The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer
Directed by Kevin Billington, 1970
In this bizarre satire Peter Cook stars as an enigmatic efficiency expert who works his way up the political ladder to become prime minister. Apparently his performance is based on the film’s executive producer, David Frost.
'I think i was right to take a firm line on China' Ha!
Billington lends the film an almost Kubrickian sense of ironic detachment. The film dares us to call its bluff, emperor’s-new-clothes-style, to concede that there’s nothing of substance beneath the too-cool-for-school swinging-’60s cynicism, hip score, icily impressive production design, alternately broad and deadpan performances, and sly satirical digs at the sum of British society. Yet in the eminently capable hands of Cook, Chapman, Cleese, and Billington, The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer gets far on attitude and cleverness alone. In spite of the talent involved, the film stands as no lost masterpiece, but rather as a sly minor satire that indelibly captures something about the sneering, smartass spirit of the glorious cultural era that created it.