A Life in Film, Andy Burrows

Andy Burrows is a company chairman and management consultant; he has lived in Chesham for 25 years and been a CFS member for 24 of them.  He is the current CFS Treasurer and the committee member who usually introduces each film selection to our audience.

1)      What was the best film of your childhood?

My Mum took me to my first-ever film as a birthday treat.  It was Genevieve, the story of two veteran cars competing on the London-Brighton run.  The old cars were a treat but I remember being seriously smitten by Kay Kendall – the epitome of 1950’s glamour & style.

2)      Best date movie?

Got to be When Harry Met Sally.   If seeing that doesn’t spark up the home-bound conversation then the relationship’s not going anywhere!

3)      Have you ever walked out of a film and if so what and why?

A Hong-Kong slasher movie that someone in the University Film Society had decided would be worth us seeing.  It wasn’t.

4)      Everyone should see?

Schindler’s List.  I still remember the silence in the audience as the credits rolled. Grim subject, great film.

5)      No one should see? I have seen it so you don’t have to

Sex Lives of the Potato Men.  In my defence I was a captive audience – on a long-haul flight.  Good cast (Johnny Vegas, Mackenzie Crook, and Mark Gatiss) but an embarrassing mixture of boorishness, misogyny and unfunny jokes.

6)      Marooned on your desert island you can only save one film to watch over and over again.  What film would you choose. (We will give you a DVD of the Greatest Story Ever Told and Shakespeare in Love)

I’ll trade the offered two in for Sunset Boulevard and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  I’ll then choose L’Armee des Ombres.

7)      What film is your guilty pleasure? The film that someone with your good taste in cinema wouldn’t want anyone else to know about.

Bad Santa.  Riotous black comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as the most politically-incorrect, misogynistic, borderline-racist Santa Claus you could ever meet.  How this film got past the Hollywood self-censorship that the studios impose I will never know.  An uncredited script by the Coen Brothers is the engineroom secret; very funny, but you’ll wince at a lot of the jokes.

8)      What  would be the last film that you would like to see before you meet the great film maker in the sky

The Seventh Seal would get me into the appropriate mood..

9)      Inheritance films. Which film did you inherit and from whom and which film would you like to pass on and why?

When I was older my Dad took me to see The Dam Busters.  I was seriously impressed.  Very low-key in style, almost more of a documentary than a drama.  A British cinema highlight.

The film I’d pass on is Spite Marriage.  Dated 1929, this is Buster Keaton’s final silent film and the last one where MGM allowed him creative control. His athleticism is astonishing, featuring uncanny physical control and with a perfect grasp of what is funny.  It is a gentle work; love-struck Buster marries a woman who is on the rebound from a spurned lover.  Through Buster’s (incompetent) bravery in defending her, she eventually learns to love him.  Magical.

10)   Who would play you in the film of your life? Two actors please, one for the younger you and one for the older version.

A bouncy young Richard Briars for the younger self.  Then I’d love Lino Ventura to portray the older one.