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British Cinema

This category contains 111 posts

Lilting (UK 2013)

This film is a gem – a total justification of micro-budget filmmaking and public funding for cinema. Made for £120,000 under the Microwave scheme from Film London, the capital’s screen agency, it achieves more than most films on twenty or thirty times that budget. The Microwave scheme puts first-time feature directors through ‘micro-school’ involving a … Continue reading

The Awakening (UK 2011)

I missed this film in cinemas and I was grateful for a TV screening that fitted into the ‘Christmas ghost story’ slot. The production was part-financed by BBC Films so it may be repeated in future Christmas schedules. The title refers to something repressed by the central character, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), a war widow … Continue reading

Whisky Galore! (UK 1949)

BBC4 is such a blessing. Without it UK TV would be unbearable. This Christmas holiday the channel revived the traditional Yuletide TV schedule and gave us a run of Ealing films. The standout for me was Whisky Galore! which I hadn’t seen for many years. For anyone who doesn’t know the story, adapted from Compton … Continue reading

The Selfish Giant (UK 2013)

This is Clio Barnard’s second feature and I feel much the same about it as I did about the first, The Arbor, in 2010. It’s extremely well made with excellent performances and it acts as a challenge to anyone who has a complacent view of the lives of working-class families in the less salubrious parts … Continue reading

Steve Coogan in Philomena (UK 2013)

Philomena will be a big hit and it deserves to be so. There will be plenty written about it so I’ll confine myself to just a few comments. The biggest surprise for me was the seemingly ‘personal’ or ‘authorial’ stamp of Steve Coogan. The film may star Judi Dench and be directed by Stephen Frears, … Continue reading

Filth (UK/Sweden/Germany/Belgium/US 2013)

This is a thoroughly entertaining film. It’s scabrous, perverse, surreal and offensive but nonetheless engaging. You need to know that is an adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel and that therefore there will be sex, drugs, violence and various obscenities. Nothing is to be taken seriously. In strict Aristotelean terms this is possibly a tragedy … Continue reading

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