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blissblogger
07-12-2004, 08:30 PM
does anyone else like this film?

if someone asked me what my favorite films were, this one would never ever come up, but whenver it's on TV --- which is often for some reason, here in the States -- i always watch it. there's something about it i like, or some things, more precisely:

-- britain circa 1979 captured in very clear, bright, almost Southern California light
-- the snazzy, jazzy, brassy main theme music that plays every so often and particularly at the end when the gangsta gets his comeuppance
-- bob hoskins's Taurus-like nostrils-flared barely-contained rage
-- very brief appearance of future Eastender ooh i've forgotten her name, Ian Beale's mum as young vaguely dutch looking sort-of-hottie
-- trying to work out if it's trying to say something politically and what that might be. obviously we have Hoskins as the almost bestial, upward-thrusting energies of entrepreneurial england as released by Thatcher, and Helen Mirren as his posh lover symbolising what, maybe rapprochment of old Tory blue blood with that nouveau riche on the rise class? We have the corrupt (Labour?) local politican and the American financier-criminals in cahoots with Hoskins in the docklands development scheme (but the Yanks ultimately deciding these LImeys are cockamamie losers). But then confusing things we also have the IRA, who prove to be even more ruthless and efficient gangsters. And they triumph over Hoskins. So the message of the film is .... Irish Republicanism will never be defeated?!

anyway it pisses from large height over Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels if you ask me.

Melmoth
07-12-2004, 09:38 PM
I love this film. But I think the IRA element is used formally as a signifier of some sort of 'pure' violence as opposed to the self-serving violence of Hoskins & Co. Its not making any political points about republicanism. It merely deploys a familar ideological idea of Irishness as associated with 'authenticity' (U2 have made a career out of this of course). But there's also the weird catholic religious imagery running through it - that crucifixion scene, what an opening!

grimly fiendish
07-12-2004, 10:59 PM
i've been assured by two or three people who really know/care about film that it is absolutely magnificent. i've never seen it, but i want to. i must rectify that.

Clubberlang
07-12-2004, 11:45 PM
I've always loved this movie. I admit to a certain fetish for seedy British crime movies (Neil Jordan was never better than Mona Lisa and Mike Hodges should never try anything else) and this is one of Hoskins' best performances (and he had a lot of good ones.) It was, I believe, a minor hit when it came out so that may explain the high TV viewing rate here in the states.

henrymiller
08-12-2004, 08:56 AM
The IRA repreent... the IRA. Hoskins' tragedy is that he cannot escape Britain's past: his Docklands venture is an attempt to build on the proverbial Indian graveyard of the old industrial working class; he attempts to convince the Americans that England is workable. But in the late '70s the IRA is just one symptom of this not being so, of Britain's unfinished business, Hoskins' hubris. So the film looks ten years forward to Canary Wharf, and the IRA's thwarted attack on that. Hoskins has a Del-Boy like innocence as regards the limits of the possible.

JimO'Brien
08-12-2004, 11:31 AM
I thought the significance of the IRA was to represent a power away and above anything that the Bob Hoskins character could ever achieve. As in classical tradgedy ( I think) his Hubris is punished by the gods - in this case the powers over which he does not and never will be able to control.

cortempond
09-12-2004, 03:11 PM
Recently saw Villian (1972) with Richard Burton, Ian McShane, Nigel Davenport, Joss Ackland. Burton as a homosexual razor-wielding Kray-like crime lord. He (Burton) is massively intense, one of his best performances. You can see the roots of Long Good Friday in this film in the way it is structured. You can also see the genesis of McShane's Teddy Bass (sp?) character in Sexy Beast. It's a brilliant film, very violent, very gritty. If you want to see Burton wield a wicked razor, check it out.

Saw Long Good Friday twice in the theatre, loved it so much. In the states, it was sort of sneaked in as an "art" film and played at only a couple of select places. The poster of the criminals hung upside down in the meat locker was what made me want to see it. Sadly, John McKenzie has never matched it afterwards (Fourth Protocol?).

Other than that Get Carter wins hands down as best British crime film of all time.

grimly fiendish
09-12-2004, 09:26 PM
"get carter" is one of the best british films of all time ever. in any genre. it's so remorselessly bleak. just incredible ...

... [edit] ooh, and it's on telly over the festivities. wednesday 29, channel five, 10.35pm.

Hadean
11-12-2004, 04:18 AM
love The Long Good Friday but I've only seen it once

the glass/blood bit rivals The Godfather and Scarface for extreme violence

the handsome IRA dude at the end is... Pierce Brosnan? but soon after this film we got to hear his toff voice!

