Sweet Sixteen (2002)

Jag såg Sweet Sixteen första gången på Stockholm Filmfestival 2002. Då skrev jag så här: ”Sweet Sixteen av Ken Loach var nog en bra film och skådespelarna gjorde strålande instatser kändes det som. Men det är inte värt så mycket om man inte kan förstå vad någon säger. Eftersom språket är engelska så behövs ju ingen textning och det funkar jättebra i en film som One Hour Photo men när det är den värsta skottska brytning man kan tänka sig så blir det problem. Pga av detta går det inte att sätta något rättvist betyg”. 2007 såg jag om filmen och då lät det så här från mig.

”Ken Loach som bäst” är rubriken om jag hade haft en sån. Jag såg den här filmen på Stockholm Filmfestival för ett gäng år sen. Problemet var att den utspelades i Glasgow och inte var textad. Jag förstod kanske hälften av den skottska rotvälska som pratades. Nu när jag såg den igen så mindes jag inte så mycket av filmen förutom kanske känslan och möjligen en del starka scener. I centrum har vi den unge bråkstaken Liam, en sån där jobbig person som är jobbig men med ett gott hjärta (suveränt gestaltad av unge Martin Compston).

Loach tecknar ett fint porträtt av Liam och hans familj och kompisar. Liam vet att han är smartare och mer viljestark än andra och han vill ju så gärna hjälpa sin mamma som snart kommer ut från fängelset och då är ju risken att man hamnar på den kriminella vägen. Men det är bara temporärt, förstås. En engångsgrej för att hjälpa morsan. Men så lätt är det inte när man väl tagit det klivet. Filmen är både rörande och rått realistisk och en skildring av ett liv som inte är så lätt. Den håller samma klass som nu aktuella This Is England. Bravo, Loach! Klart bättre än den något svulstiga Frihetens pris. Här är det mer jordnära.

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Red Road

Red RoadTitle: Red Road
Director: Andrea Arnold
Year: 2006
IMDb
| Filmtipset

A while ago, actually it was almost two years ago, I listened to an episode of the Toronto based Matinéecast podcast with Jessica from The Velvet Café as guest. Ryan and Jessica talked about the movie We Need To Talk About Kevin (WNTTAK from now on!). Their discussion made me want to see Red Road. Why? Well, it’s because I always mix up Andrea Arnold and Lynne Ramsay. You see, I like Fish Tank, I like Ratcatcher and I like Morvern Callarn, but I can never really keep track of who directed which movie. So when the Matineécast praised WNTTAK I felt that it was time to finally see Red Road, a film that had been on my to-see-list ever since the Swedish theatrical release. I knew it was directed by either of these two woman, just as I knew WNTTAK was. When Swedish public television had the good taste of showing Red Road my old VCR had to work again (yes, that’s my antique way of recording television broadcasts). But the fact that the format I watched the film in turned out to be VHS felt just right. Kind of like watching The Ring on VHS.

Absolutely (I was close to using the F-word here but I’ll restrain myself) amazing was my first reaction to Red Road. While watching the film I was convinced that it was the same director that did WNTTAK. The cinematography was superb. What I saw was a FILM, a film that really used the visual medium that is film to the fullest. This was a fact that Ryan and Jesscia mentioned about WNTTAK on the podcast. Every frame supposedly was a piece of art, and that was how I felt about Red Road.

The film is set in Glasgow, a gloomy, bleak Glasgow, but a very beautiful Glasgow. A woman is carrying a secret and in the end a sorrow. She is working for a surveillance company. For hours she sits in a control room with multiple screens watching the town and its people. Suddenly she sees a person that triggers a reaction in her. Something and someone from the past resurfaces and shakes her up. Exactly what has happened is not known for us viewers. It remains a mystery for a long time in the film. This could have been a problem if the film hadn’t managed to create a thrilling and tense feeling using audio and visuals just perfectly. There are so many gems here. I was completely hooked throughout.

It’s a sad film about a sad subject. Yet it’s a film with hope. This mix is why I like it so much and I will give it my highest grade, which is five jumps out of five.

And no, the director of Red Road, Andrea Arnold, did not direct WNTTAK. After catching Red Road I did indeed watch Lynne Ramsey’s WNTTAK and as it turns out these two films were the best films I watched during 2012.

As you might have noticed this post is in English. I first wrote the text in Swedish sometime during 2012 after I watched Red Road but I never posted it since I realized it would be more fun for Ryan to able to read it (without Google Translate). But I never got around to translating it. Until now, one and a half years later. Better late than never, I guess.

The fact that Red Road received my the highest grade also means that I will change my blog header.

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Jessica have also watched and written about Red Road, as well as Flmr (in Swedish). Ryan, I am waiting for your review. 😉

More reviews (in Swedish): Movies – Noir and Fiffi.

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