Looking for Eric


Don’t believe a word of the hype.  Looking for Eric is not a Ken Loach comedy.  It is, in several places, a very funny film indeed.  But it is not a comedy.  At a far fetched push you might call it a rom-com or a social satire.  Me?  I just think it’s another brilliant Loachian movie. (Can you believe he’s been at it for 45, yes 45, years since he wriote three episodes for z cars)?

It’s so sad, so desperate in places and then, yes, so funny.

And then there’s Eric (Cantona).  Ooh ah!

And his goals.  Ooh la la!

And his cod (sorry sardine) philosophising. Oops ah!

The Cantona character is inspired, as it is so self-deprecating- not a quality one associates with the French.

I loved this film; so did Mrs G (I love the Cameo too, where we saw it – although the seats in Cameo 2 were so uncomfortable that I was considering asking for a refund).

God, there I go again.  Moan, moan, moan.

Why is it so good?  I think it’s the way Loach makes his characters so utterly believable and, particularly in this movie, sympathetic.  And as I always, always say it’s because of the writing which is nailed on by long time collaborator Paul Laverty).

One of the back stories, about the elder stepson of Eric the postman (our hero played to perfection by Steve Evets in, I think, his first Loach movie) is really the backbone of the film.  The eldest stepson (Gerard Kearns of Shameless fame) gets embroiled in some nasty business with a local gangland thug and threatens to destabilise Eric’s whole fragile existance.  But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that is certainly proved here.

It’s a gem.  A true Brit movie classic with a wee bit of the Auld Alliance thrown in.

J’adore  Eric Cantona!


The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Empire. From complex beginnings, the war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of colonialism in the region. The war ended the Zulu nation’s independence.

I find this description of Colonialism from Wikipedia interesting.

Colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the 15th to the 20th century when people from Europe built colonies on other continents. The reasons for the practice of colonialism at this time include:

  • The profits to be made.
  • To expand the power of the metropole.
  • To escape persecution in the metropole.
  • To convert the indigenous population to the colonists’ religion.

Some colonists also felt they were helping the indigenous population by bringing them Christianity and civilization. However, the reality was often subjugation, displacement or death.[

A colony is part of an empire and so colonialism is closely related to imperialism.

So to see two fucking British twats rubbing the faces of Colonialism into the South African nation in the ABSA Stadium this afternoon totally disgusting, crass and cheap.

This is they…

lions fans

Or is it just me?

You know what?  After I saw that I was almost pleased the Lions lost.

Or maybe I’m just a Guardian-reading liberal.

Not a wasted evening

I went to see two World Premiere movies tonight.  Yes two.  At the the Edinburgh Film festival.  Both British.  Hugely contrasting.

The first was a gritty junkie movie about breakdowns at Cineworld called Wasted. The trouble is, the only thing that broke down was the projection equipment after 30 minutes of what could only be described as highly realistic junkie squalor with little in the way of discernable plot and a lot of OTT camerawork.  (Did you see what I did with that headline there?) We weren’t enjoying it much and so when the production team said it would ‘soon’ be rescreened from the beginning we made a sharp exit and headed to The Filmhouse to try our luck with Exam – a low budget, but stylish, British thriller come sci-fi come horror movie.  Actually it isn’t a horror at all, despite its billing, but it really is rather good.


It’s a first time directorial outing by British writer Stuart Hazeldine who has previously made his name as a writer in Holywood.

The story is set in an undated future (soon in fact) where the world has been besieged by a pandemic virus and eight people of multiple ethic origins, and mental states are locked up in a room to sit an exam for a big job (nod to The Apprentice here).

The entire movie is shot in this grey room with eight examination desks.  Gradually the eight whittle down to a more modest concluding cast.  The only rules for elimination in the exam are set cryptically by the invigilator at the start of the movie and it’s a real guessing game from start to finish.

The cast, writing, lighting, effects and direction are all excellent and it’s dead original even if it does stylistically nod towards movies like Pi and Cube.

Actually it’s a really taught piece of film; low budget but eeking every penny out of it by really good and conservative filming (shot on 35mm though so it looks expensive).

Look out for it on its release.  It may do well and I think it will get good crits.

I have to say though that the 90 degree heat in the Filmhouse did neither the movie nor the EFF any justice at all.