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Showing posts with label Olivia Colman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olivia Colman. Show all posts

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Trying too hard to be strange ?

This is a review of The Lobster (2015) (seen at Saffron Screen)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

13 November (quotation added, 26 December ; link to a new review added, 1 January)

This is a review of The Lobster (2015) (seen at Saffron Screen)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos (and his co-writer Efthymis Filippou) may tell us that they (intend to) subvert the notion of a film having a story with The Lobster (2015) – though they would hardly be the first, in the history of cinema, to set out to do so. Certainly, in the overlong first forty-five minutes¹, they may set up a situation that is relatively internally coherent², but it appears to be as a point of departure and contrast, and, until then, we could be frankly little less concerned or engaged with what is presented³.

In the original t.v. series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (with Arthur Pewty (Michael Palin) and his wife Deirdre (Carol Cleveland) visiting the marriage guidance counsellor (Eric Idle)), unexpectedly disinhibited behaviour was used to provoke both shock and laughter (partly through shock / embarrassment, partly through incongruity). However, it was never more than a sketch, to which an end – of sorts – was brought (after Pewty has challenged the counsellor and, being told to go away, just does so) : the script has the direction Arthur is then hit in the head with a chicken by a man in a suit of armour.

Fourteen years later, with The Meaning of Life (1983), one essentially has a loosely connected series of sketches (as The Pythons themselves describe it and its genesis in The Pythons' Autobiography By The Pythons (heard via the audio CDs of the interviews)). There, the topic is revisited, as a lesson on sex education to a class of boys abruptly changes gear and (again provoking hilarity, for the reasons given) becomes a practical demonstration of sexual technique⁴.

Into The Lobster, and - not for the first time - seemingly for no more than a gratuitous laugh (since the scene does not obviously have any bearing on what happens⁵), Lanthimos brings this familiar conceit, and adopts it as the inappropriate behaviour of two so-called loners (Colin Farrell (David) and Rachel Weisz (Short-sighted Woman)). In the film’s initial locale (which proves not to be unique in this regard), it dealt with, amongst other things, punishments for what the regime has decided are crimes, and retribution was both swift and Dante-esquely fitted to the offence : in all of this, a curious acquiescence, and with scant notion of rebellion or refusal. (Later on, as will be explored further, there is no sign that anything is different in another place, with other just as arbitrary prohibitions, and painful practices to secure compliance.)

If Farrell and Weisz’s [characters] bizarrely behaving in company has a meaning (beyond a laugh), it is, if not lost, almost submerged. Their trying too hard to look a couple (was Seydoux also meant to be one, with Smiley ?) has now become excessive, but we never did know the conceit behind their needing to be in the company of Seydoux’s parents and play up their status : earlier on, with his flowery speech, Farrell’s character had over-acted (more laughter), but it did not seem to have counted against him, but won him congratulation (though, one must repeat, seemingly purposelessly – what was all this pretence for (other than as a clothes-horse for gags), and to show Farrell better at it than someone else confronted in a shopping-centre).

However, if we do believe the narration (and it is open to question whether we should – please see below), the draconian prohibitions seemed never to have meant anything to Weisz and Farrell (the ‘love story’ that the poster promises ?). Indeed, beyond another joke - albeit, this time, in passing - with the idea of a coded, private language, there actually seems so much freedom (and absence of surveillance or control) that we have scant evidence of needing the elaborate communicative subterfuges of which we are told in the narration (designed, by making Semaphore sound like child’s play, to amuse : as can be seen in this video-clip, linked from the web-site of, @RottenTomatoes).

In fact, having lovers with their (actually or imagined) unseen ruses is no more unique as a subject of comedy than the Pythonesque excess (and it may actually be from another Python sketch, where the team ridicules romanticism – if not from Woody Allen (doing the same with Russian literature) in Love and Death (1975) ?). For The Telegraph (though seemingly only as an endorsement, not as any review that one can conventionally find), Robbie Collin calls the film ‘dizzyingly funny’, but one has to ask, if so, how much other humour he knows, for the first part of the film, when it is not setting out to shock (which it manages with some skill), is arguably not breaking new ground, but doing no more than stringing together largely unrelated satirical material.

