Friday, 19 March 2010

Word association part 2

So my regular feature, "Word Association" has so far stretched to a pathetic 1 post.  Let's change that and the world with another wee piece of date-related musings as I grab the latest publication within my clawing grasp.

Today: Vic Reeves' Vast Book of World Knowledge by Vic Reeves.  Length of book: pages not numbered.

Oh dear.

Instead, I'll go for the book next to that, which is: 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, selected by and written by leading international critics.
Length of book: 960 pages.
Page number chosen: 193 (19/03/2010).

New editions of this book have been re-published since I got it in 2004.  So that's 6 years' worth of movies that I MUST SEE BEFORE I DIE on top of the ones already in this!!!

Anyway, to the first sentence on page 193.

"English cinema is perhaps best known for realist dramas, but an important second tradition is the costume melodrama, of which The Man in Grey is probably the finest example and one of the more popular films Gainsborough Studios ever made."

Firstly, I have never heard of The Man in Grey or indeed Gainsborough Studios, which leaves a lot of quite meaningless (to me) words in this sentence (note to self, try to pick some more interesting books to do this with!).  From this sentence, I would choose "English cinema" as the one that means most to me, and for the purposes of this will think about British cinema.

I find British films eternally frustrating.  Some of my favourite films are British, like Get Carter and The Ladykillers, yet so many of them flatter to deceive.  Film-makers seem to think that casting a Dame or Knight of the Realm will suffice.  Sadly this is oh so often untrue.  For every piece of genius like Vera Drake, we get a self-important wet-blanket like Mrs Henderson Presents.  Similarly, so many British movies seem to only get the green light if some Hollywood star is given a role in order to supposedly raise the chances of the film making money in the States.  True British cinema is all too rare, yet when we get it right no-one can touch us.

So here's to the next true British film, and all who sail in her.

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