Our British chums are still on a roll – from the Queen’s 60th year on the throne to the upcoming Olympics, it just seems to never stop, even with the cinematic gems their movie directors seems to never run out of ! Check out a short list of British films you need to know of, courtesy of the Guvnor.
With the Olympics just looming, and all our British friends glued onto their tellies for Euro 2012, let’s take a short retrospective on some of the most iconic films London has offered in the past few years:
Tom Hooper, 2010
One of the more popular buzz films that comes from the land of fish and chips, Tom Hooper’s ‘The King’s Speech’ is about King George VI (played by Colin Firth in this award-winning role) and his struggle with an extreme bout of social anxiety & a stutter, developed due to a previous childhood trauma. The King’s wife Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) encouraged her husband to take speech classes and various treatments to no avail, until they meet the Australian speech doctor Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). An exemplary tale of inspiration and will, it is definitely one of the more standout, universal films Britain has ever produced in this decade.
Steve McQueen, 2011
The second film in director Steve McQueen’s ‘Trilogy of Terror’ (the first being ’Hunger) reunites him with actor Michael Fassbender, this time focusing on the struggles and tragedies of living with sex addiction. Fassbender plays Brandon – a gritty, vulnerable sex addict. When his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) comes into the picture, further questioning of his addiction ensues. This film gives an in-depth look about the dangers and downward spiral some people battling sexual addiction experience.
Depending on which circles you’re in, ‘Banksy’ can now be considered a household name, notorious for his street art movement in London – with graffiti works depicting political and popular culture satire. This masked auteur tries his hand on the cinematic medium vs. his usual wall art creations. The film gives the global crowd a peek on the graffiti art scene, featuring popular artists like Shepard Fairey on the movie. Controversy on the authenticity of the documentary were raised during and before the film’s release.
David Yates, 2011
The final movie in probably one of the most iconic British fantasy series of books and movies in history reunites original trio Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint for one last time. This installment pits Harry Potter (played by Radcliffe) against arch-nemesis Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) on a battle to the death and unfinished business. The movie then broke a lot of moviehouse records, including Best Midnight Release, Best opening weekend among others during its time.
Duncan Jones, 2009
Fast fact: Duncan Jones is the son of famous musician David Bowie! On what seems to be initially a homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddyssey, it delves into a bit of unfamiliar territory. The story revolves around Sam Bell, who works in the Moon to manage and get sources for a new fuel being used on earth. Being the sole employee deployed for three years, the thoughts of isolation begin to surface. He then communicates only with himself, creating hallucinations of the people he left on earth. Also stars ‘Skins’ alum Kaya Scodelario in a supporting role.
Phyllida Lloyd, 2008
A bit lighter in tone than most of the films in this list, 2008’s hit musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ is one to note – not necessarily because of the plot, but it’s global appeal that spread like wildfire. With a musical soundtrack set to the tune of ABBA’s greatest hits, this lighthearted, quirky rom-com has sparked a wild revival for one of Britain’s greatest (and to some, campiest) contributions to music. This movie also catapulted actress Amanda Seyfried from unknown to household name. Also this movie would be one of your few peeks of Meryl Streep’s singing voice, belting out to ‘The Winner Takes it All’. A box office success, it earned more than $600 million in its run, way blowing everyone’s expectations.
Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2010
This first major effort by director Cary Joji Fukunaga is another take on the classic English literary piece of the same title by Charlotte Brontë. Mia Wasikowska of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ fame stars in the title role, depicting the iconic orphan-turned-governess, opposite Michael Fassbender as the charming Edward Rochester who madly falls in love with Jane Eyre. With a highly stylized, slightly darker mood than its previous adaptations, this version is one to watch.
With its amazing art, fantastic parties, and effortless style, London is very inspiring place for Lomographers. To honor this, Lomography proudly presents La Sardina & Flash The Guvnor Edition – a 35mm point-and-shoot camera with a fantastic wide lens and a cool sardine can design.