Daily Archives: Monday, September 11, 2017

  • God’s Own Country Francis Lee (UK 2017)

    God’s Own Country Francis Lee (UK 2017) Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu

    viewed Tyneside Cinema 5 Sept
    2017; ticket £9.75

    pot noodle country

    Francis Lee has taken a couple of leaves
    (and then some) out of the present day lexicon of film making cliches.

    As in Park’s 2016 movie the
    Handmaiden, so God’s Own Country is
    bulked out with extended longueurs of body flesh shots. As in Park’s movie so in Lee’s the long sex
    act sequences have little purpose other than permitting the camera and editor
    to help the producer fulfill their durational contracts. Without use of critical intelligence cinema
    reduces sex to a banality, a series of fabrications: faked gestures, faked grunts and whimpers, a carnality played
    out to the camera as it creeps and crawls round the body and body parts, driven
    at best by the illusion that the shots are transgressive, (which they are not)
    and at worst by a plea for audience indulgence.

    Lee’s film is also chocka full of
    dreaded landscape cliches. These are much
    loved by filmmakers such as Terrance Mallick and his myriad imitators who
    evince the specious belief that landscape in itself means something. That by cutting to landscape you can invoke
    for the audience a range of existential emotions that express the unsayable. This is of course a wonderful solution for
    the feckless and lazy film maker who can order the camera to be pointed at a lone
    tree on the moor, a cloud closed sky or a rough sea and hope they get away with
    the suggestion of some deeper meaning. Time was when film makers filmed trains
    entering tunnels at high speed as a metaphore for penetrative sex. (only Woody
    Allan can get away with this type of thing)
    Employing ‘scape shots have the same level of originality and the same misguided
    opportunism; and also at this point only a Woody allen can get away with it.

    Viewing God’s Own Country despite all
    its sheep shots, the general level of the acting resembles a group of misplaced
    thespians stuck out in a field and asked to improvise. Inevitable that the most
    actors can achieve in such situations is a groping after stereotypes. Lee’s simulation of cold comfort farm, his
    simulation of the stroke afflicted farmer,
    his simulation of sex, never rise above the level of the mundane

    The script is wooden occassionally
    and hilariously giving the the poor Gheorghe lines such as: “In my country spring is so beautiful.” There are other lines from the other actors
    that match this level of banality. Perhaps because the actors are so insecure
    in their Yorkie dialect, they often swallow mutter mangle their lines
    incomprehensivly. It doeon’t matter: they
    have nothing to say.

    suppose that God’s Own Country is supposed to be a tale of the redemptive power
    of gender identity honesty. The coming out and embracing your self’s sexuality. The trouble is that Lee’s film is simplistic
    and smug and dull. God’s own Country is
    to sex and relationships what Pot
    Noddles are to food. And besides pissing
    shots and sheeps backsides shots, there
    are a lot of pot needles in this movie.
    Adrin Neatrour adrinuk@yahoo.co.uk