To celebrate the home viewing release of Paul Andrew Williams’s latest film ‘Song For Marion’ I have decided to shine the spotlight once again on the wonderful writer director himself.
Some of you may have read this article before when I first posted it a few months back. Some of you may not have read it.
Song For Marion is still the winner in my ‘feel good film of 2013’and I cant wait to watch it again. Also included on the DVD and Blu Ray are commentary, interviews and other behind the scenes footage which I cant wait to watch.
So here we go, with the help of others who know Paul Andrew Williams. Here is my spotlight article.
Do check out all his work, its highly recommended by me.
Rewind my life, back to 2006. I lived in the same town I live in now, but had a different job. I cant recall which job it was but I do recall something very special about 2006.
As you know, I’m a fan of film and have been most of my life (and if you didn’t how on earth did you find this blog).
Anyways, 2006 I wandered into my local branch of Woolworths and saw on the shelf a film that in all honesty, I hadn’t heard of at the time. That film was “London to Brighton”
As I have been known to do from time to time, I took a gamble on this film and purchased it on the spot.
I dont recall the date I first viewed the film, but I do still remember the fact the film hit me like a punch. To this day (March 13 2013) “London to Brighton” is still one of the most powerful and toughest films that I have seen.
Looking to the source of my latest podcast venture The British Movie Show. It can all be traced back to a small set of films.
“Rise & Fall Of A White Collar Hooligan” (2012)
“Hard Boiled Sweets” (2012)
and “London to Brighton” (2006)
The film tells the hard hitting story of Kelly (wonderfully played by Lorraine Stanley) who is ‘tasked’ with finding an underage girl for one of her pimps friends.
Finding Joanne (a very powerful performance by Georgia Groome) leads them into the sort of world that noone here wants to find themselves in.
A very hard hitting film which is made all the more powerful and grim by the aligning of Paul Andrew Williams’s writing genius and the stunning acting by Lorraine Stanley, Georgia Groome and Johnny Harris as Derek. These four make such an amazing team and even to this day, whilst on Twitter I give them their credit for the film that is “London to Brighton”
Dare I say that “London to Brighton” is right up there as not just one of the best British films around, but as one of the best films around.
Trailer for London to Brighton
From the moment I saw “London to Brighton” those four principle cast & crew have been on my radar and I do seek out all the other projects that they have worked on. For now, lets focus on the wonder that is Paul Andrew Williams.
It was two years before he directed another feature, this time concentrating on a project starring Andy Serkis, and Reece Shearsmith entitled The Cottage which tells us the tale of a botched kidnapping. Featuring a role by “London to Brighton” star Georgia Groome
Trailer for The Cottage
Another two years pass, the Paul Andrew Williams hits us again with another damn powerful and a more realistic film (in my opinion) with the house invasion drama/thriller “Cherry Tree Lane” (2010)
With a running time of only 77 minutes (including credits) this film has no ‘fat’ on it all and every scene, every line of dialogue is slotted perfectly into place.
As with “London to Brighton”, “Cherry Tree Lane” is a difficult film to watch but you just cant take your eyes away from the screen as the cast perform yet another amazing job. It is one of the very few films of recent years that I have actually watched more than once in the same evening.
I do feel this can be a companion piece to “London to Brighton” set in the same world yet telling of different characters in an different even but lacking none of the power that can be viewed when watching “London to Brighton”
Minimal locations. Small cast, and a basic storyline by Paul Andrew Williams adds up to a powerhouse of a film that isnt one to let anyone watch who cant cope with acts of aggression on screen. But rest assured. Anyone who does watch this film will quickly realise that Paul Andrew Williams is the perfect architect when it comes to filmmaking. His attention to detail as well as being able to make a film look like it cost 10 times the sum it actually cost.
Trailer for Cherry Tree Lane
Even looking at this trailer, this is a perfect trailer. Show you the feeling you will experience without showing you all the plot. Filmmakers take note. This is a teaser trailer.
Which brings us nearly to the present day. 2013 saw the release of the first Paul Andrew Williams project that can be shown to anyone. A family friendly Paul Andrew Williams film. A film that has gathered so much love and admiration on its journey from page to the screen. A Song For Marion.
Its rare to see films get so much love nowadays. But A Song For Marion has been talked about by people that dont normally talk about films.
That is such a wonderful thing to see and hear. My own review will be online soon but this article is about Paul Andrew Williams.
Trailer for A Song For Marion
As you gather. I am such a huge fan of the man and his work and have had the pleasure of speaking with him on Twitter from time to time. He once thanked me for the support I give to independent films. For me, supporting talented filmmakers and their films is an easy task. I say what I feel and love to share the finding of hidden gems with other film fans.
It is people like Paul Andrew Williams that do the hard part. Making films for low budgets under pressured circumstances but manage to give us such amazing projects each and every time.
But lets not just read my words. I took the liberty of contacting two people who know Paul and who have worked with him and known him for many years.
The Question I gave them was simple.
I am writing a piece on Paul Andrew Williams. Would you allow me to add a sentence or two from you about the man himself.
From Producer Ken Marshall came the following.
When I first teamed up with Paul I realised he was the ‘real deal’ because I realised he was a unique voice and could be a genuine triple-threat in the British film industry: actor, writer and director. Okay, maybe he doesn’t act that much anymore, but that was what he trained as and it meant that when it came time to directing he had a unique insight into what an actor goes through and he could perhaps communicate with them better than most directors. And this in turn meant that he could get the best performances out of them. So inevitably it gave him an edge when it came to directing a film. And as a writer, Paul is just incredibly talented because he’s instinctual and he can self-generate an incredible amount of scripts, stories, ideas that he can write relatively quickly. He also seems to have an uncanny knack of creating dialogue that rings true, characters that you believe in and care about, and no matter what the genre, there is an honesty and truth to what he writes that is quite rare I think. And Paul is also aware of not being pidgeon-holed into any kind of film or genre; we share the similar need to make a wide variety of films. Very early on in our working relationship, it became apparent that Paul is part of a very select group of talented writer/directors in the UK that can do what he does.
Wonderful words from a man who has worked with Paul Andrew Williams for many years. Thank you Ken.
The next ‘liberty’ I took was contacting Lorraine Stanley who just blasted it off the screen in “London to Brighton” I was pretty nervous about asking her to assist me with this article. I mean “London to Brighton” is right up there as one of my all-time favourite films and thats partly to do with Lorraines performance in the film. Would she say yes to my question. I truly hoped she would as it would mean so much to me to have her words written into an article about Paul. Thankfully Lorraine did give me the time of day and here was her response to my question. Thank you Lorraine. I owe you one.