Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is ... See full summary »
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Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is to visit the hospital to inaugurate a new wing, where advanced (and sinister) scientific experiments led by Prof. Millar will take place. Everybody in the hospital, from the cooks who refuse to cook, to the painters who couldn't care less to get their job done, to an African cannibalistic dictator (a la Amin Dada) whom demonstrators want expelled from the hospital and tried, will contribute to making HRH's visit (and Mick Travis's life) a true nightmare. Written by
Dragomir R. Radev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At 48:09, the cameraman goes from looking at the officials at the table to looking at Millar between shots. See more »
Friends! Fellow Members of the Human Race! We are gathered here for a purpose. Let us look together at Mankind. What do we see? We see Mastery. What wonders Mankind can perform. He can cross the oceans and continents today, as easily as our grandfathers crossed the street. Tomorrow he will as easily cross the vast territories of space. He can make deserts FERTILE and plant cabbages on the Moon. And what does man CHOOSE? Alone among the creatures of this world, the Human Race CHOOSES to ...
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If not as good as if... and O Lucky Man, that doesn't mean it is worthless
This film completes the Mick Travis trilogy, of which the first two installments are if (1968) and O Lucky Man (1973). You could say either that Britannia Hospital has little to do with the other two films or a lot. It depends on how you look at it. The political viewpoints are similar, but the style is much different. The three movies remind me much of Tati's first three Hulot films in the way they differ between each other while having interconnected themes. This would be Anderson's Playtime, in that, much like Hulot in Playtime, Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) becomes just one of a million different characters. Calling Britannia Hospital Anderson's Playtime oversells the film, unfortunately. The film does not work quite as well as if and O Lucky Man, both of which are masterpieces, in my estimation. Britannia Hospital feels like it ought to be a masterpiece. There are just so many flashes of genius. You see images and scenes that Federico Fellini or Luis Buñuel would have killed to come up with, and the film's liberal politics, while definitely somewhat confusing, are far more potent than anything Godard ever put forward. It also contains one moment of gorgeous eroticism, when Malcolm McDowell is changing clothes and a nurse gently cups both of his buttocks from behind. By the end, though, instead of being moved I was rather scratching my head. The film would probably benefit if I were to watch all three installments in a row, because there are apparently a lot of characters that are shared between them (I only recognized Mick Travis and Professor Millar; it's been over two years since I've seen the other films). But, then again, seeing how this film has been completely tossed aside by so many people, I'm hardly the only one who is confused. On the other hand, a film with so much ambition and power ought never to be shoved aside. Its dismissal is more than a little unjustified.
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