venerdì 21 dicembre 2012

Meantime – Mike Leigh

uno di quei film che non ti immagini, il primo film di Mike Leigh, c'è un giovanissimo Tim Roth, già bravo, ci sono Gary Oldmann e Alfred Molina (Diego Rivera in Frida). 
è una storia nell'Inghilterra degli anni '80, di una famiglia che vive di sussidi di disoccupazione, ci metti un po' a capire come funziona poi cresce sempre più e i personaggi ti restano attaccati.
un piccolo capolavoro, da non perdere - Ismaele

Mike Leigh's Meantime is a brutish, nasty movie about brutish, nasty people, a thoroughly unpleasant cinema of abjection that burrows deep into the unpleasant, aimless lives of its protagonists like a maggot digging its way into rotted flesh. The film centers on a family who live an entirely government-supported existence: terminally unemployed, accepting the dole week after week, living in squalor, doing nothing all day but watch TV and wander the streets as hooligans. They get drunk when they have the money, and otherwise they simply cause whatever trouble they can or find something, anything, to pass the seemingly endless bland hours that face them. For father Frank (Jeff Robert), this existence is the proof of his incompetence and failure, an entire lifetime spent to get him to this dismal place. To make matters worse, his two sons promise to be only a continuation of his own failure: Mark (Phil Daniels) is a snide, nasty thug, an aging juvenile delinquent who doesn't seem to be outgrowing this phase, while Colin (Tim Roth) is "slow," with no hope of finding his way off this miserable path. Leigh documents, with unflinching honesty, the drudgery and ugliness of this life. The film expresses with its every image the hopelessness and worthlessness that these people feel, discarded and left to rot, with no hope of finding any work, the dole keeping them alive at just barely the level of subsistence…

This early Mike Leigh film is ostensibly about nothing more than how depressing life is on a London council estate in Thatcher’s Britain. Leigh is probably his best, certainly his bleakest. The suspicion is that Leigh was providing the middle classes with vicarious misery of estate life, Meantime is still powerful, and darkly funny...

This is Mike Leigh's finest film. Next to this masterpiece his later feature films feel very contrived, it just flows beautifully. It's also very honest, the best depiction of the effects of unemployment I've ever seen on film. But of course as with all Mike Leigh's films it's all about the performances of the actors and they're all pitch perfect. I feel a bit sorry for Tim Roth, his first film role and without a doubt his greatest, how could he ever equal it, it was all downhill from here. A truly heartbreaking performance and if you're not moved by it then you have no empathetic feeling. I also particularly like the performances of Jeff Robert and Pam Ferris as the Mum and Dad. It's a tragedy that this film missed out on getting a theatrical release since it was a few months after it was finished that Channel 4 began shooting on 35mm with a view to feature film distribution. Because it's a 'TV' film it's unjustly ignored in comparison with Leigh's later films, but don't let that put you off, this is a masterpiece. The music is beautiful as well perfectly matching the mood of the film.

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