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The Freshest Thing in Cans

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					The Freshest Thing in Cans

I saw Under the Mud last night at the Keswick Film Festival and am moved enough to write
about the experience. The movie struck me at multiple levels with its pace and naturalness –
restoring my sense of faith in community film-making. I watch lots of film and have been
involved with it for many years, yet this production defies conventional categorisation. O.K. it is
yet another shoestring venture with conservative love plots and sub-texts. Set In downtown
Liverpool there was not an ethnic minority in sight and family life and true love and marriage
ruled once again and yet.....

Without a doubt the freshness and vitality of the young hopefuls involved shines through every
frame – with a stimulating and invigorating vein which pulses its way through the movie, making
it much more than the sum total of its parts. Despite all odds, obstacles and a multiplicity of
contributors the narrative hangs together beautifully and engrosses and engages exquisitely.
Even post-production works, with hardly a duff edit offering a pace and flow which beat along
effortlessly. Deft animation, appropriate cinema verité and snappy editing lend themselves to a
production which is composed and well paced and may be truly compared with much of the
best of professional cinema. The acting smacks of ‘real’ and contributes to the film’s sense of
involvement with zany characters (including the imaginary Gillian and the clichéd drunk). As a
result the movie appears effortless to watch and is a captivating tribute to the genuine and
rooted talent of those involved. The zany Potts family are impossible to forget and offer up a
heart-warming British equivalent to Little Miss Sunshine.

Last night’s audience laughed convulsively throughout the film and beamed at the trashy double
marriage ending – even the multiple overworking of the dog’s name ‘Bollocks’ became
endearing in the context of the overall sense of the film. Low quality technology and clichés
apart this film has tragically not been released because of a music rights issue over £75,000
......it is a cruel and sad indictment that what is conspicuously one of the punchiest, most joyful
and genuine of U.K. made films made in years cannot be viewed in the way it deserves. Surely
someone out there can stump up the cash so that we may all share one of the brightest and
most joyous British movies made in years....’bollocks’ and all.

Alan Saunders FEB 08

				
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