Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January's Film - Tyrannosaur

I watched Tyrannosaur at the Prince Charles yesterday, and as my first movie of the year, it was great!

What to say about it? Well, watch it! Unfortunately, it has the classic British syndrome of crap marketing. Zero publicity means that the cinema hall was virtually empty yesterday. Checking out wikipedia, it seems that the film was made for £750,000 but has not even clawed back a third of its running costs. This is despite the fact that the film has won awards from film festivals worldwide. Yep, despite the accolades, barely anyone was in the cinema watching the film. And that, to me is really sad.

Taking in a breadth of social issues in England today ranging from poverty, domestic violence, racism and (surprisingly for a British film) religion, Tyrannosaur entertained the hell out of me. Again, it is the kind of film that encourages me as a (struggling) film maker, although those guys really did have some backing to make the film including Film Four and Studio Canal. They also had some fantastic actors in the film. Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe), Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz) and Eddie Marsan (take your pick - Hancock, Vera Drake, 21 Grams). Look, I cannot praise this film enough!

And just wonder why there are so few viewers? It has everything you want in a film. Drama, tragedy, happiness, sadness and a compelling story with addictive characters. Okay, I know art house fare might not be everyone's cup of tea, but even for a daytime art house film, the attendance was low. And shocking, considering that Tyrannosaur did win so many accolades. Really, if you want to know how not to market a film, then learn from the British.

Most of the people in the cinema seemed like me. Film makers who wanted to see a great film on the big screen. To watch a fantastic story and to see how it was made. In one word, beautifully. But it is sad to see that so few people bothered to turn up, and it will be interesting to see if the film can make a profit. I would have loved to have gone to the Q &A with the director tomorrow, but work calls and so I had to make do with a sparse attendance yesterday. Still, as the first film (in the UK) this year, I am well impressed! Long may my journey through London's cinemas prove as entertaining! But I hope I am joined by more people.

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