Too much, and not all that interestingly, revolves [the wisdom / content of] adages and truisms such as Alone in a crowd, Love will find a way, Birds of a feather flock together, Two’s company, three’s a crowd, and the film actually spends a lot of its extended opening doing no more than exaggerating, in the form of a rigid hierarchy, how those who are not in a couple can be ostracized (often in ways no less cutting than here, if more subtle). (Although we largely leave this setting behind, there is a foray back, but it also serves no clear purpose : it confronts selected people with the truth, but, at best, this sequence really only seems designed to challenge ourselves, with our on-screen desire for blood and retribution [as Haneke does in Funny Games (1997)], and not to move anything on in structural terms.)

The Lobster is well-acted and thought-provoking. It works as a commentary on the way that society conditions its population to pair off and the stigma which surrounds single people.

As a point of reference in Lanthimos' films, and not, of course, to say that he (or his co-writer Filippou) has to do the same again, their last feature-film Alps (Alpeis) (2011) (of which a review is, as yet, still incomplete) also gives us the arbitrary assumption and use of power, at times to violent effect, in a reality that resembles ours, but yet is of its own kind. (As one reviewer of The Lobster remarks (Nick Pinkerton – please see below), the world we are introduced to looks very much like our own in the present day—specifically Ireland, where the film was shot.)

Alps works by duration and disturbingly, by playing out a few strands, principally through one central character. What governs those strands, though not incomprehensible on the level of agreed rules (if agreed under threat), defies being accepted or assimilated because of what it demands. There, Lanthimos achieves his aim without additional elements, baffling us not as to those rules per se, but as to what it implies about this world that things are as they are – again, a world recognizably ours, and so it makes us ask, in our disquiet, why it came to be that way.

[This words displayed above are from a review by Neil White (@everyfilmdteled) who, seemingly insufficiently content with the demands of being Editor of The Derby Telegraph (!), every year sets himself a challenge (largely given by his Twitter-name) : to review it for his blog, trying to watch every film released in the UK, and clocking up hundreds in the attempt. He seems to have surprised himself by now warming to Lanthimos…]

If artistry does come into this film, it does not consist in an ill-judged and repeated failure to resist the temptation to tell a gag (even in the service of superficially giving The Lobster commercial credentials ?), or even in the ‘unconventional love story’ that the poster wants to promote : that part of the story may be, in terms of the rules that are accepted to apply to forbid it, subversive or transgressive, but one can still effectively ask So what ?, because, despite the blatant reference in the first few minutes, we are not talking of those in the position of a Winston Smith or a Julia.

[As alluded to above, there is underground activity, but scarcely in the same way (since it seems centred more on survival ?), and with no real rationale that the screenplay cares to give. At the same time, an absurdist claim could, of course, be made : to show what one will to challenge perceived notions of reality / rationality… Then one is in the territory of Holy Motors (2012), which, however much it may reference cinematic history, for some has a fairly tenuous basis for what it does, and one which also – much more extensively and explicitly – seeks to include discrete and disparate episodes by means of a very modest (undeveloped ?) linking device.]

Though maybe – just maybe – The Lobster is doing something, and much more subtle, that is to do with what it means to use an authorial voice (of, one has to suggest, doubtful reliability therefore) ? Partly on account of the bipartite nature of the film, the narrator is unplaced for a very long while : during that time, and in a cursorily fleeting way, the voice tells us what the loners, as a category, do that means that they behave indistinguishably and as a group. (It is another gag, this time oral, and at the expense of those who listen to electronic music (though headphones), but the jibe comes, and it goes : except to recur as a visual joke, with people in one place, but dancing separately to what they are listening to, it expendably seems to lack rootedness in the fabric of the whole.)

As elsewhere – in a distinctively brittle, almost dry, manner – we were told this so matter-of-factly, so unemotionally, that we might have started wondering why any of this is being told at all (and whether whoever the narrator is pictures it to herself as a story that, maybe unwillingly, she believes). Indeed, just after the brief initial scene, and the shot of Farrell over his right shoulder (which very gently telescopes in on him), we hear this voice, telling us what ‘he’ did, and how he chose his brown shoes : only was there the suggestion, right from the off, that this was an adapted short story or novella ?

