Saturday, February 9, 2008

Shane's World

It's not an enthusiasm I've shared on here before, but I'm a huge fan of the film-maker Shane Meadows.  I was very pleased to see that, not only did his most recent film This is England win a South Bank Show Award last week, but also that the film's success is enabling him to start work on his long-planned feature, King of the Gypsies, about the bare-knuckle boxing champion, Bartley Gorman.  Meadows is apparently working on the script with his long-time associate, the great Paddy Considine.

If you haven't discovered Meadows' work, it's time you did.  His films are witty, moving and focus on a part of English society that's generally ignored.  Oh, and his film Dead Man's Shoes is perhaps the best British film of the last ten years. 

And much of his work is set in that fine city of Nottingham, which - as I think I've said before - is a place that never quite lets go of those of us who were brought up there.   The city is a major character is Meadows's films just as it is in the novels of John Harvey and the unjustly neglected Stanley Middleton

Mind you, never one to rest on his proverbials, Meadows has just completed a new film, Somers Town, which is set in London.  And he's also made a feature-length film, shot in five days without a script and starring the aforementioned Mr Considine, called Le Donk.  Not to mention a short documentary about another long-term associate, the musician Gavin Clark - another unjustly ignored talent.   I'm exhausted just writing about it all. 


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