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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    Starting on Monday 16/01/2017 at 22:45 GMT on BBC Radio 3, Simon Heffer is talking about the "Kitchen Sink" films that were made in the 50s and 60s,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b088jc33

    The series features:
    Room at the Top
    Saturday and Sunday Morning
    The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
    This Sporting Life
    Billy Liar

    Nick

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    These years from the early 60s are those which I grew up in. I'm interested to learn how commentators now look back on that period, as indeed 'the other 60s' of the Swinging Generation. I think we've have threads on the kitchen sink subject before (we have current long-running (!) thread on Long-Distance Runner.

    Mr. Heffer does tend to throw his emphasis on the dour nature of things. Maybe in this case he might show us the link or the clash-if there is one-between these films and more jazzy stuff as in Smashing Time and Casino Royale.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    I find Heffer's politics repulsive, but I do have enormous respect for his cinematic knowledge.

    I'll set my box to record these.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Wee Sonny MacGregor's Avatar
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    Thanks ND - an excellent heads up.

  5. #5
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    I find Heffer's politics repulsive, but I do have enormous respect for his cinematic knowledge.
    The problem I found with his one on British films of the 1950's about the war was that he just went on about the films as they were all classics, with a very particular view of how they portrayed the past.

    Hopefully, he will take a more independent view, because those are films which reflected a changing Britain, and worth reappraising.

  6. #6
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    The series features:
    Room at the Top
    Saturday and Sunday Morning
    The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
    This Sporting Life
    Billy Liar


    No A Taste of Honey? Is Room At the Top really a 'kitchen sink' film?

  7. #7
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m35541 View Post
    The series features:
    Room at the Top
    Saturday and Sunday Morning
    The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
    This Sporting Life
    Billy Liar


    No A Taste of Honey? Is Room At the Top really a 'kitchen sink' film?
    Are there any kitchen sinks in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner?

    Steve

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Scotland narabdela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m35541 View Post
    Is Room At the Top really a 'kitchen sink' film?
    Indeed it is. More so than 'Billy Liar'.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    The series features:
    Room at the Top
    Saturday and Sunday Morning
    The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
    This Sporting Life
    Billy Liar

    No A Taste of Honey? Is Room At the Top really a 'kitchen sink' film?
    Indeed it is. More so than 'Billy Liar'.
    I think the definition of 'kitchen sink' seems to include 'set in the north', as much as anything else, judging by the internet. So Billy Liar is in! I think this http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/n...en-sink-dramas is as good a list as any, but someones always going to be disappointed at what gets left out.

    Its nice that Radio 3 is doing something, but this subject is tailor made for a BBC4 season - a documentary on their rise (I'd like to know how they got financed), social impacts, what happened to the cast and crew, and of course the films themselves in HD. Plus whatever they've got in the archives. I found that Radio 4 did a season on 'The New Wave' a couple of years back http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0398262 , with new radio versions of a lot of the well known works. Thats not a bad starting point.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    Are there any kitchen sinks in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner? Steve
    No, but there might be some running taps

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Captain Oates's Avatar
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    I think the description "kitchen sink" was generally always used pejoratively at the time and hated by the creators of these films who saw their work as social realist, or 'New Wave". Lindsay Anderson coined "Free Cinema", which pertained to the related documentaries mostly, and the films themselves were also lumped together under an "Angry Young Man" banner due to the linkages with the Royal Court Theatre.

    For Heffer to use the "Kitchen Sink" label is a bit lazy unless he was intending to diminish and reduce the significance of the films - you would expect an arch-conservative like him to do just that, but I think he genuinely recognizes the unique values that these films embody. He is passionate about British cultural and artistic heritage, even when this means embracing the work of those on the political Left. I personally find this difficult to reconcile with his politics.

    Room At The Top has often been thought not to belong to the grouping, not because its literary source wasn't appropriate, but its provenance was more from the British cinema mainstream. A Taste of Honey would certainly qualify, but although Billy Liar is relevant, surely Schlesinger's A Kind of Loving is one of the key films of this type?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    The BFI do of course, have their guide on how to become a proper kitchen sink watcher:-

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/n...en-sink-dramas

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    For Heffer to use the "Kitchen Sink" label is a bit lazy unless he was intending to diminish and reduce the significance of the films
    I disagree - its a good easy-understood short-hand 'sound bite' description of a particular type of film from a particular era (even if the makers didn't like it).

    I'd like to know how they got financed

    The first ones were based on well-know plays/novels and Room at the Top (financed by British Lion) made a lot of money so everyone wanted to join in and make their own version. Once they ceased making money the genre fell away. These films were fairly cheap to make so not a hugely expensive investment - the likes of Finney, Courtney, Tushingham and Bates were all relatively unknown when they did their first one.

    The 'height' of this genre was only a 2-3 year period. Jack Clayton, Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz really only made 1 each of these films before doing other stuff.
    Last edited by m35541; 17-01-17 at 11:31 AM.

  14. #14
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    The term "Kitchen Sink" drama originated (AIUI) because those early gritty "Kitchen Sink" plays dared to show the kitchen (and often the kitchen sink) whereas most dramas at the time only took place in the living room ("Anyone for tennis?")

    Steve

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Well yes of COURSE, Steve. No dramas in the kitchens in The Forsyte Saga or Upstairs Downstairs, what old boy? Nowadays the medium would gravitate towards Downton Abbey; but wait, isn't Downton the purveyor of kitchen sinks nowadays?

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Do...sinks&tbm=shop

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