Two of the most influential British films of all time

It’s no question we cleaned up at the Oscars this year.

Brits claimed Best Picture, Director and Production (Oppenheimer), Best International Feature Film (The Zone of Interest) and Costume Design, Production Design and Makeup and Hairstyling (Poor Things). The ceremony spoke with a British accent and references to UK Mother's Day confused Americans across the board.

So, what better time to revel, in two of the most original and influential British films of all time: game changers in their genres and still revered four decades on.

Before there was Layer Cake or Rock N Rolla, there was The Long Good Friday.  

Ranked by Empire magazine as one of the top 20 British films of all time, you can see its influence on every UK crime drama since 1980. Set in London in the late seventies, the story of a gangster (the late Bob Hoskins) trying to save his empire from the IRA and partner up with the New York mafia, is something special and brutal: one of the first British gangster films.

An electrifying cast, including a young Helen Mirren, bring the gritty energy of London’s underbelly to the big screen. Set against the backdrop of a still bombed out dock lands its capital is barely recognisable to the monolithic landscape of today’s Canary Wharf. What remains familiar, is the stylish look, and dark, fast-paced humour, that Guy Ritchie would go on to build a career from. See it from Fri 29 March.

Turning the irreverence up to ten, we also celebrate Monty Python and The Holy Grail’s 48 ½ anniversary this Easter. The troupe’s sharp, absurd humour shines bright in their second feature film from 1975.  It follows the Arthurian legend through slapstick, music and loads of quotable lines (“It’s just a flesh wound!”).

From old to new, there’s lots to experience at Showroom this bank holiday weekend. Enjoy fun, puns, and prizes at Drag Bingo, hosted by Sheffield-queen Emma Maezin on 29 March. Or experience exciting VR worlds during a free open day, hosted in partnership with StoryFutures.


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