Obama’s gift to Brown

Earlier this week, when Gordon Brown met Barack Obama he presented him with the gift of a pen holder, made from the timbers of the HMS Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister ship to the HMS Resolute, which was used to make the desk in the oval office.

A well thought-out and meaningful gift no-doubt, but Obama’s gift to Brown has raised a few eyebrows.

The President’s gift to the Prime Minister was a box set of 25 DVD’s of classic American films.

A lot of people have used this to bash Obama’s diplomatic skills, and when compared to Brown’s gift for him it does seem a little insubstantial but I do think it’s a nice gesture. Hollywood film is probably America’s most popular and influential cultural export and its a nice idea to give something which represents American society. There’s a bit more information on the story here including the probable list of films.

It got me thinking though, what 25 films would I put in a box set to represent Britain, heres a quick list in no particular order.

1. Trainspotting
2. Brief Encounter
3. The 39 steps
4. Secrets and Lies
5. Four Weddings and A Funeral
6. Monty Python’s and now for something completely different
7. A Matter of Life and Death
8. Carry on camping
9. 24 hour party people
10. Goldfinger
11. If…
12. Look Back In Anger
13. Blow Up
14. Shaun of the Dead
15. A Hard Days Night
16. The Wicker Man
17. A Clockwork Orange
18. The Remains of the Day
19. The Crying Game
20. The Full Monty
21. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
22. Kidulthood
23. Bend it like Beckham
24. The Dam Busters
25. Dracula

There were a few others but I decided to limit myself to 25. I’ve tried to include examples from most of the major british directors and that cover a range of subjects that show britain. It’s not necessarily a list of the greatest british films, although I think many of them are, but it’s supposed to be a list which represents Britain, both past and present. Think I’ve missed anything or disagree with it? let me know what your opinions.

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Filed under Film, Politics

8 responses to “Obama’s gift to Brown

  1. Chris

    Where’s the Italian Job?

  2. ahh The Italian Job, knew there was something obvious I was missing…

  3. Fergus

    Mark and I watched “And now for something completely different” yesterday whilst hungover. Most random 2 hours ever spent in front of a TV screen. But definitely well spent, especially the Upper-class Twit of the year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqkdcT25ss (A good reflection of Britain too!)

  4. Yes! one of my favourite Monty Python sketches that one 😀

  5. Interesting post.

    I suppose if you are aiming to represent Britain then there should be another classic war film in there, apart from Dam Busters. Something with a bit of stiff upper lip British resolve, a bit of Blitz spirit.

    I guess there should be some Swinging Sixties in there as well. Alfie, perhaps? One of the Beatles movies?

    Martin F. will be gratified to see you have included a piece of kitchen sink. I can’t think of any Fifties Brit Rocker movies that would be redolent of the Teddy Boy period and early rock ‘n’ roll.

    Brits are famous for their sense of humour so a case could be made for including classic examples like an Ealing comedy and/or a Carry On film.

  6. Oh, yeh, you did include a Beatles movie.

  7. I love President Obama. I voted for him, canvased for him, & think he is doing a great job so far. (Hopefully he’s on the right economic track) I’m a bit worried about his gift giving though. He just gave your Queen an I-pod. It just doesn’t look good. It’s too informal.

    Maybe he’s onto something though, perhaps there’s too much pageantry going on & not enough work being done.

    What do I know anyway.

  8. freelanceunbound

    A terrific post – a great idea and some top movies (although A Clockword Orange??? Use that spellchecker!)

    I only saw 24 Hour Party People the other night for the first time – a cracking inclusion. But I think Miller’s right (not something you’ll hear me say often): more Blitz spirit required.

    I’d go for A Matter of Life and Death, or maybe The Way To the Stars. Certainly something by Powell and Pressburger.

    Spot on with Blow Up for Swinging London, But what’s with Dracula? Which one are we talking about? The 1958 Hammer with Christopher Lee? Hmm…