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Monday, October 30, 2006

Well the good news is I've now received $10 for Friday's blog post, so despite not quite understanding how it works, it hasn't stopped me receiving my money. I feel like Neil Hamilton during the 'cash for questions' scandal. Albeit using PayPal rather than brown paper bags.

But even more gratifying than that, is that I've just read the latest copy of 'The Week' magazine, and discovered that I'm not quite the outcast I thought I was. I'd heard nothing but good things about 'The History Boys' before I went to see it last week, making it somewhat galling to find out just how much I hated it. But it turns out I'm not alone. I just read the wrong papers. Here's what 'The Week' had to say:

"Alan Bennett's award-winning play about a class of grammar school boys cramming for their Oxbridge exams in Sheffield in the Eighties has now reached the big screen. The play was a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, said Cosmo Landesman in The Sunday Times, but it astonishes me that so many people regard it as a serious work of art. Granted, 'The History Boys' has some funny lines, but the depiction of life in the school is embarrassingly anachronistic. When was the last time you saw young, working-class males spouting the poetry of Auden and Housman, spontaneously re-enacting scenes from Brief Encounter and breaking out into show tunes from the Forties? And would these same boys have laughed off the fact that one of their teachers regularly fondles their genitals?

Whether or not you admire Bennett's play, there's no doubting the fact that it has suffered in the transfer from stage to screen, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Nicholas Hytner's film feels stagey and oddly contrived, with the kind of elaborate, highly worked dialogue that is exhilarating in the theatre, but rather unreal-sounding on the big screen."

Which is pretty much what I said. Although they missed my point about Scooby Doo.