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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

David Watkin's Holiday (1957)

Writes the BFI’s Robin Baker, “Few films have captured the kiss-me-quick pleasures of Blackpool more colourfully, energetically and convincingly than ‘Holiday’. Made by British Transport Films, it chronicles a day in the life of this most British of seaside resorts as it’s invaded by people hell-bent on getting the most fun possible from their precious holidays. It is certainly no chaste and po-faced trip. Among the candy floss and donkey rides the camera spies canoodling lovers; it lingers over near-naked flesh; captures some very suggestive shellfish-eating and offers images that must be among the most homoerotic in British cinema of the 1950s. Cinematographer David Watkin (who sadly died on 19 February 2008) achieved this level of intimacy by hiding his camera away from prying eyes under a cardboard box on the top of his van, presumably not worrying too much whether or not his subjects ever got round to signing release forms.”

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
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