Thursday, September 19, 2013

"The Selfish Giant" - A Wonderfully Wilde Film to Watch For

An different and modern retelling of Oscar Wilde's fairy tale The Selfish Giant (which you can read HERE) has been turning heads and catching British film critics acclaim at BAFTA and Cannes. Since then, it's also starting to make waves across the water (so to speak).
From The List:Based on a tale by Oscar Wilde, Barnard has described it as ‘a story about the dangers of excluding children‘. It’s set on an estate in the North of England and follows two marginalised teenage boys. That might sound an awful lot like numerous other gritty, British films but Barnard’s bold vision and sensitivity to her subject matter make this a far more intriguing prospect. For those who like their films to leave a mark, The Selfish Giant is undeniably one of this autumn's most exciting releases.’
From London Evening Standard: 
...The Selfish Giant is Barnard’s first feature film. It takes its title and inspiration from the fairytale of the same name by Oscar Wilde, and is definitely not happily-ever-after territory. 
Arbor is a 13-year-old boy who hangs out with his friend Swifty (played by talented newcomers Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas). Arbor is repeatedly excluded from school and finds consolation among the horses kept in the fields behind their housing estate. The two earn money by selling scrap to an unprincipled dealer called Kitten (the Giant in this version of the story).
Arbor is a natural entrepreneur; Swifty a natural with horses. They make the perfect team — for a while.
In keeping with the fairytale tone of the story, Barnard and her cinematographer, Mike Eley, find a haunting beauty in the post-industrial landscape of Yorkshire, where the ghosts of departed industries lurk.

While the film doesn't have a "fairy tale feel" necessarily, it is reported to have something magical about it, despite the lack of a clear happily-ever-after.

Director, Clio Barnard, said of the film: 
“I think I’m a bit suspicious of naturalism and realism,” she says. “Life is complicated and doesn’t really have neat storylines. There are always several different versions of a story you could tell at any one time, so it’s more fractured and complicated than that. I think that’s why I want to put the two together somehow: the artifice and the real.”
I'm not sure when we'll get to see this (it's to be released in the UK during October this year) but it looks like it might be worth keeping an eye out for, especially if you like oscar Wilde's fairy tale themes.

Additional sources: HERE & HERE

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