Archive for July 31st, 2012

by Allan Fish

(UK 2010 184m) DVD2

Countdown from 13…

p  Rebekah Wray Rogers, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger  d  Shane Meadows, Tom Harper  w  Shane Meadows, Jack Thorne  ph  Danny Cohen  ed  Mark Eckersley, Chris Wyatt  Ludovico Einaudi  art  Lisa Hall

Vicky McClure (Lol), Joseph Gilgun (Woody), Thomas Turgoose (Shaun Fields), Danielle Watson (Trev), George Newton (Banjo), Perry Benson (Meggy), Chanel Cresswell (Kelly), Andrew Shim (Milky), Andrew Ellis (Gadget), Rosamund Hanson (Smell), Joseph Dempsie (Higgy), Perry Fitzpatrick (Flip), Jo Hartley (Cynthia Fields), Katharine Dow Blyton (Chrissy), Johnny Harris (Mick), Kriss Dosanjh (Mr Sandhu), Hannah Walters (Trudy), Michael Socha (Harvey), Stephen Graham (Combo),

On its general release in 2007, This is England was receiving bouquets from just about everyone who saw it.  “This is British cinema” said Peter Bradshaw.  It is indeed, Peter, and very fine cinema at that, but after watching it I was left with a feeling that it could have been so much more, that it just petered out.  An excellent film, probably Meadows’ best, but dare I hope for more.  A symbolic sequence on a beach with Thomas Turgoose’s Shaun tossing the St George flag into the sea resounded with memories of Truffaut, and it’s perhaps not inappropriate, for just as Antoine Doinel was Truffaut by proxy, so Shaun Fields, the 12 year old at the heart of This is England, was Meadows.

Several years on Meadows returned to Shaun, as Truffaut did several times with Doinel, but not just to Shaun.  Unlike Antoine Doinel, the central character is only part of the canvas, just one of those characters leaning against the wall in the original film’s iconic poster.  And like another of Meadows’ idols, Alan Clarke, he would do so this time on TV, at a time of the 1986 World Cup and unemployment over three million.  (more…)

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