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Red Riding Trilogy

Submitted by admin on July 1, 2010 – 4:51 pmNo Comment
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The Museum of Fine Arts will screen all three of the Red Riding films, a trilogy of British mysteries, starting Friday and running until Monday. It’s certainly the year for excellent movie trilogies featuring bizarre murderers and unconventional detectives. This is evident from the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy (slowly rolling out this summer) and the Red Riding Trilogy, the latter based on a quartet of book themselves based on serial murders and police corruption in the UK in the 70s and 80s.

The films will screen as follows:

Red Riding 1974

Fri, July 2, 7:00 pm. and Mon, July 5, 11:00 am.

Red Riding 1980

Sat, July 3, 7:00 pm and Mon, July 5, 1:00 pm.

Red Riding 1983

Sat, July 3, 9:00 pm. and Mon, July 5, 3:00 pm.

The Red Riding Trilogy comprises three films and while each stands on its own, they all have different directors, and as a combined experience the end result seems epic. The thing is, any one of the films will provide top notch procedural murder mystery thrills, and the combined time taken to breathe in the entire series is around six hours. If you put a priority on excellent cinema the Red Riding Trilogy is a good place to start.

All three films are written by Tony Grisoni adapting four novels from author David Peace. Peace holds acclaim in the UK for his novels that include The Damned United, itself made into a captivating film starring Michael Sheen as an esteemed English soccer. The novels that form the Red Riding Quartet - Nineteen Seventy-Four, Nineteen Seventy-Seven, Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty-Three - have been compressed into the three films without any real loss of continuity. The gist of the elongated story concerns corruption among Yorkshire police while the entire story’s set against events mirroring, although fictionalized, a serial killing spree known as the Yorkshire Ripper murders. Much of the atmosphere of all three films rests on a kind of sullen attitude that defines this area.
Each director works with a different cinematographer and brings the films distinctive looks. Two are lensed in 2:35 and the directors all find imagery that compliments their respective vision of the rather dark tale. Julian Jarrold (1974), James Marsh (1980) and Anaud Tucker (1983) all have fresh spin on the subject. Marsh, helmer of the best documentary of the last decade Man on A Wire, in particular finds shots that show the characters in relation to their environment.

Red Riding 1974 has elements of the police corruption and psycho murders as investigated by neophyte but talented reporter Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield, seen in Boy A and Lions for Lambs). We’re introduced to a cornucopia of characters, some of whom pop up in the various films and some who undergo short tragic lives.
Of all three films Red Riding 1980 was the one that cemented by respect of these films. The procedural element takes precedence in RR1980 and propels the story through changes that you never see coming. RR 1983 has the lightest tone and is fronted by previously unseen Mark Addy. Segments that seemed inconsequential in the first installment take on new and horrifying meaning.

- Michael Bergeron

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