The UK film release schedule for the week commencing 5 June 2009 is:
- Accident (UK) Reissue
- Anything For Her (FR)
- The Hide (Marek Losey, 2008, UK) #32 British release 2009
- Last Chance Harvey (Joel Hopkins, 2008, UK/USA) #33 British release 2009
- Max Manus: Man Of War (NOR/GER/DEN)
- Shadows In The Sun (David Rocksavage, 2008, UK) #34 British release 2009
- Sugar (USA)
- This Sporting Life (UK) Reissue
- Summer Scars (Julian Richards, 2007, UK) 6 June #35 Britsih release 2009
- Spartacus (USA) Reissue 9 June
Suddenly we can live the 1960s given the flood of reissues this week. The pick of the trio for me would be This Sporting Life because of its locale resonance. The novelist and screenwriter is David Storey who was born in Wakefield, my home patch, and the film’s depiction of West Yorkshire rugby league is part of my cultural DNA. Four new British releases this week, but only one on in Leicester – the official American co-production, Last Chance Harvey. Its transatlanticism may well appeal more to the US than the UK, but who is the audience for a romcom starring Dustin Hoffman (aged 71) and Emma Thompson (aged 50)?
The Hide and Summer Scars are featuring in the ‘New British Cinema’ season at the ICA in London. The selling point is to promote little seen British films from talented newcomers, but most British films have limited access, and lack of exposure is no guarantee that there is hidden talent, but let’s hope so. I remember catching a little bit of The Hide when it was shown on Film4 last year, and it looked very promising and I wished I had managed to see it from the beginning. With wonderful serendipity, it is a debut film by Marek Losey, who is the grandson of Joseph Losey whose film Accident is reissued this week. It is an atmospheric two-hander set in a Suffolk bird hide.
Summer Scars also looks worth seeing for its dramatization of an incident from the director’s childhood when playing war games in the woods. In our local park, one of our childhood favourites was to recreate the Zulu wars where we would take it in turns to sit in a ditch with wooden ‘rifle’ sticks or charge like crazy across the field with long plant stem ‘spears’ before dying acrobatically when prentending to be shot. Happy days?
The other piece of serendipity arises with the release of Shadows In The Sun which stars Jean Simmons who also appeared in Sparticus (reissued this week), also set, like The Hide, in East Anglia, but it looks dull, dull, dull.
Across the expanse of Britain, then, from the wild west Welsh woods, to the flatlands of the eastern marshes, with a diversion to London romcom land.