The Selfish Giant

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(2013) ★★★½

Film4: Tuesday 20 October, 1.45am

Excluded from school, Yorkshire tykes Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas scrounge for scrap metal in Clio Barnard’s bleak reworking of Oscar Wilde’s tall tale. The boys act like the under-educated and neglected grandsons of Steptoe & Son. And where there’s muck there’s brass.

Sean Gilder’s scrapyard-dog Kitten is the grown-up ‘giant’ in a contemporary fable that burns deep. This isn’t the sentimental social-realism of Ken Loach’s dogmatic agit-prop. At its best, it’s closer in spirit to the cinematic street-poet stylings of Shane Meadows and Lynne Ramsay.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 87min

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