I could not initially come to grips w/ the merger of Cartwright & Clarke's very different brands of abstraction. Cartwright's screenplay is primarily one of narrative self-reflexivity & self-conscious yearning 4 transcendence beyond cultural context. Clarke's directorial style resembles Akerman's. Halfway through, I understood this as a harsh Shakespearean study full of self-overhearing/violent, secular soliloquies.
This might just be his masterpiece. Wish I would have waited, because, upon watching all of his other films thus far, especially the later ones with immaculate tracking shots, this simply resonates like a glowing gem. It's also just ...off. Like quasi-apocalyptic. We know Clarke can find the dirt but this is other planet. Someone here mentioned Andersson's best; it's a rightful comparison of ghostly displacement.
have to remind yourself that this was once shown on television. they would never show this on television now as way too honest tragic incendiary affecting. we rewatched this last night because had stupidly subjected ourselves to two episodes of bbc's tepid cowardly complicit 'Capital' & in this cracked gentrified epoch only alan clarke can purge our infernal working-class hearts
Absolutely mesmerising. Lesley Sharp's monologue-sequence in particular is brilliantly delivered and a definite highlight; but the general tone and the rhythm of the film, with those endless travelling shots, abrupt, Zulawski like movements of the camera and the seemingly decimated, post-apocalyptic setting (of Thatcher-era Britain), create one of the most bizarre and unusual experiences imaginable.
"That's what you do, you drink, you listen to Otis, you get to the bottom of things and let rip." "What for?" "TO STOP GOIN' MAD." "...Oh." Funny in places, but mostly just bleak social critique set in a dystopian backdrop. As in the opening - Alan Clarke is screaming at us the whole film and uses rigorous camerawork and long takes to create a real visceral experience.
This was incredible. The acting, steadicam shots, walking scenes, dialogue, and most of all the music and use of music! There was almost something Roy Anderssonesque about the interior set design. Favourite scene: The pub scene, joy in the hopelessness.