Been watching… This is England 1986

Have yet to watch last night’s episode, but I will (the joys of catch-up TV) – not because it’s great, but because I keep hoping it will be.  It should be.  This is England was so spectacular (and so real that it’s used in teaching social workers possible effects of exposure to violent extremism on children) but it’s sequel is…fragmented…aimless.

I realise that’s the point – everyone has grown up, struggling with reality, demands of adulthood…but the genius of the original was the tension, the stomach sickening uncertainty over what would happen (and when), made all the more devastating because of the earlier euphoria/ joy.  A love triangle doesn’t match up to a 13 year old’s involvement with the National Front.

My hope rests on Combo – please don’t let him just be saved simply for an explosive climax, returning in a cliff-hanger ending of the penultimate episode.

Saying that… I’m still prepared for (i.e. willing) it to be a piece of shattering genius that I just missed to start off with.

Next episode: Tues 28th Sept, Channel 4 @ 10pm


BAFTA & BFI Screenwriter Lecture series

Sir David Hare,Ronald Harwood, Peter Morgan, Simon Beaufoy, Aline Brosh McKenna and Christopher Hampton.  Series all about the auteur – the beginning being: screenwriters are much maligned, to what extent should they be considered a film’s true auteur?

Peter Morgan (20th Sept) was sold out virtually immediately (will have to rely on the podcasts) – but I did attend the Simon Beaufoy one on 17th Sept (I know how to enjoy a Friday night).  There was nothing revelatory: good screenwriting the foundation, a good director takes it further, need to be adaptable – but that in itself was pleasant.

Most interesting aspect was probably his history as a documentary-maker: the “do you want truth or a great story?” dilemma, the Rosa Parks incident as a media-choreographed affair, his insistence that the stories he writes are other peoples.

He came across eminently likeable: apologetically hippyish comments about truth and spirit and soul, credit to director, understanding and satisfaction in his role as writer – though sounds as if he is more writer/producer.  Isn’t that the perfect role?

Pod casts don’t seem to be available yet but should turn up here eventually.