Burden

Judy and Mike sitting on a log

Burden? As in “white man’s burden”? Ironically, no. There’s a white saviour theme running right the way through Andrew Heckler’s film but it actually takes its name from its key character, Mike Burden, a lifelong member of the Klan who saw the error of his ways. With the flying of Confederate flags in the US an ongoing point of contention when this movie was released in 2018, Burden has timeliness on its side, and a core cast so accomplished most first-time directors would auction their mothers to get hold of them – Garrett Hedlund as Mike, Andrea Riseborough as the woman whose love makes him see the light, Tom Wilkinson as the local … Read more

The Full Monty

The full monty moment approaches in The Full Monty

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     24 October     World’s first football club formed, 1857 On this day in 1857, Sheffield Football Club was founded, in Yorkshire, UK, as an offshoot of a local cricket club. It is now considered to be the oldest still existing football club in the world. Over the years there have been competing claims from different clubs and from different forms of football – though we’re talking here about a football club not the game itself (American football goes back to the 1860s though rugby, on which it is based, goes back centuries before that; Australian rules football … Read more

RocknRolla

Gerard Butler and Idris Elba in RocknRolla

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     06 September     Idris Elba born, 1972 On this day in 1972, Eve Elba gave birth to Idrissa Akuna Elba, who shortened his name to Idris after starting school in London’s Canning Town. A big kid at school, Idris had the status that went with it, was good at sport, interested in music, keen on acting, where he found he had the self-confidence to “disappear into the character”. At 14 he was a pirate DJ. At 16 he was a theatre stagehand and also did night shifts at Ford’s Dagenham factory. In his early 20s the acting took … Read more

Essex Boys

Sean Bean and Alex Kingston in Essex Boys

    Though not a perfect film by any means, this story about violent pill-dealing mafia wannabes has bags of flavour. It’s based on the Rettendon Range Rover murders, which saw two drug barons and their driver murdered in a car in the back of beyond, in December 1995. Four films have been made (as I write) about the events of that night but this is the first and it’s probably the best (though Bonded by Blood is tasty too). Quite why this one event has spawned so many fictional retellings is a mystery, though my personal theory is that a fair bit of smallscale film-making in the UK is more about laundering … Read more