Saturday, November 03, 2007


I awoke, coughing and wheezing, this morning at about one of the clock and for the life of me could not return to meaningful slumber. I ventured downstairs and became hooked on a film I’d never heard of before that was a-showing on the Film 4 network. The moving picture was named The Low Down, a British feature from 2000 that tells the tale of Frank, an artist in his late 20s who lives in Bohemian semi-squalor in a London flatshare in a dodgy part of the capital. The film focuses on his relationships with a new girlfriend and his two colleagues who work with him constructing props for TV shows. To be honest, not a lot happens. The style is almost documentary and fly-on-the-wall but the dialogue, while understated, is beautifully and wittily observed. There’s a bit of tension at work between the trio and the plot examines this as well as how the young lady gently coerces Frank to subtly change his life and better his surroundings. There are no massive set pieces or dramatic denouements, no stunts or jaw-dropping action scenes and I sense that is why I enjoyed it so much. The characters were so believable and stunningly crafted that I could genuinely feel I was voyeuristically witnessing a set of interesting – but not that interesting – lives. The acting was top notch and the ensemble contained a few faces that went onto greater things since the turn of the century. Frank was superbly played by Queer As Folk’s Aiden Gillen while his two work friends were, rather quaintly, Tobias Menzies (a sublime, sublime Brutus in the remarkable Rome) and Dean Lennox Kelly (the Gallagher’s cheeky neighbour, Kev, in Shameless). Frank’s gal was ‘er out of Shaun of the Dead, Kate Ashfield. I’m tempted to get the blighter on DVD and watch it again. Hurrah. Thank goodness for that cough.

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