Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Ask and you Shall Receive

I asked a question. I suppose you deserve an answer.

They are all 'British' films. That is, according to the BFI and the government.

All 10 passed the BFI Cultural Test in 2011 and were approved by the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport on the basis of "recommendations" made by the BFI Certification Unit (UK Film Council Certification Unit until April 2011).


Dear (former Minister for Culture, Media and Sport) Mr Hunt,

Please could you explain the basis upon which you decided that (for the sake of brevity) Captain America is a British film?

I mean, let's just run through a few facts:

Captain America has an American subject matter, an American lead actor, has mostly American and continental European locations, and an American director (with Americans at the head of all the key departments). Yet, it was decided that Captain America is a British film...? Sorry, let me try that again, Captain AMERICA is a BRITISH film... Nope, still not getting it... Captain AMERICA!!!!!! is a British film...

What am I missing?

American studio money (Disney via Marvel); American subject matter (the character was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1941); an American lead actor (Chris Evans... not that one!); a mix of Americans, Brits and Aussies in supporting roles (Concession 1: the leading lady is a Brit and she plays a British character); mainly American and continental European locations (it's a WW2 movie!) with a brief stop-over in jolly ol' England (Concession 2: I have not checked but can guess that the vast majority, if not all of the studio work was shot at either Shepperton or Pinewood); and an American director, an American producer, a pair of American writers, a pair of American editors, an American composer and an American cinematographer... have I missed anyone? (Concession 3: At least some, although, I think, not all, of the VFX work was done by London-based Double Negative.)

You know what? When you put like that, it is tempting to consider think that Captain America might just possibly be you know (whisper it) American.

Are a British love interest, UK-based studio shooting and the participation of a Brit-based special effects house really enough to warrant the all-encompassing British film tag? Of course, if Captain American were an American film (it is currently classed as a 'co-production') it would knock a US$370 million hole in the global box office receipts earned by the so-called British film industry...

More to follow.


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