Thursday, 4 September 2008

Somers Town

Richmond Film House is one of the hidden gems in this part of London. It's the most comfortable and friendly cinema in town and is just a short bike ride up the towpath from College. It's tucked away off he main road down Water Lane and offers a great alternative to the seven screens of block buster entertainment in the Odeon over the road.

I cycled over after work yesterday to see Shane Meadows' new film Somers Town which traces the tentative friendship between Tommo, a fourteen year old runaway from Nottingham and Marek, the son of a Polish labourer working on upgrading St.Pancras in preparation for the new Eurostar terminal.

Meadows won great critical acclaim for the wonderful This is England last year and whilst the new film is not on the same scale, and filmed for the main in black and white, it contains the same recipe of beautifully observed semi-autobiographic domestic scenes, shot through a locked down camera. Characters move in and out of a fixed frame and rather than following their journeys, we jump to the next adventure - its like reading a book of short stories. It makes for a moving montage and perfectly suggests the frustration of being controlled by our circumstances.

The acting is also really impressive Thomas Turgoose, who was a revelation in This is England, plays Tommo, with the same brilliant mixture of innocence, front and despair. I remember, just, being fourteen and trying to negotiate my way into a more adult world where being polite could occasionally make you invisible or get you out of trouble, but where each minor injustice or underestimation, by others, of my imagined abilities, seemed the end of the world. The film, especially in its joyful and escapist ending, made me feel a little nostalgic.

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