Creative Licence

As our world grows more dysfunctional there appears to be a corresponding upsurge in control freakery of all kinds – focus groups, market researchers, spin doctors and the like. Uncertain times naturally breed a desire for commercial safety but what is designed to please everybody often ends up delighting nobody. A formula movie composed by committee might tick generic response boxes but most likely lacks the art to stir and inspire audiences – an art that can only arise when film-makers who have real flair and passion are given their heads.

Such art is often controversial but controversy is the mark of a mature community and we should beware a situation where creative freedoms are constrained in the interests of mere uniformity. Socially-aware cinema has always given a voice to those in our society who may otherwise struggle to be heard.

For that reason I can thoroughly recommend Sorry We Missed You, the latest offering from veteran director Ken Loach who at the age of 83 has lost none of his fire and crusading spirit. It’s the touching and often intensely moving story of an ordinary family caught up in the gig economy. More than one commentator has observed it should be required viewing before the UK election of 12 December. At any rate, laughter and tears were never far apart in what I found to be a deeply cathartic experience.

Image result for sorry we missed you

To end on a lighter note, I’ve just watched this documentary on the making of A Hard Day’s Night. Lasting less than 40 minutes, it’s an engaging and often joyful insight into more innocent and optimistic times (sigh!) when even the suits would risk giving genuine talent a free rein. Hard to believe now that they went about it in such a haphazard and ramshackle way – though somewhat easier, especially after watching this, to understand how it all somehow succeeded!


21 thoughts on “Creative Licence

  1. Hi Dave – we just went to see Sorry I Missed You too. What a moving experience. I think every Tory MP should be strapped down and forced to watch it at least ten times!!!

  2. Good recommendations, Dave. The divisions seem to be growing worse, the gap wider. I remember the ‘dawning of the age of Aquarius,’ fondly. Even those days had their crappy side, however. Change never happens without a struggle. And the forces of repression are always lurking in the shadows. –Curt

    1. Yes indeed, Curt, always worth remembering how easily a natural nostalgia for one’s youth can become the delusion that there was once a perfect golden age which certain politicians promise they can return us to …

      1. If politics wasn’t a game of lies, half-truths and attempts to buy votes, then voters might have an incentive to be as informed of their voting decision as they are informed about buying a car or TV. Politicians and today’s biased media make it almost impossible to be anything but ignorant about what the government really is doing, or intends to do!

        1. As regards the UK election, I don’t think a month is long enough to allow for the truth to emerge – it will be a roller-coaster ride after which we may be feeling rather disoriented and a little queasy …

          1. Agreement about what to do about the truth is much harder than identifying the truth itself, don’t you think? Example: In our recent Canadian election, all parties agreed that the Climate is Changing, but none could agree on what to do. All agreed on why we should have immigration, but none agreed on the process. And so it goes.

          2. Yes, slogans can be true as far as they go but the whole truth – full agreement (or at least negotiated compromise) should cover all the causes of problems and full solutions to them. Whoever said democracy was easy?!

  3. Thanks for the recommendations, Dave. It is so true: “what is designed to please everybody often ends up delighting nobody.” I have been noticing this more and more in pop culture. Entertainment is getting very bland, predictable and boring. Me personally, I would rather see a film that takes risks. There may be something I don’t like, but chances are much of it will be amazing.

    I look forward to watching the Hard Day’s Night doc!

    1. Agree completely, Christine! It reminds me of the 1970s when Tin Pan Alley regained control of youth culture following the radical experimentation of the late 60s. Like pressing the Snooze button, maybe. Reckon we need a new wake-up call …

      I found the Beatles documentary very stimulating. Enjoy … 🙂

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