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Monday, March 15, 2010

1234 : Tales of young love and rock and roll dreaming

1234 trailer

1234 the movie | MySpace Video

New British Cinema Quarterly is a scheme that is, in its own words, “Taking the most distinctive and original British feature films and filmmakers from the festival circuit and bringing them to the UK's flagship independent cinemas”. Chapter Arts in Cardiff, presumably, must be a ‘flagship independent cinema’, because this is where we headed tonight to catch the first film to get the NBCQ treatment, 1234.

1234 is a tale of young love disguised as a film about a young indie band dreaming of making it big – but it might possibly be the other way around. Bespectacled guitarist Stevie (Ian Bonar) together with his mate Neil (Matthew Baynton) attempt to break out of the hum drum existence of working in a call centre by forming a band. First they recruit the slightly older and more experienced Billy (Kieran Bew) and slightly scatty bassist Emily (Lyndsey Marshal) - who moonlights as an artist, making sculptures out of hair and creating maps based on a day following strangers around.

The band rehearse in what appears to be a church hall, play gigs in pubs, lay down a demo and send it off to every record company they can think of – then build up a collection of rejection letters from said record companies.

Stevie falls in love with Emily, who in return likes him back – but she has a boyfriend, so the course of true love is not a straight one.

The film is not a Guy Ritchie movie, not a Huw Grant Movie and not even a Billy Elliot move; it is a tale of people having a laugh and making the most of things while living a mundane life but living in hope. There is no happy ending, but at the end we do get a tantalising glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, in more ways than one; you are left with a feeling that maybe things do work out but there is enough of a question mark at the end to generate a warm grin as the credits go up.

This is a directorial debut by Giles Borg, who cut his teeth making music videos. The film was actually made back in 2008, with a little bit of help from the wallet of Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, but is only now getting big screen space due to the New British Cinema Quarterly project.

As part of the NBCQ tours, films are followed by a question and answer session with someone connected with the film. In Cardiff we get the endearing Matthew Baynton, a young and refreshingly honest and down to earth character who gives us a little insight into how the film was made, tales of playing in his own band and a few thoughts on young love.

All in all a thoroughly wholesome and heart warming evening.



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