Monday, 30 June 2008

EIFF Winner: Somers Town- Review by Emma Lennox

Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature Film
Director: Shane Meadows

Screenwriter: Paul Fraser
Runtime: 75 mins

Shane Meadows follows up the fiery This is England with a tale of two unlikely lads in this comical and endearing tale of misfit youth. Thomas Turgoose takes on his second role for the director, and although he's grown in height, he's still a cheeky wee bastard. Playing teen drifter, Tomo, Turgoose is as compelling to watch as ever; full of naive and arrogant charm, which perfectly contrasts his co-lead, Piotr Jagiello as the quietly suffering Polish immigrant, Marek.

Although softly raising issues of immigration and teen culture, Meadows is aiming for a surprisingly feel good narrative in his typical style of improvisation and hand-held immediacy. A folksy soundtrack and black and white palette complete the aesthetic, however the London setting doesn't hold the same inclusive energy as Meadow's home town films. Light, but not light weight, Somers Town is an enjoyable escapade.

The Jury citation read: “It is a great pleasure to recognise Somers Town as the freshest, most imaginative, maverick work deserving of the Michael Powell Award. After viewing an impressive selection of films and a long deliberation we the Jury unanimously agreed that the award would go to Somers Town.”

This year the Michael Powell Award was significantly increased from £5000 to £20,000.

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