Archive of films This is Not a Love Song / This is Not a Love Song

United Kingdom
2002, 94 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2002

Due to unforeseen circumstances, petty thieves Spike and Heaton become murderers on the run from both the police and a posse of enraged farmers bent on avenging their crime who won’t give up until the criminals are dead. The talented director, using all the benefits of a digital camera, first-class actors and an atmospheric, gloomy landscape as the third main “character” in the story, has succeeded in making a thrilling drama about love, fear and hatred.


Synopsis

Petty thieves Spike and Heaton are the most sorrowful pair you could imagine. Two solitary losers who just rough their way through life. Probably the only positive thing about their impoverished existence is the fact that they have each other. The inscrutable, taciturn Heaton is boss; his behaviour fills people with terror. In contrast, Spike is like a distracted child who needs care and protection. When Spike commits a terrible crime, Heaton decides to stand by him. Together they attempt to run away both from the police and a posse of furious farmers bent on revenge. Thus begins a true manhunt. The pair try to make their way out of the dark forests, unfamiliar rivers and treacherous moors of northern England, hoping to come across some larger town where they can mingle with the crowds. But there is no town to be seen and the fugitives begin to run out of steam. They sense that the farmers won’t give up until they are both dead. When Heaton injures his leg, the roles are reversed – now it’s the tough Heaton who needs Spike’s help. But the farmers are dangerously close and Spike has to decide whether to remain with his injured friend or continue on to the safety of the big city… The talented director, using all the benefits of a digital camera, first-class actors and an atmospheric, gloomy landscape as the third main “character” in the story, has succeeded in making a thrilling drama about love, fear and hatred.

About the director

Bille Eltringham made a number of shorts and TV dramas; her graduate film Lune was premiered at the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. She also works frequently with screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty) and together they worked on the TV film Kid in the Corner (l999) which Eltringham made for the BBC, also her feature debut The Darkest Night (l999) and This is Not a Love Song, filmed using a digital camera. The director on her film: “We cast the two main characters and found all the locations before a word of the script was written. Eight days of actors’ workshop, two weeks of scriptwriting, two weeks of pre-production and twelve days of filming later, we emerged with the footage. For me, this is a story of both violence and tenderness, so I wanted to create a style with DV that lifted the film beyond gritty realism into something more lyrical.”

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Another View
   
Director: Bille Eltringham
Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy
Dir. of Photography: Robbie Ryan
Music: Adrian Johnston, Mark Rutherford
Editor: Ewa J. Lind
Producer: Mark Blaney
Production: Footprint Films, Strange Dogs
Cast: Michael Colgan, Kenny Glenaan, David Bradley, John Henshaw, Adam Pepper
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