Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Treated myself to a massage last night after realizing that my shoulders had been living up around my ears for the past few weeks. When I got home, I had no ambition at all and wound up watching the entirety of He Knew He Was Right.

It's basically a perfect case study of a BBC movie. The script is compelling, the performances are solid (and delivered by all of the usual suspects) and the niceties, like the title and end credits are hysterical. The title appears hovering over a static shot of red roses, dying. And the important words are capitalized, (He KNEW He Was RIGHT) so that the proper emphasis doesn't elude you.

Far be it from me to criticize BBC adaptations too harshly; I love them with my whole heart. But I do think it's funny and probably a bit telling that so much care is put into the story portion and the intro and outro are just slapped on. I like to picture two old men, in a cramped closet, whose job it is to paste on the introductions.

Man 1: What have we got here? (peers down spectacles) "He Knew He Was Right".

Man 2: What's it about.

Man 1: (inspecting the tape) Dunno. Strong title though. He knew he was right.

Man 2: Probably a fuss about a woman. They all are.

Man 1: So what do we do?

Man 2: (reviewing five shabby looking VHS tapes) Well, we've got footage of roses on a piano, withering roses, a country lane, a woman in a carriage or a lion pouncing on a gazelle.

Man 1: From the nature special, yeah?

Man 2: Right.

Man 1: Well I like the lion and gazelle one.

Man 2: Just used that in "Lion versus Gazelle".

Man 1: Then the country lane.

Man 2: Cranford.

Man 1: The woman in the carriage?

Man 2: Used that one quite a bit lately. Gives one a sense of unease and vulnerability. How'd you feel about the roses?

Man 1: Withery or piano?

Man 2: Withery. I was trying to save the piano ones for the ten years of Austin adaptations they've got in the works. The piano makes 'em seem more genteel.

Man 1: True, true... The piano's a genteel instrument, I've always said. Well, withery it is.

Man 2: Right. Tea then?

And that ladies and gentlemen, is how BBC opening credits get created.

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