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2 items from 2016

The Guardian view on Victoria Wood: funny, northern, female, ours | Editorial

20 April 2016 11:22 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Multitalented, and with an ability to use humour for a serious purpose, she embodied a special sort of Englishness

National treasure is an overused term. But the prime minister was right to use it about Victoria Wood, because it’s exactly what she was. Wood combined Alan Bennett’s ear for dialogue, Noël Coward’s songwriting skills, Ronnie Barker’s comic acting talent and Ken Dodd’s command of gag-cracking. She had the loveability of a Gracie Fields or an Eric Morecambe and at her best she could channel some of the same humanist poignancy as a Chaplin or a Chekhov. Let’s be clear, though, what kind of national treasure Wood actually was. She died in London on Wednesday, but Wood was a northern, English, working-class, Lancastrian and Mancunian female treasure. She was the authentic voice of an optimistic, decent, unpretentious, take-people-as-they-come, mucking-in sort of Britishness that is almost »

- Editorial

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This week’s new film events

15 January 2016 5:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Slapstick | Horror-On-Sea

The mechanics and dynamics of silent comedy didn’t die with the advent of the talkies – just look at last year’s Shaun The Sheep Movie. A breadth of remit allows this silent and classic comedy film festival to stray beyond the confines of early cinema, although it always manages to find more of that out there. New (re)discoveries this year include Mancunian comedies (from the studio once known as “Jollywood”), silent westerns and a Soviet menage a trois. In addition you get sound-assisted slapstick such as Cary Grant’s breakthrough The Awful Truth (introduced by comedian Lucy Porter), and guests including Stephen Merchant, Ken Dodd, Tim Vine (on Sgt Bilko), and Marcus Brigstocke in conversation with the makers of Shaun The Sheep. And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with an orchestrally accompanied screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.

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- Steve Rose

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