brit

Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)

imdb
UK, 107 min

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A Technicolor Dream (2008)

UK, 90 min

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A Technicolor Dream is a documentary film chronicling the development of London’s counter-culture underground of the 1960s, and the events which led up to the 14-hour “Technicolor Dream”, a benefit concert for what was at the time England’s largest underground newspaper — the International Times (or I.T.).

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Momma Don’t Allow (Reisz/Richardson, 1956)

UK, 22 min

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dance, teddy boy, dance…
don’t worry; that duck’s ass
at the back of your head
looks mighty fine

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well, obviously i’ve been on  a free cinema kick for the last few days. i recommend all these films as great context to anyone interested in brit cinema, especially fans of the british new wave and/or the “angry young man” and kitchen sink realism dramas from that period.

this entry is by karel reisz (director of saturday night & sunday morning, producer of anderson’s this sporting life) and tony richardson (look back in anger, a taste of honey, the loneliness of the long distance runner).

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the film depicts an evening at a jazz club, but the directors designed it to give a sense of narrative. like the others i’ve seen thus far, it has great music. this time it’s from a live jazz band.  (see full synopsis from screenonline at the end of this entry.)

while it lacks the sense of spontaneity of the last two i watched (several parts are obviously highly staged), it does have the advantage of exploring its subjects – youngish members of the working class and the emerging youth culture – in more depth, and with far more affection than o dreamland or nice time.

it’s of particular interest for its fantastic footage of kids dancin’ up a storm (wish i knew what little trot they’re doing), youth fashion, and for featuring an awkward mixing of proles and middle class brits.

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(where and when did these kids used to learn their dance steps? did they need to be taught, or did they learn by example? whose example? argh. also, if anyone knows of a doc that depicts these lads actually putting the brilliantine [or whatever] in their hair… hook me up)

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