The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'Film' Category

08 August
Comments Off on “Dunkirk” 1958 and 2017….Two Very Different Perspectives

“Dunkirk” 1958 and 2017….Two Very Different Perspectives

Having seen Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” I remembered that way back in my uni days in Leicester at the end of the 50s I had seen a film with the same title starring John Mills and Bernard Lee (actually it was made in 1958). I couldn’t recall much about it but fortunately it’s on Amazon Prime so a day or so later we watched it on Firestick.

Being nearly sixty years old, of course, some aspects of it are a tad dated. It’s in black and white, some of the scenes are obviously studio bound and the women are either cheerful cockneys or very middle class with cut glass accents. However, at 2 hrs 14 mins the director could take a broader brush approach and not only focus on the beaches (actually Camber Sands) but also set the scene by looking at the events which led up to the evacuation

The story was told through the eyes of three individuals. Bernard Lee (who later played M in the Bond films) was a cynical journalist, John Mills a resourceful army corporal and Richard Attenborough an English factory owner making a handsome living off the Army by manufacturing belt buckles.

Unlike the current film the 1958 production showed how during the period of the “phoney war” of the early months, when there was hardly any fighting most civilians felt disconnected from the war. Government and media were complacent and there was a feeling that, in Chamberlain’s fateful words “Hitler had missed the bus”. By the end of the film, as people flocked to welcome and help the soldiers successfully evacuated from Dunkirk the mood had changed. Many more in Britain felt part of the war.

The film also recognised the actions of the rearguard, those soldiers who were ordered to defend the perimeter to the last man and the last bullet in order to protect the men already on the beaches.

The first half of the film followed the civilians as they volunteered to take their small boats across to Dunkirk and John Mills leading his squad through the countryside to the beach. Thereafter the storyline was closer to the 2017 movie with some significant exceptions.

There was a small medical post in a bar by the front staffed by a handful of doctors and orderlies trying their best to cope under extreme pressure. Eventually the chief is sent orders to evacuate the walking wounded to the ships but to leave the most serious cases to await the German forces. Three volunteers are requested to stay behind with the patients and inevitably face being taken as POWs. They decide to draw lots and one of the three to draw the short straw, when asked his name straw gives a very common Jewish name. Nothing is said but the look on his face conveys a solemn message. If the film had been rooted in the First World War there would have no concern at being a Jewish POW. The 2017 production skirted such issues about the Germans… they were just a faceless “enemy” with no hint of darker forces.

In 1958 the film picked up on a moment when a simple service was held on the beach. Most soldiers of that time were not particularly religious but closeness to danger and death often makes men more conscious of their mortality and the scene showed many of the troops kneeling for the Lord’s Prayer. Maybe by 2017 the film makers felt uncomfortable with the notion of men kneeling in prayer….

We also know that on the beaches at the time there was a feeling that the Luftwaffe appeared to be having a free hand in the skies over Dunkirk without much opposition. In fact the RAF was working very hard further inland to deter enemy planes at quite considerable cost. Bur this didn’t stop many of the soldiers feeling angry that the “Brylcreem Boys” of the RAF had let them down. This was picked up in 1958 when John Mills had to step in when a RAF driver who had got them to the beach was threatened by other soldiers. By 2017 this had been airbrushed out.

But the most glaring omission in the recent movie was something picked up in the original film where, sat on the beach, John Mills describes the whole business as a mess and ask how on earth the Germans had managed to drive Britain to the very edge of defeat in such a short time. Bernard Lee blames it firmly on the “never again” reaction to the bloodshed and suffering of the ’14-’18 war. This had encouraged an ostrich like attitude to the rise of Nazi Germany. Lee said, laconically, that Germany had chosen guns before butter while British politicians and the public had chosen the other way around.

How could any film made in 2017, in the midst of the continuous hand-wringing built into the commemoration of the First World War, dare to even suggest that it was the motif of “never again” that had led to the slaughter of even more millions during WW2?

The 1958 “Dunkirk” came from another country. Almost every adult involved with the film would have been impacted by the 1940 evacuation. Many would have actually had experienced WW2 as soldiers or civilians. Even younger folk like myself would have had memories of family in uniform and stories about the Blitz. But now there is very little connection with those experiences at first hand.

Both films have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are, on balance, artistically sound. But both are also of their moment – and if you want to get closer to how people felt at the time then “Dunkirk” 1958 wins hands down.

