I don't have anything to add to his main point, but he makes a point about film distribution in Britain that reminded me to write about the subject:
At the other end of the measure, three remarkable foreign movies were released in the UK yesterday: The Crime Of Father Amaro from Mexico, and Summer Things and Etre Et Avoir from France. Though vastly superior to the American thrillers and rom-coms given lavish publicity and distribution alongside them, this trio of high-class cinema receive back-street releases and are not even reviewed in some newspapers. Thus guaranteed to fail at the British box office, they are as pre-destined to disappear as the Harry Potter novel is to dominate.Firstly, what's interesting is that he doesn't go for the traditional lament when discussing this subject of blaming the public for a film's lack of success, but correctly points out that there are a lot of films that people don't get to hear about, and even if they do, never get the chance to see it.
The one film that I remember most in this context is the excellent film Croupier, which was originally released in Britain, got good reviews but didn't do too well, then got released in America, became a cult hit which led to it being re-released in Britain accompanied by lots of 'why oh why do people not go to see good British films until they've been hits in America?' comments. The answer's quite simple - because people didn't get the chance to see it. Like so many films, its 'British release' was to a few cinemas in London and perhaps a few screens in other big cities, but for the vast majority of people there was no chance to see it because their local cinemas were showing whatever over-hyped Hollywood blockbuster was out that week. Even on re-release it didn't get to most cinemas and I didn't get a chance to see it till it came out on video. (If you haven't seen it yet, you really should)
Working in London, I've been able to catch a few films that I would have missed otherwise - Series 7, The Tao of Steve and Dancer in the Dark spring to mind - but I've only seen those films because I was in London anyway. I like films, especially when you can find a good one that no one else has seen and recommend it to them, but I'm not going to make a trip up to London especially to see one because it just costs far too much (okay, I might make an exception if Battle Royale 2 gets a British release).
The point is that there is a market out there for these films, but a combination of the policies of the distributors and cinema chains, combined with the belief that 'people don't want to see these films' means they never get shown outside London and a few big cities. Instead, we get the crap like 2 Fast 2 Furious foisted upon us repeatedly and then everyone wonders what happened to the British film industry?'