Making movies in England

Michael Wood

  • My indecision is final by Jake Eberts and Terry Ilott
    Faber, 678 pp, £17.50, June 1990, ISBN 0 571 14888 3

Now we must choose, a character in Beckett says, between ruin and collapse. Could we not, another character wonders, somehow combine them? Goldcrest Films, in the mid-Eighties, after days of great splendour, seems to have pulled off this melancholy mixture. The company that gave us Ghandi and The Killing Fields and collected 19 Oscars, then brought us Revolution and Absolute Beginners, exhausted its credit (in several senses) and was bought out. Something called Goldcrest still exists, but it is not, the authors of this absorbing book assure us, ‘the real Goldcrest’. The new (false) Goldcrest has produced All dogs go to heaven (a full-length cartoon) and Mike Hodges’s Black Rainbow, and makes money. The old (real) Goldcrest also made money, in the early days, but mainly it offered what it thought of as quality films, or, as the jargon of the trade would have it, ‘first-class product’.

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