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29 July
Comments Off on DUNKIRK – THE BATTLE OF THE PERIMETER

DUNKIRK – THE BATTLE OF THE PERIMETER

One thing not included in Dunkirk was the fact that an Anglo French rearguard held back German forces for long enough to ensure the evacuation from the beaches could take place at all. It meant that the retreat was not a rout. As the Duke of Wellington is alleged to have once said. “Any fool can win a battle but the best generals know when to retreat and when they do it they do it damned well”

Valuable time was gained from Hitler’s inexplicable ‘halt order’, which suspended the panzers’ advance for 2-3 crucial days, whilst the German tank forces were replenished. This gave the Allies the opportunity to set up strongpoints in key towns and villages such as Lille, La Bassée, St Venant, Festubert, La Paradis, Steenbecque, Hazebrouck, Cassel, Wormhout, Bergues, Ypres, Noordschote, Dixmuide, Veurne and Nieuwpoort. These strongpoints were manned by experienced troops of the British 2nd division and a variety of scratch units. For the most part, their orders were simple: ‘Fight to the last man and the last round’. The heroic sacrifice of these rearguard units and of the French 1st Army at Lille, allowed the bulk of the BEF and two French divisions to escape up the rapidly-shrinking corridor to Dunkirk

Read more

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29 July
Comments Off on DUNKIRK – THE FILM

DUNKIRK – THE FILM

Just saw Dunkirk….a brilliant film and a serious attempt to portray an event that has become deeply embedded in the British folk memory of WW2.
It’s also an unusual war film in the sense that dialogue is minimal and the emphasis is almost entirely on the visual. There are also very few “heroics”, indeed much of the film is understated and almost passive. There are bursts of violence but also a lot of the “waiting around” that often characterises military life.
Episodes of courage occur but we also see the panic and confusion that war films tend to underplay.
It’s also a film about men…there are a few women but they are peripheral to the narrative and very much in the background. A few decades ago there would have been the compulsory “love interest” of either wives at home or nurses aboard but moviemaking seems to be growing up.
Men die but there is very little blood or dismemberment. In fact the dead are just “there” either to be stepped over or pushed aside.
You do leave the cinema, however, grateful that that over 330,000 of these soldiers escaped to fight another day and, even more that you weren’t a man born in Britain between 1900 and 1922……

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19 December
Comments Off on Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

I watched the BBC’s take on the “Great Train Robbers” last night. The Telegraph dubbed it polished which it certainly was. But I can’t help agreeing with one of the comments.

For my money this show was more style than substance. Yes the filming, sets and score were immaculate but where was the script and believability? It sounded more like a 50’s Pinewood studio crime caper. The dialogue between the crooks was dire as if any of them ever spoke to each other in comic voice bubble language. As a consequence I found it very difficult to believe in them and it failed to add any depth to the plot and characters.

It was an excellent example of the geezer caper genre, but more “Italian Job” than “Get Carter” with the snappy one liners and lack of  atmospheric menace – and the production values were not always 100%….snow and leafless trees in August?

Presenting Bruce Reynolds as framing the blag as a symbolic strike against “The Establishment” was a laughable attempt to over egg the whole affair with retro sixties mythology. They were South London thieves, greedy, violent and preferring others to work hard so that they could then rob them of the fruits of their labour.

Robin Hoods they were not.

But then the romantic affair between media luvvies and violent criminals dates back to that very era of the sixties when the colour supplements began to glamourise the Krays.

Dan Hodges, I think, hit the nail on the head. During the “caper” the train driver, Jack Mills, and some of the postal staff were savagely beaten. Others were terrorised into compliance. But, of course, they weren’t chirpy geezers who were dreaming of opening a club or buying a villa in Spain. They were just ordinary anonymous faces who did the boring jobs that keep our society ticking over.

Tonight, the BBC will present the first of a two-part docudrama on the robbery. One, called the “Copper’s Tale”, focuses on the efforts of the police to catch the perpetrators of the crime. The second, “The Robber’s Tale”, shows things from the perspective of Biggs and his colleagues. I presume it was done that way in the interests of balance. I also suspect there will not be a third episode “The Railway Worker’s Tale”.

Amen to that, say I….

