Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Film Festival: Shane Meadows

Sometimes these Bank Holiday weekends just sneak up on me and I haven't made any plans. This weekend was like that. I didn't really do very much of note, but over the course of the weekend, we managed to watch three films directed by Shane Meadows, our own mini-Shane Meadows Film Festival.

We started on Saturday night with 'A Room for Romeo Brass' (2000). Paddy Considine plays a lunatic who befriends a couple of younger boys. Not exactly life-changing but interesting enough and better than the vast majority of British films.

Next up on Sunday was 'Dead Man's Shoes' (2004) which we had previously seen - at its UK premiere no less. It was still excellent on second viewing although knowing the story took away some of its impact. Again Paddy Considine was excellent, again playing a psychopath although in this case, a justified one. The plot again involves older men befriending a young boy.

Yesterday, we went out to the cinema to see his latest offering 'This is England' (2006). No Paddy Considine this time but many of the same actors from his previous films, and the plot - a young boy is befriended by some older males, this time a group of skinheads. It was ok - I don't think the word 'enjoyable' is appropriate - it held my attention, but I found it the weaker of the three films. The plot was rather predictable and the 1980's setting was hammered home a bit too hard.

I wonder how much appeal any of his films have outside of this country. Would people struggle with the Nottinghamshire accents? Are the themes too parochial? All of the films are certainly far removed from the made-for-the-overseas-market versions of Britain in glossy gangster films or genteel upper class comedies.

Does it matter if our film industry has gone down the drain? Its not as if we ever led the world at it or that we invented it (unlike, say football!).


M said...

Hey, don't sweat the British film industry's lackluster status. The U.S. film industry is "grand" and "brilliant". And most of it is morally bankrupt and value-less. I'm embarrassed that it's one of our largest exports, our "contribution" to the cultural world. So much of it is pure trash, and unfortunately, it reflects on the American people, when it's mostly just reflective of Hollywood, which very often has no real clue about the American people, just the idiots in their little bubble.

SandDancer said...

Hollywood does seem to be producing an awful lot of sequels to what looked like pretty dreadful films the first time round. But somebody must be watching them - there is no accounting for taste.

M said...

No, and at $8 a pop for a ticket, it's still the cheapest form of entertainment out there. There will always be takers, no matter how bad they get, unfortunately.

SandDancer said...

Some people I suppose just always go to the cinema on a Friday night regardless of what dross is showing. That is how the money is made.

Miss Forthright said...

Film making in Hollywood seems to be such a disposable enterprise at the moment. Endless films come out that seem to do alright and then they're forgotten about. I remember a few years back when less films were made of a better quality and they were bigger releases- Gladiator, Schindlers List etc. It's another example of a disposable pop culture.