HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Old
   
 
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
   
 
  Saint Etienne: I've Been Trying To Tell You Selective Memories
Year: 2021
Director: Alasdair McLellan
Stars: Saint Etienne, Various
Genre: MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Summer in the nineteen-nineties, or is it the early twenty-first century? What are the images you remember from back then? Were you even around? Do you have any conceptions of what Britain was like for the young in the last era of the twentieth century, just as the mood of apocalypse settled over the population like a nuclear winter for the following era? Was it all partying as the sun went down? Were the summers all bright and stylish, as if reality was being directed by a European New Wave auteur? What if you started in the South and travelled North, meandering to make random stops along the way? As one couple break up, more couples are getting together, and it's possible to ignore the troubles of the world...

This was the accompanying film for English pop band Saint Etienne's album I've Been Trying To Tell You, the trio's Lockdown creation they felt needed some visuals to offset the dreamlike music they were playing. That was significant since the pitfalls and attractions of nostalgia were a theme of the album, using samples much as they had at the beginning of their career, but slowing them down and warping them to make them all but unrecognisable - that was until you read what you were actually listening to, and wondered if you recognised them in their original state either, so far had they fallen between the cracks of pop culture, despite being successes for artists like The Lightning Seeds, The Lighthouse Family or The Honeyz way back when they were popular.

Very briefly popular, in the case of The Honeyz, a British Destiny's Child knock-off that are all but forgotten all these years later. That essential falsehood of your happiest memories was a melancholy aspect director Alasdair McLellan was consciously evoking, but there it was possible to see the joy in that as well, for you may remember your good times without those reminiscences being tainted by all the bad stuff going on in your life. Of course, you will have bad memories too, but that is the nature of life and its ups and downs, and this depiction of a pivotal time when the young cast are at a stage when they are meant to be working out what they are supposed to do with the rest of their time on Earth had an inbuilt poignancy this era of the nineties before the War on Terror coloured our outlook for good in the following century.

That said, you may find yourself wishing McLellan had entertained more ideas than simply showing three quarters of an hour of touristy shots of England and Wales interspersed with many young men divesting themselves of their garments. There were young women there too, but the director's gaze kept getting distracted by toned torsos on the boys, lingering over them in a manner that reminded those with experience of experimental gay cinema of the works of Derek Jarman, or going back further, Kenneth Anger. Not that this was objectionable in itself, but when every tune Saint Etienne produced was presented in a near-identical way, things did get a tad repetitive. McLellan had come from an advertising and photography background, and the benefits (slick imagery) and drawbacks (too obsessed with the image) were very apparent in every frame here. Even the music lacked a real hook in every track, as you were unlikely to be able to bring every sample to mind in this distorted state, leaving an experience that would either mesmerise or irritate. And yet, they were onto something on the subject of memory, and how a golden age must by its character be selective.

[The BFI release this film on Blu-ray with these special features:

Her Winter Coat (2021): New Saint Etienne music video directed by Alasdair McLellan
Hello Holly (2021): New Saint Etienne music video directed by Alasdair McLellan
Escalade (2021): New Saint Etienne music video directed by Alasdair McLellan
Access to All Alone / Infinity 21 (2021): New Saint Etienne music video directed by Alasdair McLellan
Bob Stanley and Alasdair McLellan in conversation (2021, 29 mins): the Saint Etienne co-founder and film director discuss the project
Marc Jacobs Daisy Love Eau So Sweet: TV advertisement starring Kaia Gerber, Aube Jolicoeur and Faith Lynch, directed by Alasdair McLellan
Trailers
Gallery of film stills
**FIRST PRESSING ONLY** illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Jason Wood and un-released images from Alasdair McLellan.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 315 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: