Bodyguard

BBC tv’s “Bodyguard” was not credible, and councillors and MPs know it. Here’s the proof – when an elected representative holds an advice surgery, it’s shown being held in an open hall, where loads of people can see clients take their concerns to the representative in public. Just wrong;
And fans of Jed Mercurio know it too,  When one of three behind all the wrong-doing turns out to be a “bent copper”, she is interviewed without someone from anti-corruption (e.g. AC-12) being present and questions are not asked by an officer one rank senior to the officer being questioned, or in the presence of one (I’m sure the Chief Constable of East Midlands, or an assistant would have been available).
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The writer is to blame! Jed Mercurio has used 4 series of “Line of Duty” to bang the proper procedures home and yet he ignored this.

This has been the most popular BBC tv drama series of the decade and hurrah – cos it ain’t by Dickens or one of the Bronte’s, or that guy from Warwickshire.
But apparently people are disappointed cos the ending left too many questions open. What the series missed was some kind of character (like Ted Hastings) who actually stressed why getting the right outcome in the right way matters.
And in this series, a politician (cos “politics is where people stand tall”) could have provided that role.  But none of the politicians are shown to have the right character.
Instead you’re merely left with relief that the main character (who did turn out to be for real and a hero in the story) survived, and an unease that so many were ready to see him killed.
The action sequences made the series compelling.

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Jawbone

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A small-scale film from which an actor from the “This is England” series who draws on his life experiences as an amateur boxer to write and convey a story of dealing with problems like alcohol addiction.
Though said not to be typical of a boxer movie – an almost life or death movie against a champion – it does have the somewhat predictable fight sequence of almost looking defeated before making a come back.
Despite some of the formulaic stuff, the film is distinctive, if a tad slow.
(r:6.6; e:3, s:3, t:3.)

Working Class heroes in British film

In a fim course, it came as something of a shock that the films picked out to portray working class life, were ones that featured individuals somewhat on the edge of the mainstream of working class people –  Arthur Seaton in “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning“; Jo in “A Taste of Honey“; Billy Casper in “Kes“;  Jimmy Cooper in “Quadrophenia“; Renton in “Trainspotting“; Shaun in “This is England“; Jimmy McCabe in “Jawbone“.
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Film struggles beyond telling the stories of lead individuals, and doesn’t have the time to tell stories of individual development, especially through the world of work where you acquire knowledge, skills and experiences, that give you the confidence to say we the people can do things, cos we are together and we take responsibility.

Nor do any of the films talk about people that came from the working classes to be lead the country – Jack Jones, Ernest Bevin.  (There was a short tv series on Nye Bevan. Note, our greatest, Clem Attlee, George Orwell and Michael Foot came from more privileged backgrounds.)

It’s as if the best we can expect from the media of films is social liberalism.
It’s as if the progress in the UK has been Socialist, without the emphasis on special individuals.
Whatever, I feel like the country is missing some films that tells people. what we really are, and what we delivered., under Clem, under Harold, and even under Tony.

But in it all, a sense of disappointment that this is the list of films that show the British working class.  Surely, we deserved more.

Blue Remembered Hills

20180918s ab0422h blue remembered hills the lace market theatre tweet poster DnWqhZTXcAA1W8b_Fotor_FotorBlue Remembered Hills remembered from the BBC tv series with rosy pink spectacles.  Written by Dennis Potter.  Colin Welland and Helen Mirren, adults playing seven year old children, and what a hoot it was.
But the behaviour, the story.  Awkward.  Unpleasant behaviour.  Children cruel to animals and to each other.
And in this production in the studio of the Lace Market Theatre, up close.  Opposite the other half of the audience, their faces showing how socially awkward the story is.

A very distinctive production.  Engrossing.  Go see. 

My quibble is with Dennis Potter’s ending.  It didn’t need to be so life-changing.  Cos that something significantly bad happened (rather than terribly awful) is enough.  Cos no doubt I wasn’t alone in being pained by the memories of things we did in the woods and the remote buildings as country kids, and pained by the evident disappointment in my parents’ faces when you inevitably confessed.  And I was a good boy, I was.  It’s just that things happened, that kinda paralleled some of the incidents showed.  (Worse than Theresa May’s confession; and don’t even bother asking a librarian about their mischief.).
So blue, yes.  And misremembered.  But worth seeing.
One last thought.  Audrey (“Ord”) is one of the seven year old’s in the 1943 Gloucestershire setting – one year younger than my Mum – “Aud” as we say in Shropshire.    Surely she was better than that!

Yardie

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Gangs and crime.  Jamaica in the 70s and the UK in the 80s.
And – to be Nottingham in the 90s.  Not in the film of course, but the Ashforth Street incident was in my mind watching the film.
Good drama, but a tad unreal when people started getting killed and the Police don’t seem to show up; and doubts about the main twist in the story.
Go see.
(r:8.5; e:4, s:4, t:4)

The Children Act

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A compelling drama.
Lots of interesting, thought-provoking sub-stories.
Emma Thompson carries you away.
Go see.
I think the ending is mis-judged slightly, the story needed more time, but the movie didn’t have it to give.
(r:9.1; e:5, s:4, t:4.)

Sweet Charity

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Rebecca Trehearn was hugely celebrated at the end of this Nottingham Playhouse presentation of a sixties musical that I didn’t know.  Thankfully “Rhythm of Life” is not sung in the twee 60’s radio 2 style of the time – cos that I do remember.
I thought the “stuck in the elevator” sketch was a thing of the sixties too, until I saw the latest tv advert for chicken nuggets.
Last musical I saw at the Nottingham Playhouse was about the Luddites.  The dance is a much stronger element of this production.