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Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 01:23 GMT 02:23 UK
Lock, Stock star attacks film industry
Moran said distributors do not want original films
Moran said distributors do not want original films
Actor Nick Moran has described the film industry as "stupid" and "cheap" because it ignores independent, intelligent UK films - meaning some of the best productions never get seen at cinemas.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - in which Moran starred - might not have got a cinema release if it was made today because distributors were more unwilling to take on original productions, he said.


I'm stuck with the best film I've ever done, and no-one will see it because of the state of the industry

Nick Moran
Moran's latest film, Christie Malry's Own Double Entry, could not get a release despite the fact that it earned rave reviews in a number of magazines and he says it is the best film he has made.

"No-one would release it because it's not about blokes that are strippers or gangsters - there's no cheesy tagline to attach to it," he said.

Moran said it is a "classy, intelligent piece of work" - but that distributors would not release it because it does not fit into the current ideas of what a British film should be.

"It has to be the next Lock Stock or the next Full Monty," he told BBC News Online.

Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Moran starred with Vinnie Jones in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
"Because this isn't the next anything - it's the first - people couldn't market it and distributors stayed away from it."

In the film, Moran plays a disgruntled office worker who vents his frustration on society using the principles of double entry accounting.

It was named best film of last year in Uncut magazine and was given five stars by Hotdog magazine, he said.

And it has just had a rare cinema screening at London's Raindance Film Festival, which is dedicated only to independent films.

British film distributors are "terrible", Moran said, and there is no longer an arthouse film circuit because multiplexes - owned by major film studios - put a stranglehold on the market.

Neil Stuke also stars in Christie Malry
Neil Stuke also stars in Christie Malry
"I'm stuck with what, for me, is the best film I've ever done, with a bunch of brilliant reviews, and no-one will see it because of the state of the industry.

"I don't know what would happen if Lock Stock had been made two years later, and I don't know how many great British films have gone straight to video."

Christie Malry's Own Double Entry was finished a year ago, but has only been screened at a handful of festivals.

Adapted from BS Johnson's cult 70s novel, it is a "mature and subtle" film, Moran said.

Moran's character, Christie Malry, is a disillusioned 20-something Londoner who makes sure that any wrongdoings against him - by people like his boss or the taxman - are repaid to society as a whole.

Christie Malry got a rare screening at the Raindance Festival
The film got a rare screening at London's Raindance Festival
He starts with bomb threats, then blows up a tax office before killing thousands of Londoners by polluting the water supply.

"You should sympathise with him. People come out of the film thinking, yes, I don't like taxi drivers, I'd like to blow them up," Moran said.

But its subject matter in the light of current events means it is now likely to be seen as too raw, he said.

"It may make it difficult for the film to be seen on a broader scale and that is pretty inconsequential compared with what's going on in the world," he said.

'Important'

The production team considered personally contributing to paying for a release, as the team behind another recent UK film, South West Nine, have done - but that is now not likely to happen, he said.

It was shown at Raindance on Friday, and Moran said the festival is more important than ever because so many independent films do not have an outlet.

"Important in the basic, honest fact that you won't be able to see these films anywhere else.

"And that's not because they're bad - that's because the way the distribution works is not fair."

See also:

20 Sep 01 | Arts
Funding the UK film industry
07 Mar 01 | Budget 2001
Budget boosts UK film industry
24 May 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg calls for UK film 'leader'
01 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Film Council eyes the box office
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