Author Topic: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)  (Read 2925 times)

Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2019, 10:17:35 AM »
Watched some more

Last Train Through Harecastle Tunnel - very much A Play On TV but an interesting one about a rail enthusiast whose weekend in infrastrcture dreamland is beset by various pillocks, pervs, and prats. There are a couple of of-their-time racists in it but I don't think they're meant to be sympathetic. From the Richard Kelly book on Clarke I acquired for 80p, this one was just a job to Clarke. But I liked it.

Sovereign's Company - one year later but much closer to the stylist we arrive at. A man of military lineage goes to Sandhurst and finds he doesn't like the cut & thrust of officer life. The other future officers are a mix of conniving graspers, smug oafs, aspirant class traitors, and hardfaced gits. Our main man isn't exactly a hero or a conscientious sort, if anything he fails because he's a void. Interesting piece and you can see the train of thought that leads to The Hallelujah Handshake.

Stars of the Roller State Disco - Well-meaning satire on governmental attitudes to youth unemployment but it feels like a kid's TV show gone wrong. Clarke gets a couple of his great bits of following-subject camera in, but ultimately the uninspiring performances start to drag down a work whose concept is already a lead weight to dramatic development. Chance taking, but a partial miss

Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2019, 01:13:53 PM »
Two more. Think I've one more in the Dissent box (Funny Farm) and three in the Disruption box (Nina, Bukovsky, Danton's Death) to go.

The Love-Girl & The Innocent - 2hr adaptation of the Solzhenitsyn novel about a gulag where everyone's on the make. The romance suggested in the title is played down, really, and is shown to be a product of the odd circumstances (the woman realises her life is made better by sleeping with the doctor, but loves Nemov, the honest man, so tries to have both). Some good scenes of proles squabbling over production quotas and Patrick Stewart opts for Huddersfield brogue. I liked it just fine.

A Follower for Emily - hr long play in an old folks' home where two residents marry. Like LG&TI the romance is a product of strange circumstances - adults with desires and flaws coming to live together. It's sweet and melancholy and left open-ended to a certain extent. Not top dollar best, but a good TV play from a time BBC drama had more to say.

Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2019, 11:12:03 AM »
OK, I finished the box

FUNNY FARM There's a bit right at the end where the nurse hands his notice in, realising he can make more money working in a factory, where the camera follows him almost in the way the camera moves in Clarke's late and great dramas - it's not steadicam, so it doesn't have that strange stillness and movement - but it's like a lightbulb going off in his head. These walking shots are like walking from one psychological state to another, I love it. This one is pretty good. Loose scenes on a men's ward. One is an angry snob. One thinks he's still in the army. One thinks he's Elvis. Another stares at a chessboard all day. Occasionally a woman pops in off a nearby ward to cadge cigarettes. The nurses enjoy their job but the point of the show is - these people are essential and they're treated like shite. Funny in parts, and some bits that are very much like the psych wards I have seen where people look haunted or just cry randomly. Never get the feeling that it is cheap or that it is "actors playing mad". It works.

DANTON'S DEATH Visually it is A Play On TV but the acting quality is super high here - Ian Richardson (House of Cards guy,  also is very Urquhart at times), Michael Higgins (Draughtsman's Contract), Zoe Wanamaker, and Danton is played by a guy called Norman Rodway who is a Shakespeare guy who usually plays the funny/verbose lower class roles - and the writing not too shabby either. Yes there's a lot of rousing speeches, but they do a lot with them. Story is that Danton and his pals are getting a bit tired with the white heat of the executions and denouncements and just want to chill now they've taken over. Robespierre is having none of it and thinks they should rule by terror. This means, ultimately, dealing with those against him. There's a court case but it is a farce and they don't show everything; they don't have to, it's in the title. It ends with Danton and pals getting executed in surprisingly good humour. Entertaining stuff.

BUKOVSKY Interesting enough documentary without being revelatory - the Soviets would lock dissidents up and if they didn't accept the trumped up charges then they'd say they were mad and perform all kinds of experimental mindfuckery on them. European protestors shout a lot about it but no sense whether Bukovsky's release is anything to do with them at all. There's some nice interviews and John Suchet reporting it for ITN back in the day. Apparently in the years after this Bukovsky wandered over toward the right, thus annoying Clarke and David Markham, who campaigned for 7 years for his release.

NINA Dramatic companion piece to Bukovsky about a couple who flee the USSR. When in the UK she basically becomes a prisoner of poverty and her overbearing husband. Really inert and the worst of the boxset.

final and completely objective rankings by me

MUST SEE BEFORE DEATH YE MEET Contact, Made In Britain (not in box), Penda's Fen, The Firm, Road
TRY TO SEE AS I GUARANTEE IT BETTER THAN "RANDOM US BOXSET" Elephant, Scum, Diane, To Encourage The Others, The Hallelujah Handshake
GOOD IF YOU'RE INTO THE STYLE Rita, Sue & Bob Too (not in box), Psy-Warriors, Beloved Enemy, Horace
FINE - ALL HAVE SOMETHING ABOUT THEM THAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY LIKEABLE Christine, Baal, Last Train Through Harecastle Tunnel, Sovereign's Company, Funny Farm, Under The Age, Danton's Death, Love-Girl & The Innocent
OKAY - PRO FORMA - LIFT-OFF NOT ACHIEVED George's Room, A Follower For Emily, Bukovsky
UTTERLY WORTHY FAILED EXPERIMENT Stars of the Roller State Disco
BAD, MOVE ON Nina

Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2019, 02:57:56 PM »
DANTON'S DEATH Visually it is A Play On TV but the acting quality is super high here - Ian Richardson (House of Cards guy,  also is very Urquhart at times), Michael Higgins (Draughtsman's Contract), Zoe Wanamaker, and Danton is played by a guy called Norman Rodway who is a Shakespeare guy who usually plays the funny/verbose lower class roles - and the writing not too shabby either. Yes there's a lot of rousing speeches, but they do a lot with them. Story is that Danton and his pals are getting a bit tired with the white heat of the executions and denouncements and just want to chill now they've taken over. Robespierre is having none of it and thinks they should rule by terror. This means, ultimately, dealing with those against him. There's a court case but it is a farce and they don't show everything; they don't have to, it's in the title. It ends with Danton and pals getting executed in surprisingly good humour. Entertaining stuff.

I found the line readings in this one really actorly (in a bad way). I took a break and never got back to it.

Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2019, 10:56:57 AM »
I found the line readings in this one really actorly (in a bad way). I took a break and never got back to it.

I didn't mind that, it was very pompous and rousing.

magval

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Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2019, 08:09:46 PM »
Fifty quid for the Blu-Ray version of this, this weekend at Zavvi's website. Completely worth it.

kngen

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Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2019, 08:09:09 PM »
Fifty quid for the Blu-Ray version of this, this weekend at Zavvi's website. Completely worth it.

Oh nice one. Cheers for the tip!

Also, if you use the coupon code LeoLegendary you get another 10% off, which paid for my shipping to the US quite neatly.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Alan Clarke: Dissent and Disruption (BFI Box Set)
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2019, 05:09:49 PM »
Fifty quid for the Blu-Ray version of this, this weekend at Zavvi's website. Completely worth it.
It's not even on Zavvi's website now (well, the individual DVD sets are, but not the box, and not blu-ray), bugger.