Wednesday, 20 February 2008

A Brighton National Treasure?

Did you know its Robert Altmans Birthday today? He'd have been 83 if he was still around. I love his ensemble films and having just lent a colleague Gosford Park, I started spouting forth to who ever would listen (which wasn't really anyone to be honest) about the merits of Genevieve, which I watched last night. No, not Genevieve Nnaji, the, practically never heard of by anyone but me, Nigerian actress, but rather the 1953 film comedy about veteran cars.

Hate cars? Would rather chew off your own ear than watch the London to Brighton Veteran Car run? Think again. This film is a gem! If it was a human being, it would be Michael Palin or Victoria Wood. Its quite simply the national treasure of British comedy... and yes, I've seen the Lavender Hill Mob and Titfield Thunderbolt. It conjurs up the differences between men and women perfectly and, excuse the terrible pun, but the cars really are just a vehicle for what are very worldwide themes - love, romance and good old fashioned competitiveness!

The history of it is really fun too - only a day was spent filming in Brighton, due to dire budgets and most shots of Genevieve being driven from behind masked the fact that it wasn't Genevieve at all - rather a mock up, which was actually pulling a lorry filled with the entire cast and crew - it was cheaper that way! John Gregson also couldn't even drive when he got the part - no-one had thought to ask.

So, why not check out the Special Edition DVD and you'll get the film as well as a fascinating documentary with these and lots of other filmic facts. Its a snip at £6.97!


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