The Lobster uses that form, and sometimes the voice-over is very present – and not always adding, but, by over-interpreting or even unnecessarily stating what can be seen, it acts to interpose itself between us and the on-screen world, i.e. an alienation technique (Verfremdungseffekt). (Other reviewers have commented on the stiltedness of the characters' speech. [So, for example, Nick Pinkerton (please also see below) writes all of them deliver dialogue in much the same mannered, tin-eared cadence : unvaryingly measured, stilted in tone, unnervingly to-the-point, and devoid of any softening niceties.] However, if one regards those who are speaking as created by, or creatures of, the narrator, that quality is put in another context : it remains, as it ever is, meaningless to talk about 'what really happened', but here the film is well nigh brought into existence by the voice that tells it.)

At other times, though, it is quite absent, and it seems possible that the device may have been abandoned, yet not, for example, with what happened in The Transformation Room : let alone how what, in general terms, is supposed to have happened there took place, we are kept outside the door that we see Farrell go through. The voice's ignorance (of what went on), that of the unknown 'she', becomes ours – but, in the first place, we only know any of this by placing credence in what the voice tells us, and we might wish to reflect on the silence and the lapse of time with which the film concludes…

Of course, the deliberate allusion to Room 101 put one in mind of Nineteen Eighty-Four, but, along with thinking that we are in the dystopian genre³, it is probably a misdirection to see Orwell here any more than to make a connection that, in a way, is just as much there with Animal Farm.

For those in search of other thoughts :

* This review (from Nick Pinkerton, of Reverse Shot), from which there have been quotations above, may tell too much for those who have not yet seen the film, but is interesting...

* Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian, has some good points to make, but lapses - in the third to the fifth paragraphs of his review - into telling us what happens, rather than why we should be watching. (As, for example, he did with a review of The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) (2013)).

* Finally, with the review by Demetrios Matheou (The Arts Desk), we have to bear with his worryingly getting his facts wrong (such as calling Farrell’s character John (not David), and saying that he has been widowed), but it is worth a read.


¹ Except on the level that the film creates a desire, for this scenario in the screenplay not to continue as it is, which is then sated – even if we scarcely welcome what takes its place, or how that resolves…

² By contrast, those who have read in David Eagleman’s small collection Sum : Tales from the Afterlives will know the superlative concision and exactness with which he conceives of numerous different futures.

³ People who only choose to look at the world within the film as dystopian are thereby easily failing to credit that elements of it, at least, operate not only on the level of satire, but also of allegory : does calling this filmed world a dystopia, by imagining it as a possible future, thereby miss its applicability, as a deliberate distortion, to our present social norms, practices and trends (such as our expectations of couples, or of single people, and how they may tend to stay with their own kind) ?

⁴ Other examples surely abound, but Hale and Pace (not a little obsessed with a stereotypically sexual portrayal of Sweden) could not resist confronting a British couple with a Swedish one, being unnecessarily frank.

⁵ * Contains spoilers * If it is what did change anything (and not what, nearer the relevant time, we hear read aloud), we never have any idea, in all honesty, whether there is an ultimate and licensed aim that their Leader (Léa Seydoux), at whose instigation they are acting, when she, they and one other loner (Michael Smiley) make it The City for short periods, pretending that they belong there.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Remembering Rita - with a Postlude

This is a review of Locke (2014)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

13 May (Postlude added on 14 May, Tweet on 11 June)

This is a review of Locke (2014)

In Educating Rita (1983), Rita (Julie Walters) writes an incredibly short essay for her Open University tutor about staging Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. She says that Ibsen did not envisage it on stage, but to be sounds, and that, to accord with his stated wishes, it should be a radio play.

(Willy Russell’s original play itself was just a double-hander between Frank (Michael Caine) and Rita, but his own screenplay inevitably widened the portrayal out to involve other characters.) This film’s strength is also its weakness, in that it only shows us Ivan Locke, although he is surrounded by voices, real and imagined.)

