Saturday, 14 May 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 136: Tuesday May 17

Wonderland (Winterbottom, 1999): Cineworld Haymarket, 6.30pm

The latest Time Out screening to celebrate the magazine's poll of the 100 best British films is not only one of the finest movies about living in the capital it's one of the best about the way we live today.

Michael Winterbottom captures the fragmented, sometimes lonely existence of modern-day city dwellers perfectly and the cinematic style he has adopted - jerky and fast-paced through the use of handheld cameras - complements the fractured and busy urban environment in which the characters live. The acting is uniformly excellent and the scene in which diffident father Dan, played by Ian Hart, loses his son at a fairground is unbelievably tense.

Celebrated composer Michael Nyman, who wrote the superb score, will introduce the film. Here is a flavour of his work as director and composer unite to evoke the life of one of the central characters, Nadia, played by Gina McKee. 


Here is the Time Out review:

'A long weekend in the lives of an extended family of strangers in South London. Dad and mum (Shepherd and Markham) have long since settled for habitual resentment, their general disappointment accentuated by runaway son Darren. They also have three grown daughters: Nadia (McKee) has resorted to the lonely hearts columns; Debbie (Henderson) is the eldest, with an 11-year-old boy and a good-for-nothing ex (Hart); the youngest, Molly (Parker), is pregnant, and blissfully happy with her partner, Eddie (Simm). Only Eddie's getting cold feet. Winterbottom's best film by some measure offers an intimate, suburban panorama of London life now. In the past, this director has slapped style over substance with more vigour than sensitivity; here he's opted for handheld 16mm cameras and a skeleton crew to shoot on the streets of Soho and SW1. The result rings true in a way precious few London films have managed, so that the experience of going to the movie in a local cinema practically blurs with what you've seen on screen. Not that the technique obscures the humanity in Laurence Coriat's fine screenplay, which keeps tabs on half-a-dozen emotionally deprived lives, and endows mundane occurrences with an unforced resonance. Shored up with a memorable Michael Nyman score, this achingly tender film makes most new British cinema look downright frivolous.' Tom Charity

Here is the trailer.

1 comment:

Carrera said...

Thank you for the plug from all of us at The Society Film Club. Sanctum Hotel Soho.