Thursday, 27 July 2017
745 The Beginner's Guide To Absolute Beginners
First viewed : 29 March 1986
Oh yes, you couldn't get away from the desperate hype surrounding the release of this film. Its makers, Goldcrest Films, had been hit for six by the box office disaster that was Revolution and the whole future of the British film industry was seen to rest on the success of Julian Temple's musical version of the Colin McInnes novel of teenage London in the late fifties much loved by the mods ( hence The Jam's 1981 hit of the same name ). The media obligingly gave it saturation coverage including this short documentary on ITV.
Unsurprisingly, the film failed to live up to expectations. Much of the music was anachronistic, an eighties version of what fifties jazz was like from Sade and The Style Council, in other words the film was promoting the new jazz / anti-rock movement which had already passed its peak by 1986. It was also too London-centric , finding parts for the likes of Ray Davies and Mandy Rice-Davies and giving the main female role to a far too young Patsy Kensit. The male lead was unknown Eddie O Connell who couldn't carry the film.
Temple fled to America and Goldcrest went belly up but then the little-hyped Mona Lisa came along and the industry wasn't so dead after all.