One tends to feel the same about Locke (2014) as maybe Ibsen / Rita did about Peer, i.e. that its relatively minimal visual quality (not least if one has the same evening watched the stunningly alive colours of Advanced Style (2013)) made it less of a film than an audio-file with images – although some of the (largely fleeting) tension might have been lost in a play for radio, one imagines that there could have been compensating adjustments made elsewhere in text, music and sound-effects.

So it is that cars that come right up behind Locke (Tom Hardy) on the M6* seem to remind him of his father, to whom (whether or not he is alive) he seems intent to prove himself different, e.g. that he gets things done**, and that, although he is tempted to shirk what he feels that he should do and, as he puts it, carry on around the M25 to Dover (?)), he will not do so. As to the rest, apart from the amber lighting that is there so that we can see his face, and the illumination that his gaze sheds onto the back of the car (in the direction of his father), the rest is pairs, Morse codings, egg-shaped blurs of lights from other cars and from the buildings that edge the motorway :

All very arty as an embellishment to what would otherwise be Locke, in his car, sometimes doing 80 (although he says that there is a speed-limit), and doing very little when not snuffling, addressing his father and very occasionally being quiet except talking to the same rough half-a-dozen people, plus a few others. Except that the M1, which he gets onto from the M6 (though with not much evidence of that very distinctive junction), certainly does not have incessant illumination on either side of the carriageway, and we seem to see the same red elevated awning of a petrol-station at least twice more, and the credits tell us that the filming on location was in London :

Which means that the distorted lights that vary the darkness are as fully added in as the stunning shots of Earth that enliven watching Sandra Bullock clumsily floating around in Gravity (2013). They are so obviously there (and they are occasionally quite dramatic), that they are integral to the work that we see. Are we meant to accord the effect the benefit of taking it at face value, or see it as a Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt, to distance us from Locke himself ? Are we to credit that he fancies to himself that what he is about is a mercy dash, and so he has a thick jumper on, but the sleeves shoved up, because there is no time to stop ?

Something is up. Yet it is up in the way that film too frequently asks us to believe, where something is meant to be happening that has never happened before, and the film then comprises watching it unfold (maybe with the assistance of flashbacks, or other disjunctions in time and / or space)… As with Gravity, we might invest what we see with some significance, because it is new.

If, though, we do not, whether or not we mentally strip away the added visual elements, do we have a film even as striking as Enter the Void (2009), whose relative virtue is that it does not pretend that it is a slice of life that is unadulterated by music and by visual effects and a constructed sound-world ? Or does it, in this regard, resemble the unseen pair of characters Mitch and Murray in Glengarry Glen Ross*** (1993) (based on David Mamet’s play) in that, whether or not we know it, we suspect that we will no more see Bethan or what happens to Locke than we will them ?

Locke, however, delights in anonymity and keeping us uninformed. The ‘Home’ number on Locke’s hands-free device begins 01632, which the film is not alone in using for fictional purposes, for it is a UK area code [...] not in use and […] set aside for providing non-working, dummy phone numbers for drama, fiction and testing purposes. Yet the film studiously avoids other information :

* Locke mentions Croydon (or Crawley ?) to Katrina (Ruth Wilson), but he could never be heading there in the time that he estimates

* His son, stereotypically drawn back to the football match as if it is the new awkward topic to replace the weather, avoids mentioning another team / his own team

* Locke seems to say Argyll at one point, but he cannot have set out from somewhere near there (and the name of the place where the concrete is to be delivered seems fluidly indistinct**** ?)

* He has his boss Gareth’s number stored under Bastard (which is fair enough), but, apart from a rant at Locke, Gareth (Ben Daniels) seems powerless to do anything other than call Mitchell Dean[e] in Chicago and later report what he has been told to do : not much of a bastard, and the man whom they call ‘Chicago’ has a name that evokes Taunton Deane service-station on the M5 + Mitcheldean (in Gloucestershire)

Tom Hardy is not Welsh, and he does not at every moment sound Welsh (even to someone who shares his English background), although it can be disguised to some extent in the un-English stress-patterns that he is adopting. Then we have Gareth and Bethan as names of people who sound nothing but English, but is it another attempt to mislead ? In any event, Hardy is good, but Olivia Colman, as Bethan, has more to offer: she is somehow less hysterical than Katrina – but, then, she does appear to go to the theatre and read Beckettt.

