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Aside from "Casino Royale" (which is essentially from its own universe), I don't think we've had a single British film put up for consideration, which is odd as we've had over 70 English-language films from America (and that's not counting versus). I propose we go iconic by going back to the 60s, a good blend of the recognizable and the dated (which isn't necessarily a bad thing with a movie), and one of the most-recognized "Golden Ages" in British cinema.


"Blow Up" is an obvious first choice, but it seems a little easy. Also, we already had Blow Out. So howsabout something a little lighter? "Alfie" is a good blend of light comedy and dark commentary on the sexual mores and politics of the era. It could be re-titled "Male Privilege: The Movie", but Michael Caine is so charming, you don't mind hating the guy as much as you (probably) will, because the movie seems to hate what he's doing as well, and even he eventually wisens up. Sorta.


There's a lot to talk about with this one: how times have changed, and the ways some things haven't. Even de-mystifying the image of the "Swinging Sixties", which seems relatively sedate here as compared to the popular conception of the era (re-enforced, no doubt, by "Austin Powers").


There are a lot of good films from this period in British cinema that would make wonderful meat for discussion, but I feel that "Alfie" is the most approachable by far. And while it could make for an interesting versus along with the much lighter "Bedazzled", I think it would be best put up alone. I honestly don't know if it would have a chance of getting in, as I can see a lot of people being so repulsed by Alfie's period-"appropriate" behavior that they'd rather just swear off the whole film, and others genuinely intrigued (a la "Mad Men") as Alfie takes us by the hand and leads us through a charmed yet self-absorbed journey through his London playground.


The Canon has been far too America-centric. Only eleven episodes have been about unambiguously non-American films, and most of them from the last forty years. Let's take a baby step away from (New) Hollywood and out into the greater world. It's been 50 years(!) since "Alfie" came out. Has it aged too much in that time, or is it the age that makes it relevant as a critical look at a time that (perhaps recent events have demonstrated) still holds a powerful nostalgia for many, in one way or another?

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