Movies: how to grow your own

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The Independent Culture
Take a handful of middle-aged MPs and all the top names from the British film industry, mix well and what do you have? A cake made of chalk and cheese.

America's entertainment industry is now its biggest export. But in Britain, directors are still holding out their bowls and pleading their case.

The sight of respected film figures being put on the spot by the Heritage Select Committee in Scrutiny: The Road to Hollywood with Joanna Coles (4.05pm BBC2) conjures up classroom images of children being ticked off when they have done nothing wrong.

And when individual films come under attack from the committee - one member of which admits he hasn't been to the cinema for the past two years - you seriously wonder if those gathered to put the British film industry on the right track have a clue what they are talking about.

A brief, freebie trip to Hollywood and suddenly the MPs are film buffs, the close contact with all those movie kings and queens having clearly gone to their heads. But never have two bodies seemed more at odds. The MPs look about as at home in Hollywood as Gilbert and George would around a hippie camp fire.

When will the country's film industry get the boost it needs? And when will its creativity be fully appreciated and its export potential realised? The answer, if this film is anything to go by, is never.

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