Whereas Locke is just wrapped up in numbers, facts and codes, such as whether, in context, he has nine or ten years’ service, and it is only when he lashes out at his absent father (who, the film has us credit, is almost there at one point) that he feels any more than frustration that ‘my building’ might go wrong (shades of Ibsen again, in The Master Builder, with which there are a few parallels ?). He seems to care more about the concrete, as if it is a living thing, than much else.

Which is where the nub of the film lies, or it proves not to have much of one. Unlike the transcendental nature of Enter The Void, Locke feels banal, inconsequential – in Glengarry, so much more seems to be riding on what happens, yet here we have no notion that people will not be in a different mental mode overnight. And, for all the unwonted incaution of what Locke is about, it never rings true as any sort of clear breakdown (whatever, of course, a breakdown is) :

He may be depressed, but, if so the catalyst is unlikely to be the action that we see, but to inaction and self-recrimination along the lines of comparison with his father. It may be the early stages of a manic episode, and somehow everyone – Locke most of all – has overlooked that his seeming solidity lacks the infrastructure that he ironically busies himself providing in his work. Even if that is the intention, what this film encompasses is so slight, and the evidence of irrevocable damage to relationships (outside work) so uncertain, that it is in danger of popularizing impressions that may mislead.

The assertion also that there is a world of difference, for example, between ‘never’ and ‘once’ seems posture, convenient to bring in a binary, 0 or 1, dimension to life to match those coloured eggs that wink in the unreal darkness of night.


One point of comparison has already been given in Gravity, but that is a film, frankly, that one has to agree ‘has the plot of a B-movie’, so what do we find if we turn our attention to All is Lost (2013) ? It has almost no speech, whereas Locke is really nothing but, yet points of connection are :

* The concentration on one seen character

* What Our Man (Robert Redford) faces is partly of his making by seemingly choosing to be where he is, though not for getting snagged and pierced by an abandoned container

* The need to travel on, whether to safety or what could be a new beginning

* Unfolding events that change the course or status of what has gone before

Any other links would probably be tenuous, but which is the stronger performance / script ? On both counts, it has to be Redford’s film, because the best engagement with Our Man is inferential, on the level of working out why he is doing what we see, since, of course he has no need to explain it to anyone (and a voice-over of him talking to himself would be dire).

If anything, Locke over-explains, and repeats itself : the son will always awkwardly divert to the game, the ‘pour’ will never be straightforward and risk ruin, and the reminders that Locke is on the road, and not heading home to sausages and beer (and his wife in the club shirt), will be hammered home. On this level and bringing in the near-solo Gravity again, Locke is a most unsubtle film, and Hardy is an onscreen equivalent of Clooney to Donal’s (Andrew Scott’s) offscreen Bullock (Donal panicks just as much as she does).

Special pleading for Gravity wants to say that Bullock’s Ryan Stone is a universal symbol for humanity and that it has a spiritual dimension, but what about here ? Film Eye’s complimentary programme tries to suggest, having quoted The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney about the look of the film, that :

The stream of car and road lights is mesmerising and seems to reflect Locke’s contemplation of his life and his predicament

Whatever Locke may have done before, he is now acting (or believing that he is acting) on principle to lay to rest the paternal spectre (and, as a curt mantra, he keeps saying to others – as if it exculpates him from responsibility – words to the effect I have no choice, whereas precisely the opposite is true, and it is only in the car on his own that his motivation, of proving himself to his father (and so proving the father wrong), is laid bare). We still have to ask the related question about this ‘predicament’, whether or not it is of his own making :

What effect does it have on us that some of these ‘car and road lights’ are added in, laid over what we see, which would otherwise actually just be a bloke in a car, making quite frequent phone-calls ? If we do not realize, then it is just a nice light-show, whose beauty and brilliance we will like, but come to take for granted as naturalism (although it is artifice). If, though, we have inferred what has been done, it is still not, as with Gravity, that we can necessarily see what is real / what fake, but the lights are then present to us with the knowledge that the basic image has been processed to have them there most of the time, and that it is more like some form of enhancement, of an allusion to hyper-realism. (But hyper-realism that is at its strongest when it is actually hiding behind semi-barked, serious utterances in a Welsh accent ? (Is the real notion of a joke something known to Locke, we might end up wondering…))

