Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"The History Boys" -- Nicholas Hytner Talks

Director Nicholas Hytner talks about the film adaptation of the delightful play "The History Boys." Correction, he writes about it, since everyone in the UK can act and direct and write and probably paint and quote huge swatches of poetry as well. Hytner's charming article offers up this tidbit from the show that was cut before it opened. It plays off the fact that the teacher Hector lets his students try to stump him by quoting old movies or songs that he identifies easily:
There is a scene that didn't make it beyond the first draft of the screenplay, and was even cut eventually from the play - though only in the interests of brevity and with a heavy heart, because, like so much of Alan's discarded material, it was better than most writers' highlights. In it, Rudge challenged Hector to recognise a song by the Pet Shop Boys; Hector, ignorant of all popular culture after about 1950, was completely floored. "You can't expect him to know that," said Timms. "And anyway, it's crap." "So is Gracie Fields," said Rudge, "only that's his crap. This is our crap." I feel something similar about The History Boys: I have no idea yet whether it's a good film, but it's our film.

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