Partycrashers is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.
Newcastle is a technically neutral meeting-point for two likely lads from Sunderland (Neil) and Gateshead (me). Yet England’s northernmost city is still near enough to both that any notion of partycrashing flies right out of an eighth-floor window. With 53 foreign film festivals notched up between us this year, though, Neil and I might be forgiven for feeling like tourists on home turf. Not that we do: I never walk taller than when I’m on Tyneside, while Neil’s swagger is never anything other than an unwavering forward charge.
In fact, nothing but a very fine river separates Newcastle from Gateshead: in the background of this latest video dispatch, we see the winter dark gradually fall upon the latter town. Similar views can be seen in Mike Figgis’s first feature, Stormy Monday (1988), and had our conversation been filmed a few years previously, the same landscape would have boasted the multi-storey parking lot—since demolished—from which one poor chap is hurled to his death in Mike Hodges’s own debut feature, Get Carter (1971).
We’ve come a long way, baby. For this special edition of Partycrashers, we ditch our travels in favor of one of those general year-end roundups: the best of, the worst of, the somewhere-in-between of. Films discussed here include Chappie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight and Sicario. Be advised that where the last of those titles is concerned, significant plot details are revealed. See you in 2016! —Michael Pattison
Filming by Craig Hawkes, one half of docYOUmentary.