Tuesday, 5 July 2011

British Beaches in the Movies: Brighton

Brighton Beach, in cinematic terms, is impossible to ignore and it difficult to select one film that best portrays this much-loved tourist destination with titles such as Quadrophenia (1979), Brighton Rock (both times) and London to Brighton (2006) in the running. In the film world, Brighton is generally seen as a place to visit – or getaway to – from London; a bolt hole. It also is steeped in a cinematic history which goes back to the era of silent movies. The film of choice, however, has to be Mona Lisa, a classic from 1986 which saw Bob Hoskins develop as an unlikely romantic hero. Working as the driver for a high-class prostitute named Simone (Cathy Tyson), he develops a deep and unprecedented friendship. Everything about this film works. Even, somewhat bizarrely the Phil Collins’ track “In Too Deep” as Hoskins mooches around Soho. And let’s not forget that amazing chase scene along the pier at Brighton, or those sunglasses. An undeniably bold film from the 1980s back catalogue.

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