Meantime Screen 4 articles

Meantime

1984

Meantime Poster
  • Their doings punctuated by sudden harpsichord trills, the grace notes of the ostentatiously graceless, Leigh's characters exhibit an intriguing combination of opacity and depth. Faces twitching anxiously in close-up, their inner lives shimmer and beckon like fata morganas. It's a measure of how attuned you become to their psychic rhythms that when Mark climactically changes Colin's nickname from "Kermit" to "Kojack" you can tell by the quality of Colin's protest it's a happy ending.

  • What produces a skinhead is the subtle subject of Mike Leigh's powerful and mysterious 1983 feature for British TV, though it may take you most of the film to realize it.

  • Leigh captures the restless, maddening, emasculating, demoralizing stench of poverty and unemployment with an acuity and piquancy that's nearly unrivaled in cinema. Leigh understands the distilled rage such living conditions trigger, recognizing this rage for what it actually is: bottled energy that can't be released.

  • The rhetoric of the long take is already recognizable to the film’s viewers, as it is to audiences of Leigh’s previous and subsequent films. Perhaps the most remarkable of these shots in Meantime occurs earlier, when for a very long time we stare at a broken washing machine from ground level, observing the knees and shins of the Pollock family as they walk around trying to figure out how to fix it.

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