CE Films - Part 4 - 1993-1994


10 Sep 1993
Film | Dir. Chris Newby | Wr. Judith Stanley-Smith & Christine Watkins
Role: Priest.

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - Get: Region 1, Region 2
Alex: "There are two main stumbling blocks. The first one is the film's cinematography, aiming to achieve the look of such classical b/w films like early C. T. Dreyer (f.ex. 'The Passion of Joan of Arc', 1928). Then comes the story itself, which isn't everyday either: Set in the 14th century, a rural community, it tells about a priest and a reeve who seek power and exploit a young religious girl Christine – whom the film is focused on."

Chiclit: "Very arthouse film, black and white, with a windy natural soundtrack. Chris is prominently featured, but not sure the material will be everyone's cup of tea. Chris plays a venal Middle Ages Priest who manipulates a vulnerable girl into locking herself away in church. This is one of the performances where the robes and how Chris wears the costume, walks and talks defines the character's place in the community – less of a cerebral performance and more earthy, fitting the times and character."

A: "If the first impression doesn't scare you away, there's a lot of fine details to enjoy. Characters indeed seem like pieces in the intricate picture the film creates. Super close-ups of grains, earth, water, faces – lit up more by shadows than the light from endless sky over the plains. Especially the water imagery reminds that of Andrei Tarkovsky's (if we take the whole of re-imagining of the Middle Ages world in film, 'Anchoress' clearly runs parallel with Tarkovsky's 'Andrei Rubliov', 1973, which also features similar topics)."

"Trivia: Annette Badland ('Doctor Who') appears in this film as well."

Conclusion: 'Anchoress' requires
some patience and a thought or two from the viewer. But if you want a different experience or simply to witness how various the projects are, this is clearly a film to turn to.

DVD Notes:
1998 "Vanguard Films" All Regions (import). No subtitles, no extras.
Region 2 "BFI" DVD now available (2009).


27 Sep 1993
TV series | Wr. Jimmy McGovern
S. 1, story 1: 'The Mad Woman in the Attic' (dir. Michael Winterbottom)
story 2: 'To Say I Love You' (dir. Andy Wilson)
story 3: 'One Day a Lemming Will Fly' (dir. Simon Cellan Jones)
S. 2, story 1: 'To Be a Somebody' (1994, dir. Tim Fywell)
Role: DCI David Bilborough.

Video example - Gallery - IMDb - Get: Region 1, Region 2

Alex: "Jimmy McGovern's 'Cracker' is a terrific police series, featuring Robbie Coltrane as the main character, psychologist Fitz – who seemingly possesses all the human frailties one could think of. His man in the force is DCI Bilborough, a young policeman who is trying, not really successfully or in the best ways, to prove he's worth his position at the same time as tackling family problems. He might not be the centre of the series, but his appearances are important and interesting, taking you both to gruesome crime scenes and difficult domestic situations. DCI Bilborough, of course, cannot be remembered without thinking about his last episode, and those particular scenes have become the history of British television

"David is shown without any decorations, and while you cannot really like him, you cannot condemn him completely either. A fully-fledged picture of this man is created. Sometimes he's vain, sometimes he's surprisingly unscrupulous, sometimes emotional; ambitious and hard working but then overlooking what being a good cop really means - - - and the insecurities of a not yet fully supported by his subordinates young DCI, and love for his wife. And then all the jokes, that are not really jokes when you look into them, and you experience that together with the characters in the series. 'Cracker' is wonderfully written in the early seasons."

Conclusion: Recommended (especially 'One Day A Lemming Will Fly' and 'To Be A Somebody'), but is not appropriate for younger or more susceptive audiences – it is often gory and psychologically intense.

DVD Notes:
2008 "ITV" Region 2 (The Complete Collection). English HOH subtitles. No extras.
Region 1 "Acorn Media" DVD (The Complete Collection) now available (2009), includes 'Behind The Scenes' documentary.