Archive for March 8th, 2013


by Allan Fish

This is an appeal on behalf of a friend who has been working on a documentary project for several years about the life and death of Leslie Howard entitled Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn.   Just below is a link to a fundraiser kickstarter appeal where Tom is trying to raise money to pay off all rights clearances and the like to get the docuimentary out there.  He also hopes to have it included as part of the upcoming 75th anniversary Gone With the Wind DVD and Blu Ray boxsets in 2014.


Firstly, this is an article he wrote for his Newsletter back in early 2009.  Since then the film has gone through various cuts and had a slight title change and there have been three private screenings of the film, while I was lucky enough to be sent a rough cut of the film to view myself.


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(UK 1974 88m) not on DVD

Balance of the mind

p  David Rose  d  Alan Clarke  w  David Rudkin  ph  Michael Williams  ed  Henry Fowler  art  Michael Edwards

Spencer Banks (Stephen Franklin), Georgine Anderson (Mrs Franklin), John Atkinson (Rev. Franklin), Jennie Hesslewood (Mrs Arne), Ian Hogg (Arne), Graham Leaman (Sir Edward Elgar), Geoffrey Staines (King Penda), Ray Gatenby (man), Joan Scott (lady),

Writing these entries can be a tiring business.  Some write easier than others, pieces that are drawn from within like those coloured cloths from a magician’s hat.  Others are like self-performed operations without anaesthetic, they leave you needing a couple of weeks’ recuperation in hospital.  Then there are the really difficult ones, pieces that taunt you, get inside your head and whisper ‘na, na, na, na, na’ and take off again.  Film writing like catching flies with chopsticks. 

            Take a director like Alan Clarke, Britain’s premier mirror holder to grim, angry working class Britain in the 1970s and 80s.  If one missed his name on the credits could one believe he had actually made it?  Not since Henry Hathaway made Peter Ibbetson – if indeed he really did – has a director fit less cosily with his material.  This was the man who gave us Tim Roth in Made in Britain, and while that’s the only other Clarke in this selection, his admirers would talk about Contact, Elephant and Christine.  I myself would trade all three just for one sequence in his Road, with Lesley Sharp giving one of the greatest Steadicam monologues that you will ever see (if only the drama had quite lived up to that moment).  I was close to including it just for those few minutes… (more…)

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