Life's a beach for Labour's new minister for the movies
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Wednesday 14 May 1997
And that was only after bewailing the lack of disabled people in movies, and praising a film that gave carers a high profile.
Tom Clarke made his presence felt here yesterday. Britain's first ever minister for films did not exactly cut a dash on the Croisette. But as the only man in town to parade an old suit, a pate and a paunch and still be continually smiling, he turned heads.
Bypassing the glitz and the exclusive parties, Mr Clarke headed straight for the promoters of a film on Alzheimer's disease. "This is wonderful," he said, and he wasn't referring to the casting of real life daughter and mother Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law in The Winter Guest. "I'm delighted," he went on, "That one: it's about Scotland; and two: it's about caring, because carers have felt left out."
It demands considerable dexterity to move from Scottish spokesman to shadow disability minister to minister of state with responsibility for films and make it a seamless progression. Mr Clarke is nothing if not dextrous. He told a British Film Institute meeting here there must be more disabled actors, directors and producers. And when asked about great acting he singled out Euan McGregor's roles in Trainspotting and Jane Austen's Emma to pronounce: "He has a great talent in mastering that English accent."
New Labour has brought a new attitude to film. Two years ago Steve Dorrell as Secretary of State for National Heritage came to Cannes and made the wonderful gaffe of thinking the beautiful French actress Jeanne Moreau was a man.
Mr Clarke on the other hand is not only a minister who knows his films, he has actually made one and entered it for the Cannes Film Festival, albeit the Cannes Amateur Film Festival.
Back in 1972, the then 30-year-old president of the British Amateur Cinematographers Society directed Give Us A Goal, a 15-minute short about Scottish soccer teams Queen of the South and Clydebank. It was not easy to find any of the world's movie makers here yesterday who could recall it. But then it is not easy to find anyone in the stands at Queen of the South or Clydebank who can recall it.
David Lister - Cannes
Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries
- 1 This is what the one in ten British men who pay for sex need to know
- 2 Lee Evans announces retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Jeff Fletcher dead: Britpop guitarist is decapitated by lorry in horrific traffic accident
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Jimmy Ruffin dead: Motown legend, who wrote 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted', dies aged 78
New York snowstorm: Five dead and state of emergency declared as 'wall of snow' buries Buffalo
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
G20 summit: Enter Putin. Accompanied by four warships. To the sound of mockery
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
David Cameron 'compares Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Nazi Germany' ahead of tense meeting
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...
£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...