Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive may have taken the popular vote as the hottest genre throwback of 2011, riffing as it did on established tropes to deliver a lean slice of LA-neo(n)-noir cool that echoed the likes of Michael Mann, Walter Hill and William Friedkin in everything from its visual palette to Cliff Martinez’s instantly iconic score, synth-pop straight from the heart of the place where tangerines dream. But for those paying attention, it was a small British film from a ferocious talent that marched up to the competition, hammer in hand, and took it out with a single blow, storming the party with a gun to the head of genre conventions.
Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was one of last year’s strongest films in every sense of the word, and if only for its staggering sound design, demands to be seen on the big screen. If you missed it on its first run, it’s the kind of picture you want to read as little about as possible prior to going in, its narrative curveballs akin to being marched blindfolded through quicksand. When you think you’re onto where it’s taking you, the ground gives way.
Next Wednesday (18th January), the Roxy Bar & Screen on Borough High Street welcomes actor Michael Smiley to introduce the film, with a screening of Wheatley’s excellent Down Terrace (2009) preceding. A devilishly black, micro-budget feature, set almost entirely in and around the Brighton home of a dysfunctional family of gangsters, Down Terrace is a remarkable debut; its pin sharp, Pinter-esque script marking out Wheatley as the most promising new talent on the UK film scene.
If you’ve not seen either of the films, this is a big screen opportunity not to be missed. If you have, then you’ve probably already got tickets.
The event kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets are available here.