Film ID:
YFA 1468

THE SPIRIT OF GLASNOST

1989

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a short comedy made by members of the Leeds Movie Makers. The film tells the story of a genie who comes from the land of Glasnost and grants a group of criminals three wishes upon setting him free from his bottle.

As the camera moves over what appears to be an alien landscape, and accompanied by dramatic music, the opening titles are presented in turn, as in a Hollywood film:
Leeds Movie Makers
Harry Nichols
John Wilson
Sid Lythe Arthur Steeles
in
'The Spirit Of Glasnost'
Camera Norman Goodwin
Written and Directed by Fred Wells
from an idea by Dave Morton

The film opens in a living room where a couple sit watching television. The husband is reading a copy of the Today newspaper with the headline 'Britain's First Labour Camp.' As the "News at Ten" theme music ends, the news presenter announces that it is, 'The 6 o'clock News on Friday 13th June.' The headlines are of the Government announcing harsher measures for drug users and football hooligans. As his voice fades, a group of three drunken men are arrested by a policeman. They are next seen out in the open wearing white prison overalls with arrows on them. They have been sentenced to hard labour where they break rocks whilst being watched over by armed guards. The convicts stop for a rest only to be told by one of the guards to carry on working.

As they get back to work, one of the men finds a champagne bottle. But when he opens, it there is a nasty smell. As he rubs the label to read it, a genie emerges from the bottle. The genie explains that he comes from the land of Glasnost and has been imprisoned in the bottle for 5,000 years. Unimpressed by being told that the bottle isn't that old, the genie states that he will grant them three wishes. They all say that they could do with a pint, with the last saying, 'Me too.' At this they all get a pint of beer, except for the last one who gets two pints. After drinking their beers the first man carries out the introductions, 'I'm Tom, he's Dick and he (the last one) is stupid.' The genie says that he is called Striker, or Stroika, at which the third one makes into a gag by pointing to the label on the bottle, 'Perrie Stroika'.

For their second wish the first man asks for £10,000, the second man for £1,000,000 and the third man for a can of Guinness. For their final wish the first two ask to be home with their newly acquired money. When the third man is asked for his final wish he scratches his head and is unable to think of anything. Eventually, with an Irish accent, he wishes that his mates were back with him to help him out. And so, just as one of them is about to jump into bed with his wife, and the other to settle down with some beers, they both get transported back and set upon Stupid. As the genie returns to the bottle, the guard comes across to tell them to keep working. The guard throws the bottle away, and on breaking against a rock, a dizzy genie re-emerges.

End credits: Cast in order of appearance:

Couple in house: Fred and Audrey Wells
Newscaster Darran Sykes
Tom Sid Lythe
Dick Arthur Steeles
Stupid John Wilson
Policeman Ralph Dickenson
Guard on hill Ian Simpson
Warden Duncan Ward
The Spirit Harry Nicholls
Wife in bed Doris Lythe