Monday, September 01, 2008

Somers Town

After all, it's not every day you get a movie filmed outside your house. Stalkers note - My bedroom window is somewhere in this picture:

Is it any good? Well it's deeply charming, funny and warm-hearted. But also completely fantastical. The film depicts my area (which is actually quite lovely) as "Somers Town, the grim, gang-ridden area between Euston and St Pancras" (the FilmFour review).

The gang is especially hilarious. For a start, they're white. Somers Town doesn't really have gangs, and if we do, they're far more multicultural. There are the Indian kids who hang around playing Bollywood music on their phones and tidy up after themselves before going home at 11. There's also the really nasty Ghanain gang, but they're just visiting cos they've been ASBO'd out of Camden. I think the white kids just stay at home, sulking.

By pointing the camera in all the right directions the film manages to depict the grim urban squalor of Chalton Street - neatly leaving out the Sushi restaurant, the gastropub, the juice bar and organic bakery (we may be an inner city slum, but we're very North London at heart).

Finally, our local Turkish cafe with its buxom Latvuanian waitresses is suddenly run by an EastEnd wideboy and the impossibly Gallic Maria, who gaily patters away in French to the customers. Quoi?

On the other hand, the film is full of muscly Polish builders with haunted expressions, so I will forgive it anything.

If you do go and see it, *avoid* the preceding short, Dog Altogether, like dysentry. It's about a man kicking his dog to death, and is as vile as it sounds. The fact that it's twinned with something as optimistic as Somers Town shows how sneeringly silly distributors are. "Well - they're both about poor people in nasty houses, let's put them together."

For one thing, that's not just snobbish, it's stupid. By and large, the middle classes only go and see films about urban brutality if they're set somewhere interestingly foreign with challenging subtitles.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Hahah it's good to know that area was misrepresented. Personally I thought the film was nowhere near as good as This Is England. If I want a slice of life in a modern urban environment I'll sit outside the chippy for ten minutes!

I didn't see Dog Altogether... by the sounds of things I didn't miss much...