In some of the awards-season discussions of The Imitation Game I've noticed a subtext in which anything other than support for the film is read as an act of disloyalty toward Alan Turing himself. Much as, once upon a time, thinking The Green Berets an awful movie branded you as anti-American, or finding 12 Years a Slave a grim duty-watch made you an apologist for its horrors.
Personally, I thought The Imitation Game
a passable time-filler. But then I'm not a big fan of re-staged
histories, which seem to me the least ambitious use of the drama
toolkit. I must be in a minority because they come out in starry droves
every awards season, an opulent parade of beards and wigs and rubber
Like it or don't like it but don't conflate the film with the man who, more than a posthumous pardon or a memorial, deserves a time machine and an unqualified apology.
I was set thinking about Sebastian (1968). You probably won't know it. It's very much a
'Swinging 60s' movie in which Dirk Bogarde plays a charismatic Oxford
academic overseeing a squad of female codebreakers. Given what was and
wasn't public knowledge at the time, both about the Bletchley Park scene
and Bogarde's sexuality, it now feels like one component in a dizzying
meta-cocktail of movies and material.
For years Sebastian
was just a remembered viewing from my teenaged years, but now someone's put it onto YouTube in its low-res entirety. It's a rarity with an impressive pedigree - Michael Powell producing, the Cinematographer was Gerry Fisher, score by Jerry Goldsmith. Based on a story by former
wartime cryptographer (And Peeping Tom screenwriter) Leo Marks, which explains a lot.