Art Film Fest to feature profile of British director Alan Clarke

Radical, uncompromising and pioneering. That sums up British director Alan Clarke, one of the greatest artists of his generation. Slovak audiences will get an up-close look at his life’s work at the upcoming Art Film Fest, held from 21 to 27 June 2014 in Trenčianske Teplice and Trenčín. The new section Profile: Alan Clarke will feature the most prominent films from this contemporary of Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and Stephen Frears.

Though today his name has been more or less forgotten (possibly because his career was devoted, with few exceptions, to television), in the 1970s Alan Clarke’s films aroused controversy and even provoked censorship. They criticized society, social institutions, and the government of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.

“He uncompromisingly and at times very provocatively depicted various types of extremism and fanaticism—from rowdy football hooligans, terrorism in Northern Ireland and the lives of inmates in young offender institutions, to radical skinheads’ inability to conform to societal norms,” described the section programmer Daniel Vadocký.

Even decades later, his films have lost none of their relevance, and in many regards, remain unsurpassed. Art Film Fest’s viewers will get to see three of Alan Clarke’s best-known films, which could be described as a loose trilogy on youth violence.

His film Scum in particular caused an enormous uproar. In 1977, when he’d finished the first version for the BBC, censors seized it and suspended it from broadcast. Clarke reworked the film, and two years later it was released cinematically. Telling the story of a juvenile delinquent’s attempts to gain dominance in a young offender institution, the film is full of gritty, naturalistic depictions of violence and psychological abuse. “It was largely in this film that Clarke developed the visual language and expressive elements he would later employ, in altered form, in his work during the following decade,” said Daniel Vadocký.

Clarke’s subsequent masterwork, Made in Britain, was an openly critical slap in the face of society and Thatcher’s regime. It follows a young skinhead who tries to navigate the social welfare system. On one hand he is certainly intelligent enough to remedy his situation; on the other he is too angry at the entire system to actually care. Clarke also introduced the film world to outstanding actor Tim Roth—Made in Britain was his smashing debut.

Clarke ended his directing career with The Firm, both his swansong and his most personal film. It presented an aberrant and spiteful attack on both Thatcher’s Britain and the football hooligans who had tarnished the good name of the sport Clarke had loved since childhood. Gary Oldman excels as the fascinating protagonist. He leads the life of a normal family man, but he is also an avid supporter of his football club, and he takes any opportunity to express his “fandom” physically. This particular screening won’t require a ticket, cinepass or accreditation; admission will be free to all Art Film Fest viewers.
“You’d be hard pressed to find many among the current generation of British filmmakers whose work isn’t inspired or influenced by Alan Clarke. His legacy remains timeless,” concluded Daniel Vadocký.
Art Film Fest 2014 – 22. Medzinárodný filmový festival Trenčianske Teplice/Trenčín
Organizátori: ART FILM, n.o., FORZA, a.s.
Spoluorganizátori: Mesto Trenčianske Teplice, Mesto Trenčín, Kúpele Trenčianske Teplice
Festival sa koná pod záštitou predsedu vlády Slovenskej republiky Roberta Fica.
Festival finančne podporil: Audiovizuálny fond

Hlavní reklamní partneri: Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, SLOVNAFT
Oficiálny prepravca: Hyundai
Logistický partner: DHL
Cinepass pre študentov len za 5 EUR prináša: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa
Reklamní partneri: DWC Slovakia, SEVITECH, LGM, ČEZ Slovensko, Slovak Telekom
Oficiálni dodávatelia: SUNwines, Moët, Barzzuz, ad one, AVI Studio, Print Hall, Tuli
Hlavní mediálni partneri: Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska, Rádio FM, Pravda
Mediálni partneri: Film Europe Channel, Central Europe Television, Rádio Anténa, Rádio Beta,, Eurotelevízia, Forbes, OK!, Kam do mesta, GONG SK,,, BigMedia
Partneri: Európska komisia – zastúpenie na Slovensku, Slovenský filmový ústav, hotel Flóra, Ministerstvo obrany Slovenskej republiky, ŽSD Slovakia, Slovenská agentúra pre cestovný ruch, CzechTourism Slovensko, Asociácia slovenských filmových klubov, AutoCont SK