Get Your Freak On
I’ve just finished proofing my scurrilous memoir about my career in the British film industry. This is the rough of the cover (I’ve now seen the final version, but don’t have a copy of it).
Most books about British films are rather earnest about popular cinema, and rarely link the experience to the times. I wanted to counteract that, but also to explore something I’d glimpsed in ‘Paperboy’ – the way in which British film, particularly comedies, were linked to class.
Here’s what my lovely publishers have decided to say about the book, which comes out in April…
‘It’s the late 1970s and twenty-something Christopher is a film freak, obsessively watching lousy films in run-down fleapit cinemas. He longs to become a famous screenwriter and put his dreams on the big screen, and so heads for Wardour Street, Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood, with an armful of terrible scripts.
But he’s made a spectacular mistake. He arrives just as the nation’s filmmakers fall to their knees, brought low by the arrival of video and the destruction of the old movie palaces. The only films being made are smutty low budget farces and TV spinoffs. Instead of being asked to write another ‘Bullitt’, Chris finds himself churning out short films for boilers and nylon sheets. Somehow, against the odds, he finds success – although in a very different guise to the one he expected.
From the sticky Axminster of the local cinema to the red carpet at Cannes, Film Freak is a grimly hilarious and ultimately affecting trawl through the arse-end of the British film industry that turns into a search for friendship and happiness.’
If you liked ‘Paperboy’ or simply enjoy reading weird stuff about movies and the seventies in general, you may also get pleasure from this.