Saturday, July 31, 2010

Too Grumpy Critics Movie Club: "Get Carter" (1971)

Yeah, yeah. I know. It's a pretty lame name, but - as the old commercial used to say - it does exactly what it says on the tin. We pick a movie or a TV show (or you suggest one) and, in a following show, we all review and discuss it. Just that simple.

This week, inspired by the much-talked-about, oft-delayed and unpopular-with-anyone-who-doesn't-have-to-look-at-the-bloody-thing-every-day destruction of the Brutalist multi-story car park that inspired the look of the whole film, (and, in turn, an era of British film-making) we put 1971's "Get Carter" under the microscope. We'll do our best to warn you about the movie picks in plenty of time, so get your reviews in for Get Carter by 6pm on Tuesday 10th of August for inclusion.

"Some hard nuts operate up there, Jack. They won't take kindly to someone from London poking his bugle in."

It's the film that made a star of Michael Caine, as the eponymous ice cold gangster who travels to the north west of England to avenge the suspicious death of his brother. In the midst of the "it's grim up north" underworld of Newcastle, he stumbles onto a network of twists, turns, pornography and deception, all of it helmed by an organisation that doesn't want him back in town to ask too many questions about his dead brother.

It's importance to British cinema can't be understated, at a time when her majesty's picture houses were home to technicolour caper flicks with bongo soundtracks, Carry On movies and "Jamesh" Bond at his campest, Get Carter's unforgiving portrayal of a down on its luck industrial town's underworld filled with deeply unpleasant characters (including the main character) was a shock to the system, paving the way for the cynical anti-heroes of the future and, at last, showing a Britain outside of London's swinging bloody Carnaby Street.

Following other classics such as "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane", the initial reaction to Get Carter was lukewarm at best, although it was championed at the time by infamously hard-to-please film critic Pauline Kael for its "calculated soullessness". And, like "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Citizen Kane", it has risen to the top of many film lists over the years, including being named the greatest British movie of all time by readers of Total Film magazine.

But do you agree? We'll give you two weeks to rent, buy or acquire through perfectly legal means a copy of the movie. Let us know your thoughts - whether you liked it, hated it, didn't understand it, or just mocked thoroughly it in the MST3k stylee, let us know at The Usual Address and we'll put you in the mix. If you felt particularly strongly about it and you want to join us via Skype or phone, drop us an email and we'll be glad to schedule your thoughts.

Posted via email from The Paul And Spike Show

No comments: