Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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LFF: Sightseeing British talent

David here reporting on three homegrown participants in the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

Steve Oram & Alice Lowe in 'Sightseers'A distinctly British melding of comedy and horror grew from the roots of Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, and it’s telling that Wright has an executive producer credit on Sightseers, director Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to his terrifying, schizoid Kill List, which made it to US theatres earlier this year. Sightseers proves similarly unclassifiable, but the black magic horror of Kill List is replaced by a crunching absurdity. Co-writers Steve Oram and Alice Lowe star as Chris and Tina, a young couple who leave behind Tina’s demanding, cruel but dependent mother and set out on a sightseeing tour around England that quickly becomes a killing spree after Chris reverses over a tourist he witnessed littering. Justifications for the killings range from a rambler’s “smug complacency” to Tina’s sexual jealousy, removing any kind of social agenda from Oram and Lowe’s anarchic, cruelly witty script. Instead they parody usual clichés – Tina is still affected by the loss of her dog, who meets an unfortunate end by knitting needle in flashback – and affectionately mock bullshit social rhetoric. There’s a guilty pleasure in our enjoyment of the escalating brutality of the situation and how the pair’s romantic entanglement evolves through this. Despite their obvious issues, Chris and Tina are genuinely entertaining people to spend time with, and the surreal, morbid flourishes of humour combine with dark flares of blood to make for a generic hybrid that has been deftly melded together. Sightseers is worth making tracks to see. (A-)

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