The Selfish Giant (dir. Clio Barnard, 2013)

Join us for the 4.20 pm screening of this second feature by Clio Barnard, director of The Arbor.

"The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor and his best friend Swifty. Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighbourhood, the two boys meet Kitten, a local scrapdealer, and begin collecting scrap metal for him using a horse and cart. However, when Arbor begins to emulate Kitten by becoming greedy and exploitative, tensions soon start to build, leading to a tragic event which transforms them all.

Inspired by the Victorian fairytale of the same name by Oscar Wilde, the characters of The Selfish Giant are based on people Barnard met while researching The Arbor in and around the Buttershaw Estate in Bradford, including a 14 year old boy called Matty who had been scavenging metal to sell to scrap dealers from the age of 11. Matty had built a makeshift stable in his mum's council house garden to keep his horse who would pull his cart for scrapping, and could make up to £200 a day when scrap prices were high, but his business and livelihood were threatened when the local council threatened to end his family's tenancy if the stable wasn't taken down. By melding together these two contradictory genres, fairytales and social realism, Barnard's aspiration is to tell a contemporary, realist fable.

The Selfish Giant stars Sean Gilder (The Fall, Shameless), Siobhan Finneran (Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Downton Abbey), Lorraine Ashbourne (Oranges and Sunshine), Steve Evets (Looking for Eric), Elliott Tittensor (Spike Island, Shameless) and talented newcomers Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas in their debut acting roles. The film is produced by Tracy O’Riordan (The Arbor, Desh)."    (Film4 website).


We’ll meet on the ground floor just inside the entrance from 4.00pm.  If enough people sign up, we may be able to get tickets on the day at a special discount price.

In case of any difficulty, my mobile is[masked] 9995.

Look forward to seeing you there –


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    A dark and interesting film dealing with the effects of deprivation on two boys and the excesses their environmental pressures led them to in scratching a living at the hands of the scrap dealer/horse and cart racer. The outcome, the death of one of the boys as well as a foal for which the other boy feels deeply responsible provides a catharsis in his chaotic life leading to a redemption of sorts, revealed movingly in the final scenes when he tries desperately to see the boy's mother, eventually succeeding in unlocking his grief enabling him to experience a connection with the world around him through his newly found love of the horse. A film about redemption it begs the question as to how far do desperate humans have to fall in order to achieve inner peace?
    A small group, we went for a meal and had a lively discussion afterwards. Thank you Sarah for the choice of film and everyone for a good evening.

    1 · October 29, 2013

    • Sarah

      Thanks for this thoughtful post Marilyn! Was a great evening. Hope to see you at another film soon.

      October 29, 2013

  • Rosemary B.

    I had a look at some of the film reviews after seeing the film and would particularly recommend the Guardian review as it touches on many of the themes we discussed. I agree a most moving film and a stimulating evening. Thank you for arranging it Sara.

    October 29, 2013

    • Sarah

      Thanks Rosemary! Yes, brilliant evening. I also read that review and thought it was excellent. Hope to see you again soon!

      October 29, 2013

  • Sarah

    As only a few people signed up before the weekend, we won't get the discount (which has to be arranged in advance, and depends on numbers). Sorry folks! Should be a good film though - look forward to seeing you there, even if it's a select few :)

    October 26, 2013

    • Sue H.

      Will be there. Hope to see you and a few others

      October 27, 2013

  • Cathy

    I might just make this one - out earlier in the afternoon, but if i get through I'll try to get to the film.

    1 · October 26, 2013

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