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Old 30th Aug 2009, 10:02   #1
fanshawe
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Default Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

The Observer Film Quarterly have put together a list of the 25 best British films of the past 25 years here. They asked a series of film insiders and a regular cast of cultural talking heads (Nitin Sawhney, Jonathon Coe) to list their own top tens here.

I personally think it's a travesty that Slumdog Millionaire appears, and Sexy Beast is hugely overrated. Here are some films that I would have liked to see on the list:

1) Sweet Sixteen
2) London to Brighton
3) Red Road (on the Observer list)
4) A Cock and Bull Story
5) Trainspotting (on the Observer list)
6) Shakespeare in Love
7) Borat

8 ) Tupac and Biggie
9) Bourne Identity
10) A Room for Romeo Brass

Do you have a top ten? Or are there any individual films you think that the polled individuals need to watch, like, now?
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 11:36   #2
John Self
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

I'd go with A Cock and Bull Story. I haven't looked at the Observer piece, but what does British mean? Director? Studio? Money?

I must admit that for me Borat would sooner go into Room 101 than Top 10. Ditto Shakespeare in Love.

But while I can knock your choices, fanshawe, I'm pretty weak at coming up with alternatives. The Remains of the Day? I actually saw it before I read the book, so it does hold a certain something for me, even though it's the epitome of Merchant Ivory middlebrow cosiness.

Ooh, there's a Wiki link that's helpful. So what about

Withnail and I
A Fish Called Wanda
Priest
(script by Jimmy McGovern)
Carrington
Secrets and Lies
Topsy Turvy
Wonderland
(Michael Winterbottom, score Michael Nyman)
Finding Neverland
and of course, Spiceworld

Pretty thin pickings though, I must admit.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 12:54   #3
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

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Originally Posted by John Self View Post
I haven't looked at the Observer piece, but what does British mean? Director? Studio? Money?
Any of the above.

I've always wanted to see Wonderland. Big fan of Winterbottom. His recent Genova is worth a trip to the cinema.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 19:14   #4
bill
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

Using John's wonderful links, I would add:

1984
The Bounty
Mona Lisa
Topsy Turvy
Nil by Mouth
Shaun of the Dead
The Descent
This is England
In Bruges

And I gather that Wikipedia uses "produced in England by the English" as their criteria, but I still think it's stretching things to call David Cronenberg's movies "English". Similarly, Brazil was produced by an American studio, but I still consider it an English film. Therefore, add Brazil to the above list.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 21:42   #5
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

Damn it Bill, you got in there before me. Here's my current opinion: first a supporting cast, complete with honourable mentions, paired for theme.

For Bob Hoskins: The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa
For Michael Caine: The Ipcress File/Get Carter
For Brendan Gleeson: In Bruges/The General
For Shane Meadows: Dead Man's Shoes/Twenty-Four Seven
For social grit: My Left Foot/Kes
For the Ladies: Shirley Valentine/Educating Rita

Then the stand outs, the one's I'd pick without qualification.

Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher
Bruce Robinson's Withnail ...and I
Danny Boyle's Trainspotting

Finally, to this illustrious trinity I also attach Terry Gilliam's Brazil, as my official "he's ours" nominee.

Okay, I'm not saying I think Shirley Valentine is better than The General - in fact it's been so long since I've seen half of them I barely know what I'm celebrating here. But along with Wikipedia's "produced in England by the English" (modified to read "British Isles by the British", if there is such a thing), I would say that the subject, the atmosphere, the mentality if you will, should represent something of Britishness too - which is why I wouldn't include Man On Wire despite its excellence and apparant validity as a candidate.

I dread to think what films I am ignoring - good Top Ten subject though!

Damn - I only just noticed the date restriction. So maybe I did just pick ten films after all. I'll figure that out in the morning though...
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Old 1st Sep 2009, 13:44   #6
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

Lessee... my mostly pretty populist list, which I, the foreigner, will motivate with my favourite British stereotypes, whether they're completely relevant or not.

Withnail And I: drunk gay aristocrats recite Shakespeare and ride in Jaguars.
When The Wind Blows: crusty but lovable old folks potter about the house and reminisce about the war.
Orlando: Manly men in tights listen to Bronski Beat in secret.
Brazil: Plumbing and Orwellian bureaucrazy.
Shallow Grave: Mad Scots shag, drink, and refuse to part with their money.
Trainspotting: Mad Scots shag, get high, and refuse to part with their money.
28 Days Later: An idyllic ride in the country followed by some jolly good hunting.
Shaun Of The Dead: A day at the pub.
This Is England: Multi-cultural mutual understanding.
A Fish Called Wanda: Fish and chips are wasted on loud Americans.

I'd add all of Cronenberg's stuff to the list, but like Bill, I honestly can't bring myself to call films made in Canada by a Canadian using US actors "British."

I hope to add The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus to the list, though.
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Old 1st Sep 2009, 14:25   #7
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by beer good View Post
When The Wind Blows
Are you havin' a laugh? Is he havin' a laugh? Oh, wait, that's something different.

And in the early days, and off and on through the middle years, the actors in Cronenberg's films were Canadian, too.
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Old 1st Sep 2009, 16:51   #8
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noumenon View Post

For Bob Hoskins:
The Long Good Friday/Mona Lisa
For Michael Caine:
The Ipcress File/Get Carter
For Brendan Gleeson: In Bruges/The General
For Shane Meadows: Dead Man's Shoes/Twenty-Four Seven
For social grit: My Left Foot/
Kes
For the Ladies: Shirley Valentine/
Educating Rita
Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher
Bruce Robinson's Withnail ...and I
Danny Boyle's Trainspotting
Terry Gilliam's Brazil


Damn - I only just noticed the date restriction.
Right, well then, grump-grump. That leaves me with eleven, so I'm going to show some good old traditional English sexism and send Shirley back to the kitchen. Say hello, wall.

Mona Lisa
In Bruges

The General

Dead Man's Shoes

Twenty-Four Seven

My Left Foot
Ratcatcher
Withnail ...and I
Trainspotting
Brazil
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Old 1st Sep 2009, 17:16   #9
bill
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

I've never understood the love for Trainspotting. Not then, and not now. I'm especially surprised everyone still loves it, as a matter of fact. It can't just be because Kelly MacDonald is so very fetching, can it? I mean, then I could sort of understand it, but still not completely.
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Old 1st Sep 2009, 19:07   #10
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Default Re: Top 10 British Films 1984-2009

I'm not a Trainspotting fan, even though I recognise it has a certain merit as a film. I couldn't whittle down further than Top 18:

1. Shaun Of The Dead
2. 28 Days Later
3. A Cock and Bull Story.
4. Priest
5. Withnail And I
6. In Bruges
7. My Beautiful Laundrette
8. The English Patient
9. The Elephant Man
10. Company of Wolves
11. The Mission
12. A Room With A View
13. Henry V
14. Shadowlands
15. Persuasion
16. Brassed Off
17. Wallace & Gromit & the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
18. The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe


I think all of the above were doing something pretty special, and many have a British feel to them.
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