There’s no time like the present, and what greater introduction to the ‘Great British Icon’ series than Shane Meadows, perhaps the greatest British director of this generation. Over the past few years, British cinema has produced some of the finest films of the last decade, and Shane Meadows is partly responsible for it’s increase in popularity.
Truly great British cinema has always had it’s teeth sunk firmly in stories of real people, from Arthur in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz) to Casper in Kes (Ken Loach), and the torch has now been passed to Meadows, who is the creator of some of the most loveable, intriguing and sinister characters in British cinema.
Meadows grew up in Staffordshire, and came from an ordinary working class background. It was when studying performing arts at college where his met collaborator and fellow genius Paddy Considine. All his films, from Small Time to Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee are reminiscent of kitchen sink realism, though it is the quirky humour in his films that is his signature.
Any one who is privileged enough to have heard Meadows speak about his work will agree that there are few who are as passionate yet frank-talking, and who truly understand the medium of cinema without having to over-complicate. (He also says fucking- ALOT)
Meadows has recently turned his hand to television, with two TV series, This is England ’86 and the soon to be aired This Is England ’88, both extensions of This is England, perhaps his finest film to date, and one that cemented his title of absolute bloody legend.
Over the next month, I’ll be exploring some of his finest work, and hopefully creating further understanding as to why this man is the King of the Midlands, and the King of British Cinema. (And more importantly, love of my life.)