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26 January
Comments Off on Why Do We Like These Clips? Maybe Because Most Of Us Regard Criminals As Slimeballs…

Why Do We Like These Clips? Maybe Because Most Of Us Regard Criminals As Slimeballs…

If you read the UK Guardian or watched the BBC you would think that the people of Britain are always very concerned about police brutality and criminals “rights”. In truth most feel the pendulum has swung too far in that direction, particularly in working class areas where thieves and thugs often make life a misery for the law abiding, tax paying majority.

Which is why there are still fond memories of Inspector Regan and Sgt Carter in “The Sweeney”, a 1970s police series based on the Flying Squad, a special detective unit that focussed on London’s violent professional criminal gangs (Sweeney Todd=Flying Squad in cockney rhyming slang)

The Sweeney viewed all criminals as slimeballs leeching off the hard work of the law abiding and their dealings with the underworld could rarely be described as “nuanced”

So popular was that style of policing with the general public that the character of Inspector Gene Hunt in the recent (2008-2010)retro series of “Ashes to Ashes” (set in the 1980s) briefly sparked a Gene Hunt for Prime Minister petition…

This suspicion that we have exorcised the fear of the law from the criminal mind with soft policing and a “caring” judiciary is often reinforced by the actions of the law when an ordinary citizen seeks to defend his or her property or physical safety when confronted by lawbreakers – hence the frisson of delight most of us have in movie scenes where the tables are turned on some criminal who expects his victim to be terrified into meek obedience when faced with the threat of violence by knife….

…or by gun…

Alas, lawyers and judges will probably ensure that those clips remain just….fantasies…

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19 January
Comments Off on Yes, I Also Have Been Sorely Tempted To Punch Will Shakespeare On The Nose…

Yes, I Also Have Been Sorely Tempted To Punch Will Shakespeare On The Nose…

As a former schoolboy (a long time ago) and a teacher (now retired) and an amateur actor (still mumbling) I must confess enjoying a moment of guilty pleasure when I watch that Blackadder clip…

It came to mind when I learned a day or so back that I had just landed myself a part in our amateur theatre group’s Shakespeare spring production of “The Winter’s Tale”….not a particularly big role but, as Private Eye might say, it’s small but perfectly formed…..

I love being involved with a play, be it on or back stage. For a few weeks you are part of a joint endeavour with a group of people for one common purpose. You share all the ups and the downs, the crises and the celebrations, the laughter and the tears. Forget those familiar dividing lines of social intercourse age, sex or experience. You are pitched together like a close family battling the world. Then the set is struck and you go your separate ways. Once or twice the bonds made during a run might hold long after the scripts are filed. But more usually, once the play is done, the connections dissolve and disappear down memory lane.

The Bard, however, raises different issues for he is the broccoli of drama. We are told how good he is for us yet so many leave him on the side of the plate. Amateur groups feel he has to be performed even though quite a few tickets will be left unsold.
Shakespeare is often the amdram equivalent of a loss leader.

But he shouldn’t be. The characters are fascinating. The language is powerful and vivid. The themes are universal. He is part of every school’s curriculum.

We all have studied Shakespeare – and there’s the rub.

He is studied because he is a Good Thing. In school we have all analysed and dissected Billy S like a specimen on a laboratory bench. We have discussed characters, motives, meanings and symbolism, turned over metaphors and deconstructed references and laid bare every bone, muscle and sinew. His words are revered like a biblical text, a scientific hypothesis or a philosophical treatise. There is a vast Shakespeare industry employing thousands of actors, academics and gushing media scribblers and talking heads.

The guy’s works are being adulated to death – so here’s a thought.

Let’s turn off the tap for five years. Embargo the puff pieces. Deep freeze the academics in a cryogenics unit. Remove Stratford’s name from all road signs and sat navs. Ban Billy S from being mentioned in the school classroom. Perform the plays with zero hype. Hang anyone who dares to say “the bard”

Shift his library classification from the doom laden “Literature” to cheap and cheerful “Entertainment” – because that was how he was regarded by the noisy, bawdy riotous townsfolk who watched his plays in Elizabethan and Jacobean London.

As a schoolboy in 1950s England any chance of appreciating Shakespeare was ground out of my consciousness by hour after hour of mind numbing analysis until the very mention of the name would cause my eyes to glaze over and my brain to slip into neutral.

