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ROME FILM FESTIVAL Extra / Official Selectio

Blood, intrigue and corruption in Red Riding Trilogy


One of the high points of the 4th Rome Film Festival, The Red Riding Trilogy was originally chose for the Extra sidebar but added to the Official Selection as a special event, at that it is. Beginning with the originality of the television project produced by the UK’s Channel 4, which was so successful at home that it was picked up by film festivals worldwide as well as for theatrical distribution in numerous territories, including the US.

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The Red Riding Trilogy is unique for its genre. It comprises three films – 1974, 1980 and 1983, which refer to the year in which they’re set – and was shot by three different directors – respectively, Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker – in different formats (respectively, Super 16mm, 35mm and Red Camera HD).

The films are loosely based on the celebrated novels of David Peace, whose work is set against the backdrop of the savage crimes of the Yorkshire Ripper, who killed 13 women in the 1970s.

The television trilogy ironically shows cinematic splendour and sophistication, and is decidedly superior to many of its contemporary theatrical films. Although the three directors worked independently and with their own personal visions, they maintained the unity of the novels, which are among the most acclaimed and most powerful of British crime literature, comparable to the work of American writer James Ellroy.

An effective counterpoint to the grays, greens and dark reds of the Yorkshire atmosphere from the 1970s to early 80s, the films do not hesitate to depict explicit violence, and above all the intrigues and police corruption of that time. As well as references to the serious social problems of the day.

The work has a sociological subtext then, which is partially historical and very psychological. But above all the three works are wonderfully alike in their differences. Two actors appears in all three films: David Morrisey as police officer Maurice Jobson and Peter Mullan as Martin Laws. UK television audiences enjoyed the trilogy, which showed only once in cinemas, albeit successfully.

Moreover, Ridley Scott is currently working on the series – which was originally intended to include the fourth novel as well, but was reduced to three films for budgetary reasons – to make in a single film for the cinema (see news).

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(Translated from Italian)

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