Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Don't Know. I've Never Kipled

The irregular blogger makes a return today.
IT MAY be PR, but ITV is saying it's braced for complaints after deciding to show a "tough" anti-war drama, My Boy Jack, on Remembrance Sunday. If I were one of its executives, I wouldn't worry about knee-jerk protests but about whether my dramatists can handle the complexity of war in the first place.


[Rubs eyes dramatically] Did Nick say "my dramatists" meaning ITVs? Why yes he did. Now, my first thought was, "Why not get a preview tape and find out rather than just going for nudge-nudge insinuation?" But it's better than that. Or worse, depending on whether you still harbour unrealistic expectations of Nick's abilities. My Boy Jack was not written for ITV. The script is available on Amazon. There was a press screening in Imperial War Museum in London. But Nick hasn't seen it.
On the face of it, the life of Rudyard Kipling’s son makes a pleasingly simple morality tale. Kipling schooled him to fight for king and country.

Then there's nothing on the play itself: only guff on what it might be about and what it should have been about.
It "will cetainly resonante with people serving in Iraq or Afghanistan," said Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Jack. He didn't seem to know that Kipling's reactions didn't always resonate with polite modern sentiments.

Let me take an example even Nick should be able to understand. Oliver Kamm didn't care for Paul Foot, and he said so several times. He does however think that Foot's book on Enoch Powell was very good. Daniel Radcliffe may or may not know about Kipling and critical reaction to his later poetry and prose. It doesn't matter. He says this story, the one about Kipling, not the one by him will resonate. Pointing out that Kipling had some off days after a grievous loss does not alter that.

4 Comments:

Anonymous pesto pete said...

If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied

11/07/2007 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

While Mr A's "my" is actually fine in context - "if I were ITV..." - the reality of Kipling's horror over his son's death was a good deal more complex than is implied here. It wasn't that he regretted raising him according to the mores of the time, what sent him over the edge was that he pulled strings to get Jack into the army when he should have been turned down on medical grounds.

11/07/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicks brief forays into the arts always try and treat them like pamphlets - I guess he'll never get that invite to Late Review (which as semi decentists like Gove and Hari do, probably rankles him). Gilbert & George, David Hare, Bruce Willis - as long as they fail to take on the islamonazis, they are bankrupt products of a decadent culture. Presumably if Steven Siegal kicked some death cult jihadi butt in "Takedown IV: America's revenge", Nick would see it as nuanced drama

11/07/2007 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

presumably this is not a 'serious TV programme', unlike the 'serious' comic novels of martin amis....

11/07/2007 04:00:00 PM  

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