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26 April 2017

BBC Suppresses Nuclear War Classic, "Threads".





Dear Editor (London Times):


        In
America, we have a daft bugger pretending to be president of the United States,
and I hope that he doesn’t blow up Sheffield among other places. I mention this
town because it was featured in one of the greatest nuclear war movies ever
made, Mick Jackson’s and Barry Hines’, “Threads” which has tragically been
coopted by your BBC which seems to be denying its world-wide distribution, and
if there is a time in world history when we need to view this picture again,
this is it!!


        “Threads”
premiered on British TV (methinks) 23 September 1984 and came out the same year
as the overrated “The Day After”. While the latter was a high-minded disaster
thriller with an all-star cast, “Threads” on the other hand, was a work of art
with ideas and images that I will never forget the rest of my life. Unlike “The
Day After’ with its all-star cast, “Threads” had a cast that I was not familiar
with and was glad because I was able to appreciate the characters as if they
were real people and not big named Hollywood stars.


        To
me, Director/ Producer Mick Jackson and scenarist, Barry Hines might as well be
Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz because not only was “Threads” a great
film, it is also a work of magnificent grotesque art!!! I’ve studied the
picture by viewing it many times. It is not easy because I rarely am able to
get through the picture without weeping. Every character in “Threads” has
something and someone to feel affection for. Jimmy Kemp has his parents and his
wonderful bird aviary. Ruth Beckett has her parents and her cuddly cat. Mayor
Sutton who will soon have to dig his way out of a grave while trying to fight
the chaos and death of nuclear nightmare, has his office flowers. The film
consistently and intensely sticks with its theme that all of us, all living things
are threads in a fabric, and when the fabric is strong, it stays whole, but
when it is frayed and torn, it is destroyed. Scenarist Hines narrator intones
at the film’s beginning, that all of us are together and that this makes us
strong, but it can also make us vulnerable. “Threads” should be required
viewing in educational institutions and required viewing for all sensitive
people who do not want to see us incinerated to nuclear dust.


        But
having “Threads” viewed by the entire world and especially by the Birther
TrumPutin maniac will be difficult because the film is only available on a
region 2 DVD format and cannot be played in the USA unless you have purchased a
multi-region DVD player. The USA is a region 1 DVD area by the way. Americans
are missing a vital piece of cinema/ Television drama because in part a lot of
love went into making “Threads”. It is helped by the research of leading
scientists of the time including, the late great Carl Sagan. “Threads” is the
only nuclear war picture to ever depict a nuclear winter. In fact, as intimate
as “Threads” is in how it presents its characters, it is epic in its scope. The
film’s timeline goes from two months before the attack and ends 13 years plus
after the attack, and yet keeps its story focused on the inhabitants of and the
tragedy of the town of Sheffield.


        I
bought a multi-region DVD/ Blu-Ray player just so I could buy a region 2 copy
and study it for the great cinematic techniques it uses, but I was appalled to
discover that the BBC’s version lacks the music used during the brief main
titles. I know that they did wrong because Mr. Jackson wrote me a note to the
fact on a post of mine he answered on the Internet Movie Database.


Not only does
“Threads” deserve wide release all over the world and in the USA, it deserves a
digital cleanup to perfect its images, and it deserves a special edition with
interviews, commentary, and background. I consider myself a lover of the
movies, and “Threads” is the apex of great artistic filmmaking. I beg you to
please appeal to your BBC to release this movie to wide release in all regions
before the daft bugger-in-chief-birther instigates a world conflagration,
destroying my beloved Sheffield and the entire world with it.


I was introduced
to the expression “daft bugger” from “Threads”. In an early scene, working
class father of 3, Mr. Kemp, finds out that his adult son, Jimmy, made his
girlfriend, upper class, Ruth Beckett, pregnant. Kemp sarcastically asks, “What
are you going to do now, you daft bugger? Jimmy declares that he plans on
marrying the girl, and they are not having an abortion. The younger son,
playing his video game in the background, wants to know what an abortion is
because his older sister is making jokes at her older brother’s expense. It is
a simple, warm family scene played with some humor, especially when the
youngest son’s mom says she is going to give him a “hiding” if he doesn’t stop
saying “abortion”. It is early intimate scenes like these that make us care
about the characters soon to be destroyed by nuclear war. Again, “Threads” is a
work of art, and shame on the BBC for suppressing it in the USA and anywhere
not region 2 during a horrific time in human history when we need it the most.


Sincerely and with Respect,