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‘Ave yer got a light, boy?’

In the 21st Century the movie and theatre industries – indeed the arts generally – have to deal with all sorts of issues that never troubled the likes of Will Shakespeare.

Think of the legislation, rules and received ‘good practice’ on animal cruelty and welfare (‘No animals were harmed in the making of this movie …’) or ‘good health’ messages being sent to the world by television dramas on such hazards as smoking, obesity, mental illness and alcoholism (‘If viewers have been affected by this story-line, please contact this number’ messages spoken by voice-over as the end-credits roll).

Or the issue of whether the depiction of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice is anti-Semitic, or whether a modern Laurence Olivier would have been allowed to ‘black up’ in order play the part of Othello these days – assuming, of course, there are hordes of suitably-qualified Afro-Caribbean actors available to do so. Or the alleged lack of ‘diversity’ in the 2016 Oscar nominations and the resulting ‘bandwagon-jumping’ campaign by those who have become agitated about it.

On and on it goes. Amidst this relentless tide of political-correctness it is sometimes telling to be reminded of a less ‘caring’ age of yesteryear when … er … ‘men were men’ and producers of mass entertainment projects did not have to concern themselves with such things – but instead simply ‘just got on with it’.

On which theme, I thought that Rust readers might benefit from having the opportunity to be linked to this article on the website of The Independent today – SMOKING IN MOVIES

About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts