british cinema

What a brilliant, bracing film this is, a character poem with the depth and lyricism of a John McGahern story, a contemporary classic untrammelled by easy answers.
It's always the same. One sniff of summer - in this case, a few mildly warm days back in April - and I'm planning my holiday. And the way I plan? By watching movies.
Walking home a few weeks ago, I saw a poster for a screening of the Skip Kite documentary, 'Tony Benn: Will and Testament'. This is a filmic obituary of this much-respected titan of the Left, with interviews and footage spanning his 50-odd years in parliament.
Dixie (Jonny Owen), a postman from South Wales is a music fanatic and dreams of discovering the best band of all time and then one day, trawling through YouTube, he finds 'The Premature Congratulations'. This will be Dixie's dream come true.
For the past few years, I have found around one in three trips to the cinema have been disrupted, often entirely ruined by a handful of cretins who haves no concept of other people. Perhaps it's a sign of age, irked by the carelessness of others, but then again perhaps not.
In the wake of the horse meat scandal, more and more of us are turning to vegetables. To celebrate this sudden and unexpected shift in the cultural zeitgeist, the British Film Society is launching the first ever Vegan & Vegetarian Film Festival in our nation's capital.
Mark is your classic Londoner; loyal to his manor, but equally at home in cosmopolitan Soho and in touch with different cultural spheres.
And so, it came to an end. Not with a whimper, but with a bang: Passport to Pimlico, one of the best known 'Ealing comedies', one of the films that (it is claimed) speaks for the whole of the studio's output and thematic interests, and one of the films that first sparked my love of Ealing many years ago.
Nowhere to Go was the second-last Ealing film produced and, suitably, is also the second-last film to be viewed and written about for this challenge.
When discussing Young Man's Fancy (1939), it was noted that these early Ealing films act as a bridge between the Basil Dean / Associated Talking Picture films produced at Ealing and the Balcon-produced films that the production company called 'Ealing Studios' would become known for. Yet even using that framework to approach these films, The Ware Case is an odd and generically unstable contribution to the Ealing back catalogue.
His Excellency is one of those films that is difficult to love, partly because it often fails to deliver a coherent experience or meaning: it has moments of jingoism and anti-foreigner attitudes that feel alien to a 21st century audience, yet also goes to great pains to mock the British patriarchal attitude to 'the colonies'; it mocks socialism yet offers a partial celebration of unionism and collective action; ridicules military might but ultimately relies on it to resolve narrative issues; celebrates a particular 'northern' personality within Britain but dilutes that through the imposition of upper class knowledge and restraint.
The idea that the mother-child relationship was a recurring one in Ealing might seem a strange observation, even coming from the man who ran the studio between 1938 and 1959.
Mandy is a film that can be defined in various ways.
Re-watching Kind Hearts and Coronets for the sake of this blog post (the film is one of the Ealing films I've seen several times in my life, although admittedly not in recent years), I'd forgotten how sexual a film it is.
In the forthcoming collection Ealing Revisited, Robert Murphy describes The Man in the Sky as a film any national cinema should be proud of.
From the opening credits, which dedicate the film to the 'Officers and Men of the Royal and Merchant Navy' and the note that 'many scenes in our film... were taken at sea under actual wartime conditions' Convoy is, in many senses, the archetypal Ealing war film.
In the numerous celebrations and commentaries around the 100th anniversary of Scott's expedition in 2012, few mentioned this Ealing hagiography of Captain Scott (John Mills), the studio's big budget Technicolor epic of Antarctic exploration.
Sometimes, when watching one of the Ealing films that make up this challenge, I am reminded of another film.
Barnacle Bill (aka All at Sea in the U.S.) has an undeserved critical reputation as a late failure that is more concerned with the studios' past comedy glories than it is in creating something new and innovative. But, based on viewing it for this blog, I can't really agree with them.
It is hard to know how to react to I Believe in You: in one sense, this could be dismissed as reliable Ealing social problem fodder, where nice upper and middle-class people volunteer to be probation officers to help deal with the problematic working classes, particularly the rebellious youth who frequent dance halls and get in trouble with the police (in that sense the film has been linked to Relph and Dearden's earlier The Blue Lamp, 1950).