I cannot give an opinion on the film because I was not at the Premiere last night – asÂ I had a club gig to do in Farnborough.Â Welcome to my life…
My wife and Tom did goÂ along though – and it was lovelyÂ for them to catch upÂ with Naomi and other friends who were also there. My son, Harry was not there.Â He was not invited and fair enough but he will see it in due course and so will I.
But aÂ word on theÂ reaction to the film so far…
It seems thatÂ the general consensus so far is one of outrage that the film should be made at all – principally for it being exploitative and profit driven.
This aÂ reactionÂ that confuses meÂ for a number of reasons – chiefly because film commonly depicts stories of great notoriety. Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13, TheÂ IronÂ Lady, The Social Network, The Queen, Lincoln…
And film is just one of manyÂ outlets and formatsÂ for telling aÂ story – and some way behindÂ publishing.Â PopÂ in to any book shopÂ or go on line – and you should be struckÂ at theÂ wealth of magazines and books that are available on the life and death of the Princess of Wales. It is truly bewildering. Not to mention the array of footage that newspapers dedicated to her life and death – and still do – andÂ yes all with a motive of making a return – or a profit.
AÂ quick word on Profit – which has become an ugly word – especially against the backdrop of the financial crisis thatÂ I fear isÂ by no means over.
Profit is not to blame. Of course, there are some venal people inÂ financeÂ who appropriate obsceneÂ amounts of money for themselves. But equally so,Â sports stars, actors,Â lawyers and lovable entrepreneurs with airlines.Â In my ordinary London suburb is a new house that has just been built. The thing is colossal andÂ a monument to bad taste.Â Value?Â I have no idea, but possibly certainly north of Â£6m.Â And I was interested to learnÂ that it is owned byÂ not a banker, but in fact, aÂ doctor.
But profitÂ per se is not a bad thing.
Drugs for diabetes and breast cancerÂ have been developed by firms motivated by profit and not altruism. AndÂ so what, if we can treat breast cancer? Profits are what employ people and create tax revenues.
It is often said thatÂ NHS is a not-for-profit organisation – Wrong!Â It is absolutely for profit. Ask the thousands of people who work for it. Doesn’t aÂ doctor profit from his efforts and don’tÂ the providers ofÂ goods and services to theÂ NHSÂ do so in order to make a profit?Â If they didn’t make a profit,Â then they simply wouldn’t do it.
I enjoyÂ writing books.Â I write the best books that I canÂ in the hope that people will enjoy them – and thereforeÂ word will spread and they will sell – and as such IÂ will profitÂ and beÂ able to write further books andÂ so the world continues to turn…
And so it is with film.Â Of course films are made in the hope of making a profit. Otherwise,Â films would only be the preserve ofÂ vain glorious people who are already rich.
Not that some films cannot be in bad taste andÂ exploitative – and Diana might well be.
But my observation is thisÂ – the story of Diana’s personal life has for years been written about and speculated upon and often in an unseemly and tawdry fashion.Â Even the lineage of Prince Harry is commonly and openly discussed and joked about on TV, another media outlet for stories.Â Â And for there to be so manyÂ booksÂ published aboutÂ Diana – they must beÂ successful – otherwise there wouldn’t be so many.Â And so given this level of interest in her and demand and the notoriety of ‘the most famous woman in the world’ – it seems obvious that a film would be made – and so people’sÂ outrage should be reserved for the merits of the film and not whether or not it should have been made?
Finally, on my books – for the many thousands of hours that I have spent writing them – I fear that I earnÂ something approachingÂ 10p/hour,Â so entirely uneconomic then – but thisÂ is the risk we take – and I am pleased to sayÂ that at some point in the future there will be another DH book – and that this book might be the breakthrough vehicle toÂ validate my back listÂ and makes it all worthwhile – profitwise… and for this, I make no apologies at all.