Blind Fury

Greyhawk still 5

I want to claim a bit of credit here — as submissions viewer for Edinburgh International Film Festival, I saw and gave the thumbs-up to GREYHAWK, Guy Pitt’s drama in which blind ex-soldier Alec Newman has his guide dog stolen and sets out to get it back. A simple premise that’s instantly emotive. And Newman’s character isn’t super-heroic like Zatoichi, he’s just very determined and very angry. The excellent Newman should have been a big star long since — this ought to attract more attention to his talents — and he’s supported by the wonderful Jack Shepherd — may favourite Renfield in any version of Dracula (and Renfield is ALWAYS good), and the underwater vicar in THE BED SITTING ROOM (he’s one of only two surviving cast members). Possibly the best performance of all, though, is by Zoe Telford.

I nearly worked with Newman once — Fiona wrote a vampire movie and we had him pegged for a lead role, but the film never happened. Getting GREYHAWK programmed gives me a quiet sense of satisfaction. The film has integrity, it grips, it tears at the emotions. But, unlike too many “realist” movies, it’s not out to depress you.

As usual with realist films one can nitpick the actual realism. A veteran having his guide dog stolen would make the front page of The Sun, the police would move mountains, and most importantly, 99% of the people even on a rough housing scheme would be extremely sympathetic to the wronged man, which isn’t quite what we get here. But, as with something like Peter Mullan’s FRIDGE (below), realism is often beside the point — a dramatic situation can illuminate the world even if it only intersects with it slightly. The first priority is to grip.

GREYHAWK screens on Saturday the 21st at Cineworld Edinburgh.

The Festival launches tonight with a screening of intense police corruption drama HYENA, a rather different London crime drama, which I have seen but which is under press embargo so




2 Responses to “Blind Fury”

  1. Was finishing a video essay today, but managed to squeeze in one more screening — will report soon. Am covering the fest for Mubi and Electric Sheep! Party tonight. Will bring my camera. And from tomorrow I will be able to talk about HYENA.

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