2 items from 2016
“If this lot were seals or whales, you'd all be up in bloody arms. But they're not, are they? No, no they're not. They're just ordinary common-or-garden honest, decent human beings. And not one of them with an ounce of bloody hope left”. – Danny, Brassed Off
One of the things that I love about a certain subset of contemporary British comedies is their core of steel. That, hiding underneath some often very hefty belly laughs, there’s a political story, a foundation of social outrage, and a desire to address through cinema issues that often get swept under the carpet. It’s what keeps such films in my mind, long after the latest R-rated comedy screen filler has »
In the world of 1980s television, female characters and writers were everywhere. What’s gone wrong?
The first thing you think of in Carla Lane’s work? The characters. Beryl and Sandra in The Liver Birds with their massive, thatched-roof fringes and false eyelashes and puffy baker boy hats (Polly James and Nerys Hughes). Ma Nellie Boswell (Jean Boht) and our Aveline (Melanie Hill) in Bread, with voices that could strip paint and withering looks that could castrate a man at 20 paces. Wendy Craig as the stifled housewife Ria in Butterflies, simmering underneath a page-boy haircut that was so smooth it looked as if it had been polished like a billiard ball. These characters all happen to be women. All Carla Lane’s comedies put the women at the centre of things, and no one particularly mentioned it, or not that you’d notice. Quite right, too.
Related: Carla Lane »
- Viv Groskop
2 items from 2016
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