My Beautiful Laundrette is a phenomenon, a small television film which became a political and social landmark, a classic which speaks to audiences today. It is a gay romance, a lesson in ethnic diversity, a riposte to Thatcherite principles and a celebration of the edgy possibilities of London in the 1980s. A crucial film for director Stephen Frears and writer Hanif Kureishi, it put Daniel Day-Lewis on the map and reshaped Saeed Jaffrey's career. Christine Geraghty traces out how the film came to have this status. She connects it to crucial debates about black cinema and identity but more generally explores its reputation as a mythic film which pushed at the boundaries of what was possible. This is an exemplary study of the cultural forces of production and reception which make and mould a film. Geraghty does not neglect the film's aesthetic pleasures and gives a detailed account of the film's narrative, mise-en-scene and performances. She shows how it becomes a celebration of cinema as a utopian space, a site of transforming and life-enhancing activity. This book illuminates My Beautiful Laundrette, providing an accessible account for new viewers and a rewarding exploration for those who already know it.
My Beautiful Laundrette
Turner Classic Movies British Film Guide