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Carrozzeria Carnage

Grouse Beater is an essayist, filmmaker and troublemaker

There are three staple ingredients used and reused by lazy screenwriters. The first is the mobile phone. Need a plot problem solved instantaneously? have a main character get a phone call with the relevant information that moves the plot forward.

The next ingredient is the shoot-out where all plot difficulties are solved in one go, where the villain gets his comeuppance. Shoot-outs should come at the start of a film to save us wasting two hours waiting for the inevitable. Get it over with as soon as possible.

A professional cockney who plays bad ass cockneys more cockney than cockneys

Finally, there is the car chase. Car chases and car sequences are as old as films themselves: Laurel and hardy in their old jalopy that, circus fashion, falls apart as soon as they drive it; a hundred one-reel Keystone Cops antics, a string of police officers hanging onto the car as it takes bends too fast. Serious chases took off in the Fifties, confined to the last ‘reel’ of the film. Nowadays they can appear at the start or be dropped into a story many times.

Sweeney bollocks

I’m reminded of this having watched a really bad British film. The Sweeney, stars ray Winstone, a professional cockney who plays bad ass cockneys more cockney than cockneys. It contains a car chase every five minutes, or what seems like it.

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January 2017 Edition