Books and Movies Reviews

British Comedy

FM2005 – British Film and TV Assignment 2 Laura Todd
Why has vulgar comedy been critically undervalued and what is its importance to British Film and TV?
The British sex film has often been blamed for'a tidal wave of filth' (McGillivray, p.15, 1992) within the British film industry, whilst simultaneously being one of the most lucrative genres the industry has ever known.Indeed, David McGillivray notes that the'most devastating downswing in British film production coincided with the cessation of the sex film business at the end of the Seventies.'(McGillivray, p.15, 1992).Even though he was involved in the writing of sex films, he comments in his book Doing Rude Things, that these films were not classical works. 'Other countries may have produced classics of movie erotica; Britain hasn't.'Instead he suggests that their only value was in their role as a'social phenomenon'. The reaction of the British public to the films supports this idea in that, although we, as a nation, are renowned for our prudishness, many people flocked to the cinema to view them.This was probably out of curiosity initially, but this does not a!
Sex was not really talked about in public, as many people were still of Mary Whitehouse's opinion, that the'essence of sex is that it is a private personal experience between two people'. The stubborn British attitude to sex was that it doesn't actually happen. In fact the comedienne Victoria Wood tells a gag about a couple having sex on a train, completely oblivious to the other passengers in their carriage, who steadfastly ignore what is going on underneath their noses.After the couple have finished, they get up from the floor and proceed to spark up some post coital cigarettes, only for an elderly lady to say'Excuse me, do you mind?This is a No Smoking Carriage.'The only public reference to sex,(and…


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