Friday, 11 February 2011
The British are Coming
On the eve of our National cinema celebrating its brilliance at Sunday's prestigious BAFTA ceremony, below are a few choice statements from renowned global film luminaries commenting on the distinguished art of British filmmaking:
"I do not think the British are terminally equipped to make the best use of the movie camera." Satyajit Ray, Director - 1966
"The English can write and they can act (or at least speak beautifully, which is enough to cripple us with admiration), but they can't direct movies... compared with the motion picture art of Sweden or Italy or Japan or France or pre-Nazi Germany, English films have always been a sad joke. Pauline Kale, Film Critic - 1968
"There is a certain incompatibility between the terms 'cinema' and 'Britain'." Françoise Truffaut, Director - 1966
"The British over use the close-up- they're not a very visual race, at least in our time – they douse their movies with close-ups the way people with defective taste-buds use ketchup." Dwight MacDonald, American Cultural Critic and Academic - 1972
What do those old coots know! This year's BAFTA ceremony is different and will prove history wrong. Colin Firth – star of highbrow classics like St. Trinians 1 & 2, What a Girl Wants, Mamma Mia!, Love Actually and Bridget Jones 1 & 2 – will fly British cinema's flag of mediocrity by winning a Best Actor award for Forrest Gump Goes to Buckingham Palace. Joining him will be Gemma Arterton who'll win a 'Rising Star' award for giving a series of bland performances that could have been as capably pulled off by any number of 'trained' actresses featuring in Hollyoaks. Joining her will be Gareth Edwards who'll get 'Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer' award for making a dull travelogue on his digital camcorder; helpfully embellished with some iffy laptop trickery made on the latest version of Adobe Reader 9.
And they say BAFTA is still important. Listen closely and you'll hear the sounds of Françoise Truffaut spinning in his grave.