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What is it about British Films?

BritishFlag.jpgBritish film is definitely raising it's head in the cinemas of the world once again, and it is certainly proving a success with such films such as Shaun of the Dead, The Queen, Last King of Scotland and Hot Fuzz. We're starting to see strong British films coming forward, and quite a diverse mix at that.

There's always something quite unique about British films, whether that be the genre's they've covered like Merchant Ivory, Four Weddings, or even Ealing comedies, there's always something uniquely British, not just in the genre itself but in the characters and the story.

So what do you particularly like about British films? What makes a British film British? Or perhaps another question to ask is what do you hate about British films?

British film is making a bit of a move to the fore at the moment as we've seen from the Oscars. The Last King of Scotland and The Queen that have been doing well, and this year we're seeing more British influence behind the camera and in both production and co-production, you just have to look to the many Working Title deals. Then there's the slow but steady work of strong British talent such as Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg who are producing some very British films.

It could even be said that there has never been such a diversity in British films as there is now, but in the past you could definitely say that British film has gone through different periods. There's been periods such as Ealing, Carry On, Merchant Ivory, Four Weddings, British Gangster, and so on.

In most of these films there's also something very British about them, whether it be the humour, the quirks of the characters, or the setting itself, there can be something about them that just stamps them as particularly British.

So in this wide open feature, the question is what is your favourite period of British film, and what is that special something that you particularly love about British films, if there is anything at all. Perhaps there's something you particularly hate?

I love some of the work from the Ealing films which showed clever scripts and superb acting, but I hate the terrible cheap humour of the Carry On films, I've never watched one of these with anything like a snigger.

Merchant Ivory films really did pass me by on the interest stakes, but the Four Weddings series of films did catch me, perhaps because they were more about our time than anything.

Yet through these genres there's always a certain Britishness that carries through the characters, sometimes it's the realistic grounding of them and how they speak, sometimes it's the reserved humour and emotions, but there's always a great attitude of being able to be introspective and look humourously on ourselves that I love.

What is it about British films that you like or don't like? Are there some that work more than others, and is the direction the British industry is heading just now in film the right way?





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Comments

Don't forget Mike Leigh. His improv/drama/underclass films are a genre unto themselves.

I find british films more interesting than others. There just seems to be a little bit "extra" in the storyline.

Maybe its because they have to try harder as their budgets are smaller.

I have seen a few old British films of late that I thought were quite good, A Matter of Life and Death and The Smallest Show on Earth. I think the first British film I ever saw was The Full Monty and I actually quite liked it, then it was followed by The Italian Job and I have never looked back. Having seen more Hollywood films more than anything else, I felt that watching British films is such a refreshing change with the kind of humour and just the vibe some of these films have. I love it!

Oh actually I lied. Why did I forget to mention that the first British film(s) I have seen were the James Bond films and that I actually grew up watching them. Just setting things straight! ;)

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