Get Carter is classic of course - with great terse grim dialogue "two piss-holes in the snow", etc

another personal fave is The Hit, cos I love John Hurt and Terence Stamp is brilliant/hilarious in it
makes a good companion piece to The Limey

Hadean
11-12-2004, 04:20 AM
and to Sexy Beast, of course, which it has loads in common with

blissblogger
11-12-2004, 04:48 PM
glad to see i'm not alone in Long Good Friday-love -- got the impression it was lowly regarded, didn't get great reviews at the time, Time Out book film says 'over-rated'. interesting it was showed as an art film in the US, it gets rebroadcast on channels like IFC, independent film channel, over here these days which would support that designation

my message title is of course a phoneticisation of the theme tune to the Sweeney -- wonder if that was the TV precursor for the Long good Friday -- long time since i've seen them, probably don't stand up today but i recall they were considered groundbreaking in their gritty realism at the time, the credits sequence was good

henrymiller
11-12-2004, 09:04 PM
seriously dude you are *far* from alone in sweeney and LGF-love. you shoulda been here round 98-01: between 'lock, stock' and 'loaded' saying 'you ponce' and um hanging people upside down in abattoirs was 'the balls'. 'the sweeney' (even the movies) are all on dvd. prml scrm covered the 'get carter' theme (more or less -- proof positive that i-D had said gangster was back). this coincided with 'east london' becoming a fashion-fetish, and, to carmodize a bit, there's a kind of 'fit' between the neo-yuppies of hoxditch and their gangster avatars, all shart suits and sharp practice. you are probably fortunate in being able to still like these films because the associations they conjure up here (a million piss-poor 'lock, stock' rip-offs) are best left in the '90s, even if the films are still class.

puretokyo
15-12-2004, 01:11 AM
What about, er, Performance? The first half, at least, was very very very trad-hardcore-English-gangster. And the scene with Mick making a song in the makeshift studio was startling.

As for the Long Good Friday, my burning memory from that film is Pierce Brosnan's face as he holds the pistol in the car at the end. Unbelievable - the man was ridiculously handsome and had incredible presence and intensity in the role. Great stuff.

But as for British crime and gangster films, having yet to see Get Carter, which I intend to rectify this week, my vote goes to Hodges' two latest concoctions, Croupier and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (the latter of which is probably the greatest title ever).

henrymiller
15-12-2004, 08:18 AM
bon jovi: always delivering the goods!

Gerard
19-12-2004, 07:07 PM
LGF was recently voted "Londoner's favourite London film" by Robert Elm's listeners and granted a special screening at the NFT.

blissblogger
22-12-2004, 01:58 PM
[QUOTE=puretokyo]What about, er, Performance? The first half, at least, was very very very trad-hardcore-English-gangster. And the scene with Mick making a song in the makeshift studio was startling.

the whole thing is my favorite film of all time, but the first 1/3 in gangsterland is my favorite part of it. Time Out guide to film, idiotically, complains about the mannered camera-work (as they do with most of Nic Roeg's movies). i can perform, to joy's annoyance, long swathes of the dialogue, complete with accent and intonation.

the music's incredible too, that Merry wossname as also heard on 'Gimme Shelter'

>As for the Long Good Friday, my burning memory from that film is Pierce Brosnan's face as he holds the >pistol in the car at the end. Unbelievable - the man was ridiculously handsome and had incredible >presence and intensity in the role. Great stuff.

ah but isn't he eclipsed in that very scene by Hoskins at his most nostril-flared bull-like, emotions of cornered-ness, defiance and finally resignation playing briliantly across his face?
The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-sp!!!!

blissblogger
22-12-2004, 02:10 PM
[QUOTE=puretokyo]What about, er, Performance? The first half, at least, was very very very trad-hardcore-English-gangster. And the scene with Mick making a song in the makeshift studio was startling.

the whole thing is my favorite film of all time, but the first 1/3 in gangsterland is my favorite part of it. Time Out guide to film, idiotically, complains about the mannered camera-work (as they do with most of Nic Roeg's movies). i can perform, to joy's annoyance, long swathes of the dialogue, complete with accent and intonation.

the music's incredible too, that Merry wossname as also heard on 'Gimme Shelter'

>As for the Long Good Friday, my burning memory from that film is Pierce Brosnan's face as he holds the >pistol in the car at the end. Unbelievable - the man was ridiculously handsome and had incredible >presence and intensity in the role. Great stuff.

ah but isn't he eclipsed in that very scene by Hoskins at his most nostril-flared bull-like, emotions of cornered-ness, defiance and finally resignation playing briliantly across his face?
The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-sp!!!!

cortempond
30-12-2004, 09:03 PM
Had one or two good scenes with the Spandau boys, espec. the one in the pool hall. Ouch.

The first half of Performance was great, once he reaches Jagger it goes quickly downhill, except for the Memo From Turner bit. Early music video?

The Hit was great, as well -- first chance we had in the States to see Tim Roth in action. Wanted to see Hurt make in the end, though. That might be why the last half hour of Collateral was so stoopid. When you make the villians more likeable than the rest, of course you're going to wish they get away with it.

I hate happy endings.

Omaar
19-01-2005, 10:58 PM
Agree with blissblogger, that long shot(s?) of Bob Hoskins at the end of LGF where his expression reflects his changing state is amazing, I've only seen it once but the scene had a big impact on me.