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.

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.

to_dream

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 DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.