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Palo Alto Independent Films Group Message Board › Margaret Thatcher: Cinematic muse...?

Margaret Thatcher: Cinematic muse...?

San Mateo, CA
Post #: 220
Amid all the assessments and re-assessments of the late Margaret Thatcher's career, her impact on British film has been nearly completely ignored. It's surprising, because she had a huge impact -- albeit, surely not in the way she would have preferred.

When she came to power (1979), the British film industry was, at best, moribund, with most of the mainstream talent fleeing to Hollywood (Alan Parker, Adrian Lyne, Tony and Ridley Scott, et al.). What remained was a hollowed-out industry with a left-leaning political bent that hated what Thatcher and Thatcher-ism was doing to the country -- especially in the industrial north.

What emerged in response was a renaissance of British film, in the form of low-budget, quirky independents, with off-beat narratives that were either blatantly or implicitly critical of Thatcherism, and idiosyncratic visual styles that launched the careers of people like: Stephen Frears, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Mike Newell, and Bruce Robison, who, in turn, paved the way for people like Peter Cattaneo, Danny Boyle and others.

So, in a way, even people who hated Margaret Thatcher have a reason (maybe the only one) to be grateful for her reign.
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