Weekly Tribute: The Football Factory [Week 5]
For this week’s Weekly Tribute I am going pay homage to the film that I felt made possibly the biggest cultural impact on my generation. The film that made the greatest impact on me and other somewhat impressionable teenagers of my age range was The Football Factory.
When Nick Love’s, The Football Factory was released in 2004 I would have been 14 years old and I find it fair to the say the film adaptation of John King’s novel had a fair influence on myself and my peers. Now I’m not attempting to make myself look like an expert on Football hooliganism but as someone who has attended football since the age of 8, which has included long amounts of time in the pubs of Fulham, I can say I had an amount of understanding of the casual culture but the influence of The Football Factory was so vast many people with no real connection to Football or casual culture began to take a huge interest in the sub-culture. The introduction of casual culture to mainstream British society is arguably the film’s lasting legacy.
The Football Factory was not a ground breaking film in terms of the subject matter it choose to represent, the hooligan genre of film had been done before and had a similar effect upon the society of the time which it shocked. In 1993 Gary Oldman became a star thanks to his appearance in the gruesome, The Firm which documents his efforts to unite firms from around the country to fight in an international alliance. What The Football Factory did do is open the gates for other films to expand on the genre since The Football Factory was released their have been a range of other hooligan films, off the top of my head; Green Street, Rise of the Footsoldiers, Away Dayz, The Rise of a White Collared Football Hooligan, Cass and The Firm (remake). The fact that The Football Factory allowed so many copy cat films to be produced illustrates the effect and popularity of The Football Factory.
Along with restarting a genre of films not explored for a decade, The Football Factory properly introduced us to actors who have gone on to be the corner stones of British movies since their breakout roles in The Football Factory actors including Danny Dyer and Tammer Hassan who went on to star together in Brit film classic The Business.
What The Football Factory did though to a certain extent was introduce the casual culture style of behaviour and dress back into mainstream culture its biggest achievement in my eyes was that it made it acceptable to be a geezer.
Along with its effect and popularity I would also like to pay tribute to the film in general for those that have yet to see it. Nick Love as ever does a great job in directing a thoroughly watchable film that has a great story with moments of comedy, heart-break and some memorable quotes. Much like I said with The Wire, The Football Factory is a must watch!
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)