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Film : This Is England


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Watched this last night. My thoughts:-

 

PLOT

The film is set in 1983, the time of Thatcherism, the Falklands War, the Miner's strike and the "greed is good" mentality. It tells the story of a 12 year old boy (called Shaun) who is bullied at school, who has lost his father in the Falklands, and lives with his Mum in a northern council house. He meets a small group of skinheads on his way home from school and joins the gang, shaves his head, dons a Ben Sherman shirt and Docs, and becomes a junior member of the skinhead gang.

 

The gang ends-up as a pseduo family and help him with his bullying problems, before being taken over my another skinhead called Combo (fresh out of jail) who has a right-wing agenda and tries to impose his National Front views on the rest of the gang.

 

I won't reveal any more about the plot to avoid spoiling it.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

As a bloke who grew-up in the 80s, this is a great piece of nostalgia and brought back a lot of memories from my own childhood, apart from the right-wing/National Front/skinhead thing of course! The young lad who plays Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is a star in the making and is very believable as a wannabe skinhead. Combo - played by Stephen Graham (Snatch) - is also excellent and brings a sense of threat and menace to most of the scenes he is in.

 

The story grips from the start and makes you want to watch more. As you would expect, there is some grim violence in the film although not a great deal........this isn't "Romper Stomper" or "Chopper".

 

 

My rating : 9/10 on the TN scale. The best film I've seen this year (better than 300).

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Watched this last night.

My rating : 9/10 on the TN scale. The best film I've seen this year (better than 300).

 

I haven't seen it yet t_n. The film was made by my fellow Burton-on-Trent resident Shane Meadows. You may be interested in the link setting out Shane's views on the film.

 

Shane used to be the lead singer in a local band called "She Talks To Angels" with Paddy Considine and a couple of lads who lived round the corner from me.

 

http://www.channel4.com/film/reviews/feature.jsp?id=160615

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I haven't seen it yet t_n. The film was made by my fellow Burton-on-Trent resident Shane Meadows. You may be interested in the link setting out Shane's views on the film.

 

Shane used to be the lead singer in a local band called "She Talks To Angels" with Paddy Considine and a couple of lads who lived round the corner from me.

 

http://www.channel4.com/film/reviews/feature.jsp?id=160615

 

Cheers DS. An interesting interview. I heard Shane on Radio 5 Live with Mark Kermode 2-3 weeks back and he was really angry about the 18 certificate for the film cos he wanted it to be used as an educational tool for 15 year-olds.

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I haven't seen it yet t_n. The film was made by my fellow Burton-on-Trent resident Shane Meadows. You may be interested in the link setting out Shane's views on the film.

 

Shane used to be the lead singer in a local band called "She Talks To Angels" with Paddy Considine and a couple of lads who lived round the corner from me.

 

http://www.channel4.com/film/reviews/feature.jsp?id=160615

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this film. It's nice to know that all those "yobs" (my ex-girlfriend included!) who used to hang out by the Burton Cooper have finally amounted to something!!

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I won't reveal any more about the plot to avoid spoiling it.

MY THOUGHTS

As a bloke who grew-up in the 80s, this is a great piece of nostalgia and brought back a lot of memories from my own childhood, apart from the right-wing/National Front/skinhead thing of course! The young lad who plays Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is a star in the making and is very believable as a wannabe skinhead. Combo - played by Stephen Graham (Snatch) - is also excellent and brings a sense of threat and menace to most of the scenes he is in.

 

The story grips from the start and makes you want to watch more. As you would expect, there is some grim violence in the film although not a great deal........this isn't "Romper Stomper" or "Chopper".

My rating : 9/10 on the TN scale. The best film I've seen this year (better than 300).

Watched it last night online. Very impressed with it. Loved how the cast seemed to have an abundance of freedom to work with, rather than what was just wrote down for them. Little Sean mentioning "Classic" about 18 times after they pulled off a stunt to their mate. No american director would have give them the freedom. It just seemed alot more realistic than anything similar the Yanks have tried to pull off in the past.

 

There is some absolute beltiers of one liners in the film.

 

It's hard to actually go into it without much detail, as anything you'd say would spoil it for those who havent seen it, which I dont like doing. The one thing I seemed to like most about it, is it did have an 80's feel of it. Which is what it's supposed to have. Hard to do, especially given alot of the Cast more than likely werent even born at the time. Best performance has to go to the guy who played 'Combo', the scouser.

 

One of the best British films i've seen a while and easily the best film so far of 2007.

