The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939) - News Poster

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Football films: the good, the bad and the ugly adventures on the big screen

Even the best football movies struggle to capture the sport's drama on film. The worst (and there are many) are truly abysmal

Why has cinema found football to be such a tricky customer? Football scenes in film and television are traditionally very awkward affairs, with the "defenders" tip-toeing nervously around the "attackers" as they advance, the goal finally coming via the sort of impractical flying volley you just never see on a real pitch. It's clearly very difficult to let someone score a script-dictated goal while pretending to try to stop them but, at the same time, trying not to look like you're pretending to try to stop them. Perhaps they teach it at Rada, who knows?

Furthermore, filmmakers have the challenge of adding a fictional big-screen gloss to what is already an overwhelmingly camera-friendly and consistently dramatic spectacle in its own right. Real-life football already has its own "script
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Gaslight

(Thorold Dickinson, 1940, BFI, PG)

Although he only directed eight features, Thorold Dickinson (1903-84) had as remarkable and wide-ranging a career in the British cinema as his close contemporaries David Lean and Anthony Asquith. Like Lean, he served a long apprenticeship as an editor. Like Asquith, a fellow liberal, Oxford-educated son of the establishment, he had an early interest in the avant-garde and played a significant role in organising Act, the film industry trade union.

As film critic of the Spectator, Graham Greene praised The High Command and The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, Dickinson's first two films, both thrillers. But there were long absences from commercial cinema. In the late 1930s he spent several years making leftwing documentaries supporting the Spanish government. Much of his second world war was devoted to public information pictures, and for several postwar years he produced pictures for the United Nations. In the 1960s he became Britain's
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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