Then one evening in 1955 I went with my bus driver dad for our weekly cinema visit. He had misread the bill and was expecting to see a gangster movie. By the time we realised it was Laurence Olivier’s film of Richard III our tickets had already been purchased so we went in, expecting to be bored to tears.

How wrong we were. It was magical.

At the end, as the final credits rolled the audience in that packed cinema in a working class suburb of South London sat motionless and silent for a few brief moments. Then as we walked out into the night there was a massive buzz as we all began to talk of what we had seen and my dad looked at me and said “That wasn’t the Shakespeare that was hammered into me at school. That film must be the real Shakespeare….what have I been missing all these years?”

So, unlike Blackadder, it’s not the real Will Shakespeare I want to punch on the nose – it’s the polystyrene cultural idol created by the termites of the Shakespeare industry that I would like to target with my custard pie.

Mind you sometimes I do find Colin Firth a tad irritating……

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12 January
1Comment

Thatcher’s Alzheimer’s Is Karmic Revenge Say A “Usual Suspects” Media Hackette…

Elizabeth Farrelly is a leading Australian architect and newspaper columnist. She has been described as a Renaissance woman during an Australian radio interview with an irritatingly pompous BBC type clone but, in fact, she came across as relatively down to earth with some surprisingly sensible comments about feminism and climate change.

Unfortunately, in a piece on the recent film about Margaret Thatcher, “The Iron Lady”, she comes across as nothing more than a standard Guardianista media hack parroting the North London chattering class dinner party musings that all too often are allowed to pass by default into an accepted universal mythology.

Farrelly, we are told, lived in London for a few years during the eighties – so, should we be ready for a shrewd and perceptive historical analysis of the times?

If only….

Everyone I knew, even the toffs, hated Thatcher with a passion. It was not just disagreement. It was hate.

That tells us more about Farrelly’s narrowly circumscribed social bubble than it does about Thatcher’s government. If indeed that were true how would it have been possible for her to win three elections in a row with ever increasing majorities? Those votes didn’t just come from London and the south east. The Tories dominated the industrial midlands and made substantial inroads in the north. Quite a large chunk of those votes also came from working class voters. To portray her as some sort of southern middle class dominatrix grinding the faces of the lower classes is merely one additional facet of the left/liberal mythology ceaselessly promulgated by our media elite.

Then even more false memory syndrome.

To shrink the whole of Britain into London, then remodel that vast relocated wealth into something as ugly and brittle as Canary Wharf was bad policy, pure and simple. To require the selling of council flats was also wrong, in social as well as urban terms.

Farrelly obviously had no experience of living on a council estate during the 60s and 70s. Poorly managed by disinterested and unresponsive bureaucracies most council tenants were perceived as a leaden lumpenproletariat by patronising local politicians of all parties. The right to buy at generous terms liberated hundreds of thousands of ordinary working people and gave many families their first opportunity to actually benefit from a capital asset once regarded as the reserve of the middle classes. The resulting transformation of many of these estates from untidy sinkholes to neatly ordered urban landscapes was in itself a vindication of Thatcher’s policy.

Radical architects hate not being able to impose their will on the sweaty multitudes because they crave a uniformity of taste and style. That’s why the Farrellys of the world hated Thatcher. She valued the individual above the masses. She was absolutely certain that the gentleman from Whitehall did not know best.

I did not even warm to her personally. The pearls and handbags, stagey voice and sprayed hair all seemed old-fashioned, phoney and tasteless. I was among those who, hearing that both Thatcher and Reagan had Alzheimer’s disease, took it as karmic revenge.

Karmic revenge..

Funny how the liberal/left are allowed to vent their spleen in quite unpleasant terms and assume they are allowed to be given a pass. Yet at the end of the day it’s really Farrelly who is the museum piece…old fashioned, phoney and tasteless. That anti Thatcher horse was flogged to death many years ago.

You see, Ms Farrelly, unlike you I lived in Britain during the pre Thatcher days of the 50s, 60s & 70s and I can assure you it was no golden age…….

BTW…link to Farrelly’s piece fixed, thanks to my eagle eyed son...

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11 November
Comments Off on Arnie & Sly Taking Out The Bad Guys – Pure Hokum But Deeply Satisfying…

Arnie & Sly Taking Out The Bad Guys – Pure Hokum But Deeply Satisfying…

Pure unadulterated hokum, deeply implausible – in other words a typical Arnie action movie scene. Yet, for all of that, deeply satisfying at that Hercules, Samson, Alfred the Great “against all odds” level….

