Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 274: Tue Oct 1

Bronco Bullfrog (Platts-Mills, 1970): Barbican Cinema, 6pm

Time Out review:
You can just about read, scrawled on the wall of a shed in this buoyant and funny British film from 1969, ‘Barny (sic) is a big prick’, which gives you some idea of the sort of kids young director Barney Platts-Mills was working with when he filmed this story of teenage love and alienation on the streets of the old East End. Bronco Bullfrog (Sam Shepherd) is a lonely wide boy fresh out of borstal, but the film’s anti-hero is Del (Del Walker), a young welder who starts doing ‘jobs’ with Bronco at the same time as dating nervous 15-year-old Irene (Anne Gooding) against the wishes of her sourpuss mum. All this change sends Del into a headspin: what’s a boy to do with his life? None of the actors were professional (although some came from Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop), and there’s a lovely naturalism to the chat and romance, even if some scenes come across as a bit shaky. Most strikingly, and unlike other better-known realist films of the time, there’s nothing precious about its attitude to the working class: the spirit of its actors runs right through it.
Dave Calhoun

This film is part of the 70x70 season. London writer, filmmaker and 'psychogeographer' Iain Sinclair celebrates his 70th birthday year, with the showing of 70 films, handpicked for their association with his work and shown in venues all over London. Here is a full list of the excellent programme. 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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