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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Red Riding Trilogy,’ ‘Youth in Revolt’

I’m very excited about this. Tomorrow I’ve got an afternoon-long screening-room marathon of the three films of the Red Riding Trilogy, based on the novels by David Peace [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon U.K.] (who also wrote the book The Damned United is based on) about the notorious Yorkshire Ripper crime spree that terrorized that English city county in the 1970s and 80s. British crime noir? I’m so there. Plus, the cast is awesome cast: Andrew Garfield, David Morrissey, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Rebecca Hall, Sean Bean… The films open in New York on February 5, 2010, and will be available on IFC on Demand on the same day. (If you’re hungry for more than the usual Hollywood fare, you seriously need to get IFC on Demand.) They played theatrically in the U.K. last year, and are already available on DVD in Region 2.

I’ll also see, in this truncated holiday week, Youth in Revolt (opens in the U.S. on January 8, 2010, and in the U.K. on February 5, 2010). I’m not particularly looking forward to this: the trailer makes the film look like it will embrace the deepest depths of male self-hatred and self-delusion. I hope I’m wrong about that. I do like Michael Cera, and I’d hate to see him succumbing to this…



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  • Lisa

    Urg! I honestly couldn’t sit through them, they were unrelentingly grim and depressing films. Although, Nathan from Misfits is in them and he’s really cool.

  • Matthew

    I think you’ve missed out Leeds, the Yorkshire city in question (it’s also where I live). David Peace is from Leeds, hence the trilogy and The Damned United (about the city’s football team) and GB:1984 (about the miner’s strike of 1984, which affected the area just to the south of Leeds, along with many others). Oh and Red Riding comes from the old names for the parts of Yorkshire (Ridings, from the Old English for “a third”), Leeds being in the West Riding of Yorkshire (now, rather prosaically, called simply West Yorkshire).

    Interestingly, Peace wrote all of those Yorkshire books whilst living in Japan and now, having moved back to Yorkshire, he’s writing about Japan.

    1974 sets things up and isn’t about the Yorkshire Ripper directly. It’s the only one I’ve seen so far and I was a bit disappointed, although it is beautifully shot and acted. Reading this post has prompted me to give the others a chance (in the UK Channel 4 has them permanently available on demand).

    Amongst the horrible sensationalism about the Peter Sutcliffe case (dubbing him the Yorkshire Ripper being one example) there’s some interesting cultural history. Quite a lot of 1980s feminist politics came out of the way the police reacted to the attacks (declaring a curfew for women, as potential victims, but not men as potential criminals). There was also a sense of public and police feeling changing when Sutcliffe killed a student, having previously targeted prostitutes.

  • Red Riding is a trilogy of movies based on a quartet of novels by David Peace. The books (and films) are fictionalized accounts of the investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper, a brutal serial killer that stalked the Yorkshire area of England in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

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