British independent cinema saw a resurgence in the past decade, spearheaded by the likes of Shane Meadows, Chris Morris, Richard Ayoade and Ben Wheatley. This April, BFI Southbank celebrates the ten year anniversary of Warp Films, the production company behind several key films in the resurgence, as part of its Made In Britain season.
The season opens with Shane Meadows’ BAFTA Award-winning This Is England, which examines skinhead culture in 1980s Britain through the eyes of Thomas Turgoose’s impressionable schoolboy. But Meadows’ true breakout film was the stunning Dead Man’s Shoes, also showing as part of the BFI’s season, a repurposed Western in which Paddy Considine plays avenging angel to a group of thugs that have abused his brother. Most excitingly, BFI Southbank will also host the London premiere of a large-scale musical performance of the film’s soundtrack, re-scored by Clayhill’s Gavin Clark.
More recent success stories from Warp Films will also be playing, including Kill List, Ben Wheatley’s willfully wonky horror that has audiences guessing right up to its disturbing climax. Equally horrifying, but in a more cerebral fashion, is Peter Strickland’s homage to Italian giallo cinema, Berberian Sound Studio, which was awarded Best Director and Best Actor at last year’s British Independent Film Awards.
For those inclined towards something a little less unsettling, there’s also Richard Ayoade’s warm tribute to both French new wave cinema and teenage infatuation, Submarine. And if awkward romances don’t tickle your funny bone, then Chris Morris’ bold, riotously funny comedy about a group of inept terrorists, Four Lions, should be just the ticket. It’s a diverse line-up that speaks to the broad palette of independent cinema that Warp Films puts its weight behind. Some of these films already stand as modern classics of British cinema, but even those smaller pictures are well worth a look.
Made In Britain: Warp Films at 10 runs from 4-30 April at BFI Southbank, and tickets can be purchased from the website.