….and when politeness is repulsed by the intimidating and aggressive swagger of the pig ignorant who better than Sly to offer a master class in the need to show a little respect and good manners.

Hokum = “A stock technique for eliciting a desired response from an audience”…

Yes, we fall for it every time…but why? It isn’t so much the violence although the idea of cruel and vicious people being paid back in their own coin generates a certain degree of schadenfreude. What is of greater significance is that it plays out the triumph of good v evil, a moral imperative that, despite our own flawed behaviour, appears to be a key driver in how we wish to be perceived.

Maybe, in our heart of hearts, most of us would prefer to be Robin Hood. Perhaps the time to worry will be when the majority go for the Sheriff of Nottingham….

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20 October
Comments Off on Obscure Old UK Blogger Skirmishes With Top UK Media Film Critic Over Palin…..

Obscure Old UK Blogger Skirmishes With Top UK Media Film Critic Over Palin…..

Why am I creepy? I’m hardly pro Palin, if that’s your insinuation.

What sort of person would use that as a defence?

But let’s begin at the beginning.

Perusing the UK Daily Telegraph online, yesterday (I refuse to put a portion of my hard earned pension into the wallets of the Barclay brothers for the dubious pleasure of reading the latest trillings from Bryony Gordon printed on a dead tree) I came across this review of Nick Broomfield’s documentary on Governor Palin by the DT’s film critic, Tim Robey.

Now as I am on a fixed income and therefore have to count my pennies I must confess that I don’t usually read Mr Robey’s pieces because I can rarely afford the luxury of a visit to the cinema or the renting of a DVD – it would be like pressing my nose against the toyshop window lusting for the £50 robot dog with my 25p clutched in my hand. But I understand in the world of the cultural media elite he is highly regarded by the great and the good (including that arbiter of all things artistic, Guy Lodge) and, on the few occasions I have read his musings, I have no reason to dispute the contention that his place in the higher levels of London’s Culture Heap is richly deserved.

So, having a passing interest in the world of US politics, I linked onto his Broomfield article to find out his opinion of the film.

To be fair to Mr Robey he wasn’t particularly impressed with it either technically or artistically. Of course he was rather sniffy about the Governor’s parents (“all homespun pieties” with “an impressive mountain of antlers in their yard”) and ended up with the usual stuff about the significance of “approval ratings” more than a year before an election but hey…what do you expect – he’s a film critic and it’s the Daily Telegraph for crying out loud….par for the course…

But then I read this..

There’s something creepy, for sure, about the fierce guarding of Palin’s reputation in town

…and I thought creepy? He thinks it’s creepy for people in Wasilla to treat Broomfield like something unpleasant stuck on the sole of your shoe?

So I looked up Mr Robey’s profile at the Telegraph, couldn’t get that word out of my head and took off for Planet Twitter

TheAgedP The Aged P The creepy @trim_obey at UK Telegraph creepily predictable on Broomfields Palin film (which bombed even with US left)tgr.ph/olVclY

Which prompted a reply which I initially regarded as hilarious but on further reflection seemed to be rather sad….

trim_obey Tim Robey @TheAgedP Why am I creepy? I’m hardly pro Palin, if that’s your insinuation.

He had assumed, I fancy, that I was some sort of lefty wingnut who had felt he was being too soft on her. Did he suddenly have visions of being cold shouldered at the next North London dinner party or struck off the BBC Newsnight invitation list for being a crypto Tea Partier or, even worse, another David Starkey?

Worrying….

What had triggered my response, however, was the fact that, although he had regarded the film’s technical and artistic values as rather shallow, Mr Robey had appeared to accept, at face value, Broomfields presentation of “the facts”

Gradually, though, the gossip they dig up from erstwhile friends and campaign managers – giving the lie to popularity-boosting Palin myths about her sports prowess and family life – prompts the communal cold shoulder.

