Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm watching Made in Britain. I should rename this blog "Movies you've never heard about- And probably don't want to." It's an older British film, Tim Roth's first. It might be made for TV, I'm not sure. Tim Roth plays a British juvenile delinquint going through the British government's JD reform system. It's not a very entertaining movie. For some reason the social worker is convinced that Tim Roth's character is smart and reformable, but he continually frustrates everyone by refusing to adopt the straight and narrow. The entire film is watching a punk commit random crimes and consequentially get in yelling matches with well-meaning social workers until everyone in government washes their hands of him.

There's a scene in the Breakfast Club where the one punker teenager aggravates the principal and is given a bunch of extra detentions. Hmm. According to the internet, that scene goes something like:

Richard Vernon: You're not fooling anyone, Bender. The next screw that falls out will be you.
John Bender: Eat my shorts.
Richard Vernon: What was that?
John Bender: Eat... My... Shorts.
Richard Vernon: You just bought yourself another Saturday.
John Bender: Ooh, I'm crushed.
Richard Vernon: You just bought one more.
John Bender: Well I'm free the Saturday after that. Beyond that, I'm going to have to check my calendar.
Richard Vernon: Good, cause it's going to be filled. We'll keep going. You want another one? Just say the word say it. Instead of going to prison you'll come here. Are you through?
John Bender: No.

The parody in Not Another Teen Movie of this scene was particularly funny.  Anyway, now you remember the scene. Take that scene, stretch it out to an entire movie, add a few racist rants and some benevolent authority figures, and you've got yourself Made in Britain. Talking to this guy is like trying to convince a Goth kid to save himself some grief and change his makeup. He'd rave about "conformists" and "sell outs" and there'd be nothing more you could do.

Tim Roth does an fantastic job. By the end of the movie even I wanted to punch him. You get the sense that the kid knows that he is spiraling downward, but that by this point his highest realistic ambition, to be a taxi driver, would require swallowing an unmanageable amount of pride and admitting mistakes. Tim Roth can't do it and instead steals cars and breaks windows. Some people have to choose between being true to themselves and being happy.

(from Moby Dick)
"Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!"

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