Sunday, 10 November 2013

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning – Kare Reisz -  Based on the novel by Alan Sillitoe, this is rightly considered a classic of British New Wave cinema. Creating the iconic ‘Arthur Seaton’ and launching the stardom of Albert Finney, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is a comical, quotable, painful and poignant depiction of defiance, class and masculinity. In the immortal words of Mr. Seaton: ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down…’ a sentiment for all occasions. Finney’s performance manages to be effortlessly charismatic, while retaining the inherent ambivalence of a character at once roguishly charming and destructively selfish. Cinematography is a consistently superb, with a particularly stylised turn in a scene at the fair (in which carosouel dodgems – if such a thing exists – become nightmarishly emblematic of a paranoid wheel of the inevitable, spied on by two military sentinals of justice/the law/comeupance). Arthur is the archetypal ‘Angry Young Man’, an avatar of the middle class perception of working class anger and authenticity, or, more sincerely, an everyman resisting the stifling domestic expectations of ideological expectation, while weathering the grind of the working week. The final scene is heartbreaking, the character of Arthur Seaton seeming at once durably symbolic and somehow irresistably honest. A despicable, pathetic and transparent figure, that in spite of such attributes is also undeniably magnetic. The film also has a genius jazz inflected soundtrack, its reocurring motif moving from a cocky swagger to the more meloncholy pace of a hangovers and reflective doubt. 8.5/10

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