I thought that was a sloppy piece of journalism, especially when I recollected what The New York Magazine had said about Broomfield in their review

• Broomfield wants to show what a superficial individual Palin is, so he includes a sequence about her alleged plastic surgery and Bump-it hairdo. Ah, sexist and inconsequential! Point: Palin!
• Broomfield attempts to highlight the suffering Palin caused others by introducing scandal after scandal, then cutting to a shot of its victims trashing Palin. The result: Regardless of the viability of their grievances, her enemies just look like spurned brats. Point: Palin!
• To try to paint a compelling portrait of Palin’s two-faced, evil nature, Broomfield regurgitates just about every blog post from the last three years, throws in clips of the Katie Couric interview (which at this point would put even Rachel Maddow to sleep), and digs into the revelation that Palin wasn’t actually nicknamed “Barracuda” because of her intensity on the high school basketball court, but rather because she liked the Heart song of the same name. Point: Palin!

The NYM is the newssheet of anyone who is anything in the hip cultural elite of US media, more Tina Brown than Tina Brown herself, light years from Wasilla and as Palin unfriendly as you can get – yet even they smelt something fishy about Broomfield.

Which is why I tweeted this

TheAgedP The Aged P @trim_obey a more honest review from a source that could never be described as Palin friendly http://bit.ly/r6LvKb

This obviously touched a nerve.

trim_obey Tim Robey @TheAgedP Perhaps that’s me being credulous, which you’re more than welcome to argue, but I don’t see how it’s dishonest.

There were further exchanges between us of a similar nature but I hope you get the drift of the debate, such as it was. There was, of course, no resolution. Mr Robey could obviously not accept my point that anyone who gets paid, probably quite generously, for writing in the public prints, needs to do a little of what R S McCain calls shoeleather on a topic or, at the very least, employ that golden “get out of jail” card of every hack – the word “alleged”

Should I have bothered? Was it worth all the hassle? I think it was. People like Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Margaret Thatcher and other conservatives unafraid to challenge the assumptions held dear by a media/academic elite overwhelmingly imbued with the ideas of the liberal left will always have to endure the prospect of death by a thousand cuts – phrases, comments slipped so often into discourse that, Lysenko like, they become accepted as truisms. The beauty of the internet is that, at last, the journalists can be held to account. With a much smaller megaphone, of course, but at least something can be heard – though Mr Robey might not agree

trim_obey Tim Robey @TheAgedP Yes, I’m sure my media career is finished. Good luck with yours.

Heh – as Prof Reynolds would say – how about that Army of Davids?

PS…..I am distraught – I have been crucified by Guy Lodge himself…..

@GuyLodge:@TheAgedP @trim_obey What’s creepy about this back-and-forth, if I may, isn’t anyone’s stance on Palin, honestly influenced or otherwise…. It’s that you’d use a fairly coolly argued review as a springboard for a personal attack on someone you don’t know.

..as distinct from “a fairly coolly argued review” which implies that someone he doesn’t know who has a political background with which he appears to be totally unfamiliar has not discouraged untruths about herself for political gain, Mr Lodge?

Heh….

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30 August
Comments Off on Bill Nighy Plays Himself And Gives Those Evil Americans/Israelis One In The Eye..

Bill Nighy Plays Himself And Gives Those Evil Americans/Israelis One In The Eye..

Bill Nighy, wooden, crinkled and oozing bus pass angst, meets up with earnest young woman (Rachel Weisz, born 1970!). Nighy, as per usual, autocues his lines in a monotone to nobody in particular, is hardly ever out of his overcoat and sacrifices his career and pension to flag up the evil Americans.

You’ve guessed it – “Page Eight” (BBC2 28/08/11) another glossy drama of beautiful people in NW1 (and weekend rural retreats) pumping out a subliminal version of the eternal and unchanging BBC philippic against capitalism, America (pre Obama, of course) and those vicious, conniving Je…whoops….Israelis.

Written by Richard Curtis David Hare, the storyline is as predictable as a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Public School/Oxbridge educated MI5 boss hands Public School/Oxbridge educated MI5 agent (Nighy) a file fingering UK PM as the The Evil One Covering Up US Rendition. Said agent discovers his next door neighbour had a boy friend killed by Israeli soldiers while innocently protecting defenceless Hamas protestors. This has also been covered up by the same UK PM.

Usual ending of any Nighy drama….he forces UK PM to publish the truth about the evil Israelis in return for remaining schtum about rendition. Nighy then heads off into the sunset until the next BBC drama.

Production values – AAA+
Characterisation – pure unadulterated cardboard
Message – BBC Goebbels TV at its most blatant

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