Categories EntertainmentPosted on

SEEN Reviews: To Dream

This absorbing drama centres around the close friendship between two boys, whose benighted lives and screwed-up family dynamics cause them to be the centre of each other’s world. Tommy (Freddie Thorp) has a mother who is oblivious to his needs. Luke (Edward Hayter) has a father who has turned to alcohol, and bullying Luke is the only way he can relate to his son.

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This absorbing drama centres around the close friendship between two boys, whose benighted lives and screwed-up family dynamics cause them to be the centre of each other’s world. Tommy (Freddie Thorp) has a mother who is oblivious to his needs. Luke (Edward Hayter) has a father who has turned to alcohol, and bullying Luke is the only way he can relate to his son. Girls and drugs offer little respite. The only sustaining element of their lives is the mutual dream they have to escape to America, to palm-lined boulevards and eternal sunshine. Tommy has no qualms about leaving, but Luke can’t seem to tear himself away from his father, inspiring a desperate attempt by Tommy to precipitate their departure to paradise.

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To say any more would be to reveal a plot twist, but SEEN reckons that with Andrea Arnold setting her latest film in America, there is scope for writer, director and producer of ‘To Dream’, Nicole Albarelli, to make her mark over here. Like Arnold, Albarelli relishes the interiority of her characters and resists cliché, establishing Tommy and Luke’s dignity and complexity with humour and pathos. The film makes good use of its urban locations, reportedly shooting over six days. Rarely has London looked quite so alienating; the only moments of respite emerging from the boys’ moments of emotional intimacy, and Luke’s childhood memories of his loving mother.

The acting by the two leads is genuinely empathetic; Hayter and Thorp have a real rapport, and they’re both ones to watch. A strong turn by Frank Jakeman as Luke’s father, Charlie, sets up the necessary antipathy, but reveals a man broken by his own circumstances. So good to see Adam Deacon as scary-but-funny drug dealer, Easy. The film was inspired by Albarelli’s own experience of observing male friends disappearing down the rabbit-hole of self-abuse. SEEN awaits her next film with keen anticipation.

Seen this week

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

The White Asparagus: SEEN Reviews

How fortunate are the residents of Islington? Just a step away from the bustle of the Caledonian Road is the leafy idyll of Hemingford Road and the N1 Cuckoo Gastro-hub. Hard to believe that this little slice of the country resides at the heart of the big bad city. This feeling was heightened by the closed-off road and the children happily playing ball in the street.

Categories ArtPosted on

The Isokon Gallery and Walter Gropius

SEEN has been a long-time admirer of the work of architect, teacher and Isokon resident, the renowned architect Walter Gropius. Marking the 80th anniversary of Walter Gropius’s departure from England to America, The Isokon Gallery Trust presents a concise synopsis of the seminal architect’s life and work.

Categories ArtPosted on

Contemporaries: Art by Focus LDN

Tom Cox and Focus LDN have done it again with an exciting new exhibition, showcasing eight artists and their work in the Old Brompton Gallery from June 21st – 25th. Visitors to the gallery during the exhibition are promised live painting, collaborative works and other events to be announced.