 

"You might look about four, but you kiss like a 40 year old." :lol:

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  • 3 months later...

watched it this morning and enjoyed it - I've enjoyed all of Meadows' films so far ( As stated above Dead Mans Shoes is a great British film)

The sense of dread as Milky goes round and gets stoned with the 'bad' skins was really well done, you just know that something really awful is going to happen and then when Combo's face starts going 'serious' you know its all about to go wrong. I also like the way the film presents both sides of the skinhead coin so to speak.

I do have a few little quibbles - the little lad says "frickin'" several times in the newsagents early on...I've never heard anyone British ever say "frickin'", maybe I just havent been listening. Woody says of Combo "he did 3 years in the penn for me", again that doesnt sound like something somebody in England would normally say. Then there is the usual problem with British films in that you have a cast with wildly differing accents being portrayed as coming from the same place - there are Nottingham,Lancastrian,Scouse&London accents to name a few.

The great thing about Meadows however is that he doesnt adopt the standard rule of British film makers these days and parachute a yank into proceedings merely to make it sellable over there. I also liked the complete freak show that was the school non uniform day - reminded me of my own fashion faux pars back in the day!

Oh and one last quibble - there is a great thing made about the English flag in relation to the racist Skinheads - I very much doubt whether this would have been the case in the early 80's, Union Jacks would have predominated.

Does anyone else think that the end of the film was a bit rushed? It was a almost as if Meadows thought - "sod it, I'll just have him attack everyone and then finish with a scene of the young boy at home" - we have no idea what happened to Milky, Combo et al.

I'll give it a 7/10.

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I think that's a fair summary Shiny. I'd give it 7/10 as well, not as good as I thought it could've been...

 

One little thing I noticed is that the viewer get's the impression that the Falklands war was still going on (albeit in it's latter stages), but the film was set in 1983.

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I do have a few little quibbles - the little lad says "frickin'" several times in the newsagents early on...I've never heard anyone British ever say "frickin'", maybe I just havent been listening. Woody says of Combo "he did 3 years in the penn for me", again that doesnt sound like something somebody in England would normally say. Then there is the usual problem with British films in that you have a cast with wildly differing accents being portrayed as coming from the same place - there are Nottingham,Lancastrian,Scouse&London accents to name a few.

The great thing about Meadows however is that he doesnt adopt the standard rule of British film makers these days and parachute a yank into proceedings merely to make it sellable over there. I also liked the complete freak show that was the school non uniform day - reminded me of my own fashion faux pars back in the day!

Oh and one last quibble - there is a great thing made about the English flag in relation to the racist Skinheads - I very much doubt whether this would have been the case in the early 80's, Union Jacks would have predominated.

Does anyone else think that the end of the film was a bit rushed? It was a almost as if Meadows thought - "sod it, I'll just have him attack everyone and then finish with a scene of the young boy at home" - we have no idea what happened to Milky, Combo et al.

 

I'm not sure h_S whether you realise that the film is biographical - Shaun Fields (Shane Meadows). Shane was brought up in Uttoxeter, a market town which comes under the same East Staffordshire Council as Burton-on-Trent. Although Uttoxeter has a rural air about it, with a cattle market and a Racecourse, it also has plenty of working class residents, many of whom moved there from other parts of the country seeking work in places like Stoke and Derby. The residents' accents can sound like those in all sorts of different parts of the UK (many of us being immigrants to the Midlands), and some like those in neighbouring South Derbyshire, can sound very strange. In the 1980s kids in these country market towns were even more bored than those in urban areas, due to a lack of facilities and having nothing in common with the adults in the community. Although the population of these mainly rural areas is relatively small the social problems within the local communities can actually have a bigger impact on the local residents than in large urban areas like Oldham, where the problems can be concentrated in certain areas rather than in the whole town.

 

On rummy's point, the Falklands War was in 1980 - the film is set at a time a few years after Shaun has lost his dad in that War.

 

On your Union Flag point, the skinheads and the NF (BNP) used the St. George's flag - it was not reclaimed until the England fans did so in Euro '96.

 

I think the general consensus view about the end of the film is that it was "rushed".

 

On the link have a look at the News & Events section - Q & As - Shane's responses to the questions may give you more of an understanding of what the film was about through his eyes.

http://www.thisisenglandmovie.co.uk/#/home/

 

The 'King of the Gypsies' film which he wants to make is about Bartley Gorman, the champion bare-knuckle fighter of Great Britain and Ireland. He lived in Uttoxeter and Shane did a TV documentary about him before he died.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/stoke/local_heroes/g_m/gorman.shtml

 

If anyone would like to catch up on Shane Meadows' films they have missed, there is now a DVD box set called 'This Is Shane Meadows' containing 'TwentyFourSeven', 'A Room For Romeo Brass', 'Dean Man's Shoes' and 'This Is England'.

