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A Giant Achievement

Tuesday 4 February 2014, 14:58

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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The Selfish Giant and 12 Years A Slave won top honours at the recent Critics Circle Film Awards in London. Who says the British film industry is in trouble?

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    Comment number 1.

    Hi Mark,

    Both Giant and Slave are brilliant. Does it matter which country 'owns' them? How important to the 'British Film Industry' is it to be able to define a film as British if those who are responsible for making the movies already know where the talent lives?

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    Comment number 2.

    I wonder whether the "British" Film is something analogous to "Auteur Theory". Discuss?

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    Comment number 3.

    You are an optimist Mark, and good on you for that. I am a pessimist by nature. Two swallows do not make a spring in my book. The quality of the two films that won awards should be magnified tenfold to justify a British industry working at full potential. The talent is undoubtedly there but the money and opportunity is not.

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    Comment number 4.

    Isn't 12 Years classed as American though?

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    Comment number 5.

    Where are all the well-made British genre movies? Comedies, thrillers, horrors? Our industry never learns these are what bring in the big dollars. Big dollars which can then be used to fund and nurture up-and-coming young film-makers with lower budgets. All we seem to want to finance is cheap crap - small-time, Saturday night, DVD crap. I honestly thought Kick-Ass would be the film to kick-start the British film industry into a glorious new era of movie production. What was I thinking?

    As good as it is, A Selfish Giant will only attract praise - it won't attract box office. 12 Years, on the other hand, has already made $100m. But who's seeing this profit? Us? Or the Americans who put up the bulk of the $20m financing?

    Why did the makers of The King's Speech feel they had to go to Harvey Weinstein for the bulk of its £9m funding? Why couldn't our film industry have invested that small amount? That film's current worldwide box office stands at $430m (£270m). How much of that went back into the British film industry via the UK Film Council's £1m investment? I'd love to know.

    We haven't a clue how to run a film industry here. We have the studios, the film-makers, the actors, the technicians, but no-one with the balls to put any money up. We're a joke!


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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