A double bill of Brian Hill’s first collaborations with poet Simon Armitage takes us to Leeds on a Saturday Night and into the lives of England’s drinkers – using poetry and song to entertain but also give unexpected insight.
Saturday Night (1996, 50 mins)
Breaking through the boundary between observational documentary and poetic interpretation, Saturday Night was Brian Hill’s first commission for ‘Modern Times’ and his first collaboration with Simon Armitage. Shot in striking black and white, we go in search of the heart of Saturday night through the lives of assorted revellers, ravers, rogues and cross-dressers.
Drinking for England (1998, 50 mins)
Brian Hill and Simon Armitage went on to develop their collaboration with music and sung verse in this hilarious but prophetically cautionary tale of Britain’s drinking habits. Where most documentaries on alcohol intake adopt a moralistic tone, Drinking for England sets out to explore the nation’s number one drug from the drinker’s point of view.
Saturday 15th August: 18.00
Wednesday 19th August: 18.30 + Q&A with Brian Hill
See what else is playing in the Brian Hill Retrospective HERE
Saturday Night (1996)
"Brian Hill’s atmospheric film is a mesmerising trip through four disparate and unconnected lives. The narration, in verse, by poet Simon Armitage brings pertinent comment but no judgement on their choice of activities, yet stops well short of becoming art for art’s sake.” Time Out.
"For those of us who relish the arty documentary as a legitimate and refreshingly different form, Brian Hill’s impressionist portrait of Leeds on a Saturday night was quite a treat. Filmed in striking black and white, underlined with an effectively simple verse narration by Simon Armitage, atmospheric in its way of feeding the particular into the general, the programme managed a hypnotic hold.” The Daily Telegraph.
Drinking for England (1998)
“Overturning the traditionally sober verité documentary style... A genuinely extraordinary and original piece of work.” The Independent on Sunday.
“Probably the cleverest, best and most truthful film about drinking that you’ll ever see. What adds to the film’s honesty are Simon Armitage’s verses, spoken and sung by the participants with a verve that defeats any thought of them being posed or staged.” The Sunday Telegraph.