This new independent British film returns to the Picture House in a 35mm print. It was shot on a 16mm Bolex and the director, Mark Jenkin, processed the film himself. It seems that he wanted to make the film look like older titles that originated on ‘reel’ film and in the processing added some of the signs of age and usage with scratches and the like. It first circulated on a digital transfer and, to be honest, the effects that Jenkin aimed at did not translate to that format; they looked artificial. On 35mm the 16mm original should look as intended; so this is a film worth revisiting if you have already seen it.
It is a powerful drama set in a Cornish village. The film, through the use of camera techniques such as large close-ups and a non-linear narrative develops a intense feel and effect. The village in this film is an old fishing port which has now become a summer venue for holiday-makers. The conflicts generated by these two separate worlds are personalised in two leading characters, brothers born and raised in the village.
The form and the style of the film is at times challenging but always absorbing. It is definitely a stand out film drama from this year’s selection of British film. And, like the earlier and equally fine Gods Own Country (2017), finds drama and compelling characters away from the urban settings that are more common in film stories.