This is England – Shane Meadows

This is England - Shane Meadows

I can only imagine what it would be like to experience Tarkovsky as a Russian. Beyond the language, I would certainly feel the inherent Russian qualities of his films. It would speak to my soul the same way members of the same family speak to each other, with an assured sense of common values and history. It would certainly diminish the distance with which I experience all foreign films, obliterating the intuitive attraction to the remote, exotic, world that can falsely enhance appreciation. It’s never the same experience when one watches a film seated in the same world depicted on screen.

This film here by Mr. Meadows is for the British of which I am not. But it has a few problems I recognize that even as a Brit I would huff at. It ends with a gesture that is so literal it is offensive.

But overall, I have to admit I liked some of this. It has inherent cinematic qualities. Part of it is about the becoming of a child, his “making into”. It’s hard to go wrong because it’s so blatantly what the story is supposedly about. All the director has to do is slowly unveil this becoming, engagement is warranted.

It is clumsy though, you will see. The small kid is receded into a watcher as the bully takes over. The whole thing ends with a sense of interrupted consumption. But I guess it makes sense, it’s a sort of “home movie”, about a place where I don’t live.


Categories: Notes

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