Stefano Dunne and José Arroyo on Weekend (Andrew Haigh, UK, 2011)

Part of a new series of podcasts designed for this site aiming for in-depth criticism of individual films but through particular perspectives or paradigms. In this one, Stefano and José begin by discussing the film in relation to contemporary gay culture; its themes of alienation, isolation, romance and gay subjectivities; and the sense of Britishness that permeates the work.

Is the film in dialogue with British New Wave films of the ‘50s and ‘60s: realist, kitchen sink? Are the young men angry? Does Weekend share in that sort of aesthetic and thematics? Does it hold up? Stefano discusses how it still feels raw and powerful; how he didn’t give enough credit to its aesthetics on first viewing; and how visually captivating it is.

Aside from discussing the film in relation to a British realist tradition such as exemplified by the films of Ken Loach, we also discuss formal elements such as camera work, framing, compositions, the improvised nature of the dialogue, the success of the actors. We note how class is a context for the film without becoming its main theme. We appreciate the film’s blunt, intimate and effective depiction of sex

We discuss how Weekend is an important building block to Andrew Haigh’s career. How it connects to the rest of Haigh´s oeuvre through its use long takes, panning and tilting using deep or racking focus, drawing the viewer’s attention to these people; and how the leisurely editing emphasises and showcases the performances. We note also a continuity in themes of isolation, loneliness, and class throughout Haigh’s work.


We also relate Weekend to a later batch of queer films such as Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016), God´s Own Country (Francis Lee, UK, 20017), Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France/Brazil/USA), 120 BPM (Robin Campillo, France, 2017). Stefano ruminates over notions like gay sensibility, queer film etc. speculating that Moonlight and Call Me By Your Name don´t feel queer to him albeit for different reasons. An interesting and illuminating talk.

José Arroyo

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José Arroyo

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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on First Impressions and commented:

    Stefano Dunne and José Arroyo discuss Andrew Haigh´s Weekend in relation to contemporary gay culture; its themes of alienation, isolation, romance and gay subjectivities; and the sense of Britishness that permeates the work.

    Is the film in dialogue with British New Wave films of the ‘50s and ‘60s: realist, kitchen sink? Are the young men angry? Does Weekend share in that sort of aesthetic and thematics? Does it hold up? Stefano discusses how it still feels raw and powerful; how he didn’t give enough credit to its aesthetics on first viewing; and how visually captivating it is.

    Like

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