DVD: The Arbor (15)
Friday 11 March 2011
"There's no way I'm workin' all week for £27.30 on some bleedin' trainin' scheme," reasoned Sue in Andrea Dunbar's underrated Thatcher's Britain film Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1986).
The brash drama, about a middle-aged man's trysts with two teenagers, was adapted from a series of plays by Dunbar and based on the young writer's experiences of growing up on the Buttershaw council estate in Bradford. The Arbor, directed by Clio Barnard, who grew up on the outskirts of Bradford, is a fierce, moving docu-drama focusing on the decaying Buttershaw estate, Dunbar's short life and the three children she left behind.
Barnard's ambitious, angry and experimental debut film has her largely unknown cast lip-synch to interviews with Dunbar's family. It's the sort of wheeze that could have fallen flat on its face, but it works to tremendous effect here in this look at prejudice, alcoholism, depression, deprivation and abuse.
In 1990, the precociously talented Dunbar died, at the age of 29, from a brain haemorrhage, leaving behind two daughters (Lorraine and Lisa) and a son. The main focus here is on the extremely damaged Lorraine, whose life veered inexorably into drugs, prostitution and imprisonment. The Arbor is a difficult, painful watch, but a very worthwhile (and rather political) one; it should be mandatory viewing for Cameron and his Bullingdon chums.
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
- 2 Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 3 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 4 Today was a bad day for renters, landlords, and democracy
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer: What we know about JJ Abrams' film
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Christmas TV schedule 2014: The best shows to watch from Downton Abbey to Black Mirror
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police