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Gangsters, geezers and guns: the men behind Britain’s booming low-budget crime-flick industry

by Andrew Pulver.


Darren, sales manager at a plastics firm in Milton Keynes, is a force to be reckoned with in the British film industry. In part, he’s the reason why British crime cinema – low-budget, morally dubious and about as disreputable as it’s ever been – is the genre that refuses to die. At least, Darren would if he actually existed. Darren, it turns out, is a theoretical construct; an audience archetype identified by Jezz Vernon, managing director of distribution outfit Metrodome, the people who released recent examples of the form such as The Guvnors, St George’s Day and The Fall of the Essex Boys.

“We always talk about the buyer of a film,” says Vernon. “For someone like Darren, there’s a certain boredom about his existence, and the attraction to gangsters or football hooligans has a certain aspirational element to it. It might sound worrying, but we liken it to music: the mainstream in UK music has always liked poetic thugs, from Byron to Liam Gallagher. People like the paradox; both the masculinity of it, and the denial of it.”

Read the rest of this article from The Guardian.

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