What makes a film British?

Nationalism, the unhappy offspring of Empire and Enlightenment, has often been good for art. The musical and literary revivals that occurred in 19th century Europe produced some of the greatest work not only of national but of world culture. It was partly in being so Czech, or Norwegian, or German, that Dvořák, Ibsen or Lang … Continue reading What makes a film British?

The pike’s disdain

It has become common these days to speak of a cultural ecology. It’s a good metaphor, which accurately represents the complex reality of human artistic activity. In a networked age, it neatly allows the big fish to place themselves alongside the smaller ones: no longer ivory towers, just bigger fish. It also allows those parts … Continue reading The pike’s disdain

Men to boys

I was in my teens when Morecambe and Wise were in their BBC glory days, each Christmas Special more keenly anticipated and more rapturously received than the last. They were quite funny, but their culture (Northern music hall) and their comedy (visual, song and dance) seemed old fashioned to someone growing up with Monty Python. … Continue reading Men to boys