Mar 10

magic bus out of the kitchen sink

FT5 comments • 197 views

a piece i’ve often wanted to write has been something about the switch from dourly puritan late-50s stasis (back-to-backs you will never escape) to slippy mid-60s mobility: this — possibly deluded — urgent new sense that you could get a beatle-shaped ticket to ride out of grim-up-north nowhere down into swinging bedsit london (a city which rarely features in the kitchen sink canon: up the junction? the ipcress file?), and, who knows? become whatever you wanted to be…! this 1969 series being a touchstone fragment of whatever you’d want to call the relevant realism, except i can remember nothing whatever of the actual programme, only the pentangle theme music…


  1. 1
    koganbot on 5 Mar 2010 #

    Would The Knack count as kitchen sink transitioning into the post-kitchen? (And of course, A Hard Day’s Night; and I realize they were each directed by an American, but I think of Richard Lester as part of British film anyway.)

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kitchen-sink-as-such film. I’ve read some Angry Young Men, if that counts (Look Back In Anger and Lucky Jim are two that I recall, though I may have read others as well).

  2. 2
    koganbot on 5 Mar 2010 #

    I notice that one of the girls is called Avril. Was the character Canadian?

  3. 3
    Mark M on 5 Mar 2010 #

    The L-Shaped Room was the ‘its-the-grim-down-South film of the early ’60s’, but it’s not fully considered part of the kitchen sink mini-canon because it was made by slick Bryan Forbes rather than the Royal Court bunch and starred Lesley Caron. By the time Ken Loach turned up, Tony Richardson and chums were heading for Hollywood – I think the TV version of Up The Junction is the best of his early London stuff.

  4. 4

    “the knack” is quintessentially transitional here, yes — a play at the royal court (which had been the crucible of the “angry young man” project) but a little later than AYM’s heyday, written by a GIRL, and quirky rather than angry (it’s kind of an affectionate parody of d.h.lawrencism)

    and richard lester is also a force of slippage, definitely

    as i say, i know nothing about the plot of “take three girls”

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 7 Mar 2010 #

    On a less exalted(?) plane you can trace ‘the switch from dourly puritan late-50s stasis…to slippy mid-60s mobility’ in the Carry On films – with Carry on Camping (1969) toying with the sexual revolution and featuring a group of hippies who bag the girls from Chayste Place finishing school

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