Mekas leads an archival avant-garde, a fast-paced parade of 160 underground film people he captured on film over four decades, described as, "160 portraits or rather appearances, sketches ... See full summary »
Trevor is a 16 year old, sometimes-violent skinhead with no regard for authority, and would rather spend his time stealing cars than sitting in the detention centre to which he is sent. His... See full summary »
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.
Harrowingly apocalyptic representation of a British comprehensive school in the early 1980s
One of a series of films made for television, scripted by David Leland in the early 1980s - all of them absolutely classic. The most well known of the films is Made in Britain starring Tim Roth as a glue-sniffing, car-thieving skinhead going completely off his head. Another, Flying into the Wind, was until recently an English Literature examination text - about a family who take their son out of mainstream education, and the legal battle that ensues. Unlike Made in Britain, Birth of a Nation is not available on video, as far as I know. Which is a shame because I remember it as being equally powerful, and broader in scope. Jim Broadbent (Oscar winner in 2002) plays Mr. Figg, an embattled teacher in a secondary school the institutional credibility of which is rapidly falling apart. A great scene shows him teaching sex education, writing the words "W***ing" and "Masturbation" on the blackboard in huge letters and then leading a class discussion on the subject. While Mr. Figg just about makes it through the day, others are less able to take the strain. The school is besieged by ex-pupils who make periodic vandalistic raids on the buildings. Towards the end a bottle of acid is thrown from the school roof, smashing on the Chemistry teacher's head.
This was great "State of the Nation" television. Unfortunately, tv producers no longer have the guts or the inclination to sponsor this kind of provocative drama. And Mike Newell has somehow turned into the director of Four Weddings And a Funeral! Sigh . . .
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