Thus, we come back to Enter the Void, and we come back to John Locke (1632–1704) – and this facetious Tweet :


For Void’s hyper-reality is palpably artificial and never pretends to be otherwise, but it asserts that what we see is inhabiting other dimensions, which are apparent on drugs and in death (the old doors of perception theme, taken from Blake by Huxley, and from him by The Doors). Such a transcendent aspiration is given to Locke, but it is despite what he does and says, and, for example, it begs our indulgence that he has been with his wife Katrina long enough to have two teenage sons and yet does not have the remotest idea how to start to break something to her.

Instead (and attribute it to his being in shock, if you like), he twice prefaces how he has formulated what he wants to say with the very platitude that she latches onto, though both times she listens to him say it in silence. Clearly, something different is afoot this night, but is this naturalism, or is it symbolic – symbolic, say, in the way that the story is behind Schoenberg’s string sextet Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4, with its roots in Richard Dehmel’s poem of that name (the news broken there is different, but of a similar kind) ?

— BFI Player (@BFIPlayer) April 26, 2014

Could the vehicle in which Locke is travelling, under the influence of engaging with the philosophy of the other Locke and his arguments in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) that there are no innate ideas, be a sort of second womb where he, through his eyes and ears, becomes open afresh to sensory information ? We watch him turn these sense data into material on which to reflect in his journey and approach them from first principles…

Can Locke, as with Void, really be setting out general principles about life in the guise or medium of a film ? On one basis, it leaves uncertain the outcome of what we see befall Locke (though we did not know him before, for that matter), on another it has taken the simple footage of an apparent North to South journey and, by processing it, created colours and lights outside of reality, and maybe done so to impart truths on a symbolic level.

Somehow, it is hard to conceive that this is so (any more that it has the claims that Film Eye suggests to resemble Under Milk Wood) rather than it was just to make Locke look more interesting, but maybe it has been worth considering nonetheless...

Yet Film Divider's interview with Steven Knight, the film's director, certainly shows that the other Locke was part of his thinking :

He’s Lockean, as in the philosopher John Locke, he’s a rationalist and he tries to apply the theories of Locke, which would apply on a construction site, to the problems he’s now facing in life.


* Locke appears to be one of these drivers who is wedded to the middle lane, so this will happen from those who do not think that he should be there.

** That remains to be proved, whether what he has managed to achieve at the wheel will come off flawlessly.

*** Or the two in Pinter’s The Dumbwaiter ?

**** Can it possibly be close to Home, so that Locke could then have left in the middle of the night to be there well ahead for the crucial time of 5.25 a.m. ? If so, how should it all have worked out, and, say, what reason did a file have to come to be in the car, rather than in the site office ?

There must be a site office (where Donal is being directed what to do), and Locke seems to had the relative luxury of its not being at a distance is the fact that it is relatively local what matters to him about it ? In any case, the holding company for the film is, appropriately, Concrete Pictures Ltd !

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tyrannosaur - rex or regina?

This is a Festival review of Tyrannosaur (2011)

This is a Festival review of Tyrannosaur (2011)

More views of - or at - Cambridge Film Festival 2011
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

25 September

This is a Festival review of Tyrannosaur (2011)

I couldn't get director / writer of Tyrannosaur Paddy Considine interested in the idea that his lead man (a role for Peter Mullan, seemingly written for him, by my judgement) could have been female, and his key opposite number (beautifully played by Olivia Colman) not Hannah, but Henry - Joseph (Peter Mullan's male) would have been, say, Josephine.

For him, a separate film - not the film that he had made - end of answer. (OK, I agreed in the question that the dynamics would have been different, but wondered whether he had ever considered wbat I was suggesting - he didn't say that he hadn't, but he clearly hadn't.)

A separate film that he would watch, if I made it. I told him that it was showing the next day.

At the moment, much as I thought Tyrannosaur was a good piece of work, I still view it as following on from the same actor (same name, even!) in My Name is Joe - oh, it did say different things, but it was a similar sort of world, a similar sort of desire to get out of it...