 

Shane lives in Burton-on-Trent and, as you would expect by now, he is another honorary member of B.A.L.L.S. :grin:

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Falklands Conflict was in 1982, plus there is also some musical varainces too - couple of tracks were not released until later than 1983 when the film was set.

 

I stand corrected on the date. but the point I was making was that the film was set after Shaun had lost his dad in the Falklands War.

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I realise that you can get lots of different accents 'out in the sticks' but come on admit it - this was a small group following a specific youth sub culture and I think were being presented as going back a long way together - not a load of migrants coming together with different accents.

I would also still disagree with the St Georges Flag/Union Flag thing - have a look at any old footage on youtube or photos on google or anything - Union Flags aplenty, vastly outnumbering the St Georges Flag.*

I never quite got this 'reclaimed in 96' thing - a modern myth if you ask me. I think the switch in '96 was the emergence of an 'English' identity amongst English football fans rather than a 'British' one, nothing to do with reclaiming anything from racists.

 

 

 

* - and I mean footage from the 70's and early 80's. Anything since '96 might feature English flags as they started using them at the same time everyone else did.

Edited by help_shiny
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I think the use of the St George Cross at Euro 96, particularly by English football supporters, stems quite simply from the fact that we were in the same group as Scotland and therefore needed a flag that didn't include the Scottish flag. I can only ever remember the Union Jack being used by either the far right or football fans (obviously the two groups did overlap) pre-96.

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Dead mans shoes is a far better film than This is England......... Right there mate right there!!!! Class film especially the 'gas mask bit' ... this is England is a bit of a let down really ......... apart from the funny bits .... its just too focused around the race issue

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You may find these clips interesting.

 

The South Bank Show in which Melvyn Bragg interviews Shane Meadows about his life and films:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eMhJbuz8o4Y

 

The Culture Show in which Director Shane Meadows and Producer Mark Herbert are interviewed by Mark Kermode about 'This Is England'.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Z8U7IZrE8

 

I think you'll find this one amusing.

 

Actors Stepen Graham and Thomas Turgoose from 'This Is England' appear on SoccerAM:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9HE-aQmw1fE

Edited by Diego_Sideburns
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"The residents' accents can sound like those in all sorts of different parts of the UK, and some like those in neighbouring South Derbyshire, can sound very strange. "

 

It's not just the accents in South Derbyshire that are "strange"!!!

 

I still haven't seen "This Is England". I do, however, agree with the poster's opinions on "Dead Man's Shoes". A great film.

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'This is England' won the Best Film accolade at the British Independent Film awards. It has been nominated in the Best British Film category at next month's BAFTA award ceremony. It's up against stiff competition from 'Atonement', 'Control', 'Eastern Promises' and 'The Bourne Ultimatum' which featured Shane Meadows' fellow Burton-on-Trent resident Paddy Considine. 'This is England' is also nominated in the Original Screenplay category. Its rivals are 'American Gangster', 'Juno', 'The Lives of Others' and 'Michael Clayton'.

 

Paddy Considine's directorial debut 'Dog Altogether' is nominated in the Short Film category - a prize it also won at last year's BFI London Film Festival. It faces competition from 'Hesitation', 'Soft', The Stronger' and 'The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island'.

 

Shane Meadows is currently working on the bareknuckle boxing biopic 'King of the Gypsies' with Paddy Considine. It will portray Bartley Gorman of Uttoxeter, who became bareknuckle champion of Great Britain and Ireland in 1972 at the age of 28. Considine is expected to beef up to play the flame-haired bruiser, who died of cancer in 2002.

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Tell me yer joking? This Is England was written excellently, and handled a powder keg of a subject with aplomb.

First and foremost it's all about opinions and you're more than entitled to yours. Mine is below and I'd love to debate this with you, I've gotten a little heated, but none of that is in any way aimed at you or your right to an opinion - just my disagreement with it! :)

 

 

It's weak. The characters are in the most part bland generalisations. The depth characters (such as the girl who kisses the little lad) are not explained or developed. She is there simply to kiss the young lad. You don't see why she feels that needed or desperate which cheapens her character.

 

The most mental 'skin head' decides it's a bit too much to beat up a black person and leaves. The one who gives out the kicking starts to cry. In my experience of getting my head kicked in (by people far less extreme than the characters are supposed to be) they don't tend to cry once your down, they tend to kick you more.

 

The thing that really set me off was that it used this supposed remorse (or lack of willingness to see it through from the big bald lad) of the two main protagonists to "excellently handle a powder keg of a subject" as you put it. I just can't accept that.

 

It's weak and lazy. It's the cinematic equivalent to the Dallas-Shower scene and provided a blan gloss to the extreme actions of these extreme characters.

 

I honestly can't rate it. It had some good acting and good scenes, but overall it's one of the weaker films I've seen this/last year.

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