Sunday, January 10, 2010

Murder in the North - The New York Review of Books-Red Riding Trilogy

See link above for a very interesting article about the Red Riding Trilogy. Caution for those that haven't seen the films, or read the books, there are spoilers.  But as the review says, all three films are very complex and even after seeing them, and no matter how much you read about them, there are still more questions than answers.

I've seen all three films on DVD, but look forward to seeing them on the big screen in the US sometime in February. (The films open in New York on February 5 and then at selected theaters nationwide.)  There are some wonderful performances in this film, from a fantastic cast, the main characters, to minor roles. The films are not easy to watch for even the "good guys" are flawed.  Though I didn't have any problem with the Yorkshire accents (lots of listening practice for me), I can understand how it may be difficult for US audiences and I hope this does not drive lazy audiences away because it is well worth the effort to listen.  I see them as three separate films, very different stylistically, but seen together one of the most powerful cinematic experiences I've had in a long time.  For me 1974 and 1983 are part one and two of the same film, and 1980 is a  stand alone story, but that still deals with the events we first encounter in the first film (1974). Beware also that these films are not for sensitive souls or those that prefer to be taken away to a fantasy CGI world. 

Living in a high crime area in a major city , I relate to the feeling of mass fear that can grip a city or an area, and not only because of Yorkshire Ripper type crimes.  Having experienced that mass fear, even as recently as eight or nine years ago, I applaud the three directors and the script writer for so excellently capturing that atmosphere and the impact on every day life for so many even with no connection to the victims.  I've seen other films on TV and the big screen that have tried to capture this fear, but for me either are too sensationalistic or too cavalier about the long lasting effects of horrific crimes. Not so Red Riding Trilogy.

If you are in the US watch for IFC Films and Red Riding in your area after February 5 or through your cable television provider.
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