

Julie Christie and Julie Andrews at the Oscars, 1966