Monday, 21 March 2011

Review: Submarine Preview at the Cornerhouse

As part of our aim to provide a more varied and interesting blog we sent Roxanne off to the Cornerhouse to see the preview of Submarine, Richard Ayoade's first feature length film. Here's her thoughts: 
Both written and directed by the The It Crowd star, Ayoade knows how to use sarcastic, awkward, and twisted comedy, and he spreads them perfectly throughout the film. The theme is likely to resonate too; a young, bright, self-aware – but awkward, emotionally clumsy – teenage boy coming of age. The film is set in an 'imagined time and place' somewhere in a Welsh coastal town (Ayoade gently time-stamps the film with a passing reference to Crocodile Dundee, the odd mullet and the absence of mobile phones). It's the story of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a misfit 15-year-old on a mission to lose both his virginity - to his no-nonsense, pyromaniac classmate Jordana (Yasmin Paige) - and prevent his parents' marriage from imploding. A bit of a fantasist, he's mildly unpopular kid who imagines the world would be devastated were he to die, and has a tendency to render memories of his limited romantic experiences as idealised Super-8 movie montages. He also wears a duffel coat, carries a briefcase and reads the dictionary for fun, traits that might make him sound face-punchingly contrived on paper, but seem true to the character on film. We watch Oliver as he directs his own version on the film in a juxaposed subjective reality, which gives the film a more thoughtful emotional twist to what would otherwise be classified as 'just another 'Wes Anderson' film'. With Alex Turner providing an excellent soundtrack, and the beautiful array of film-making techniques Ayoade gently deploys, primes directly into the collage-like nature of his protagonist's teenage brain while gently mocking genre conventions.

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