23rd March: 6.15pm
My Beautiful Laundrette
Stephen Frears’ 1985 ground-breaking, gay, mixed race, love story not only launched the career of Daniel Day-Lewis but was also partly responsible for reviving the fortunes of the British film industry.
The then-fledgling Channel Four was set up to shake the established broadcast order and it certainly achieved this with My Beautiful Laundrette. Young firebrand writer Hanif Kureshi’s script brought together a provocative heady mix of racism, homophobia, love and politics in a superbly acted culture-clash comedy set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.
Omar (Gordon Warnecke), the son of a Pakistani immigrant to the UK, embarks on a venture to renovate his uncle’s laundrette with the help of his childhood friend, ex-National Front member Johnny (Day-Lewis). But as well as becoming business partners, Johnny and Omar become lovers.
Their emotion and passion is palpable with Day-Lewis’s effortless charisma and Warnecke’s feckless charm, making their relationship joyous, exhilarating and, at the time, wholly subversive.
The film will feature a short, filmed introduction by Sian Barber, Film Studies at Queen’s.
Dir: Stephen Frears | 1985 | UK | 1 hr 38 mins | Cert 15