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Up Close and Personal

The British film industry is a cacophony of contradictions. We have the talent, the looks and the passion. Sometimes we even get our act together and make some truly great films: Trainspotting, The Full Monty, Iris. However, we also produce some of the worst films that the world never saw (straight-to-video mercy killings). But every year the industry grows. The stars and the budgets are getting bigger, the Oscar nominations are becoming more frequent. This year's Bafta awards are a reflection of the industry's booming confidence. We celebrate this with a 28-page portfolio of photographs by Lorenzo Agius, featuring the best of British film: the voice coaches, casting directors, set designers, hair and make-up artists, composers, producers -- and yes, lest we forget, some of our greatest actors and most visionary directors.

The misfit
Tim Roth has played such a variety of characters in his 20 years of acting that he defies categorization: from Nazi skinhead in Made In Britain, via dandy villain in Rob Roy to, most recently, General Thade in Planet of the Apes. Ironically, the Brixton boy feels more accepted by Hollywood than by his homeland -- a legacy, perhaps, of his alliance with Quentin Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. However, his acclaimed 1999 directorial debut, The War Zone, and his forthcoming direction of the film King Lear scripted by Harold Pinter, will no doubt bring the self-exiled misfit back into the fold.

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