It’s heartening to know that there is still life in the British film industry yet as Special Edition # 43 opens with an exciting example of some of the talent that this country has to offer. With the imminent closure of the UK Film Council and worries about arts cuts it’s films such as Skeletons that sure us that UK talent need to be nurtured and supported. And, as always, Laurence Boyce also wades through numerous other DVDs for your viewing edification.
Winner of the Best British Film at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, Skeletons (Soda Pictures) is a truly unique and genre-bending slice of cinema. Davis and Bennett are a pair of psychic detectives who travel to numerous houses around Middle England and help purge them of supernatural influence utilising mysterious methods. But one job, to help a housewife whose husband disappeared a few years previously, proves resistant to their methods things take a turn for the (even more) weird. It’s one of those films where talking about it slightly ruins it as it’s constantly surprising and obtuse. Director Nick Whitfield conjures up a wonderfully strange atmosphere and has made a film that recalls the likes of Terry Gilliam and Michel Gondry in its assured creation of a world and assorted strange characters. It’s also great that Whitfield has created something that is recognisably British yet at odds with the vein of social realism that typifies the majority of UK cinema nowadays. Just go watch it and enjoy being wrong-footed, creeped out and thoroughly entertained at the same time.