Icons in the Fire: The Decline and Fall of Almost Everybody in the British Film Industry by Alexander Walker
Mention the films - FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, NOTTING HILL, THE FULL MONTY, BRIDGET JONES' DIARY - made in Britain, huge successes all, but none financed by British money. Walker's previous volumes, HOLLYWOOD ENGLAND (1974) and NATIONAL HEROES (1985), covered the period until 1984. This final volume tells the inside story right up to date of why a nation that produces actors of the calibre of Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Robert Carlyle, Kate Winslet and directors such as Anthony Minghella, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears, Neil Jordan, Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach and Guy Ritchie cannot sustain a native film industry. Walker's revelations on the iniquities of National Lottery funding of movies - over 200m to date and hardly a profitable film among those so far produced - have been headline news. Indeed he shows that one movie, based on a novel by one of Britain's leading novelists, managed to take only 3,200 at the box office. He relates the extraordinary events of the past two decades years through the individuals, the companies and the studios. His judgments are based on more than four decades as Britain's leading film critic, biographer and film historian.