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||IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 1,469 votes
||Release: 30 July 2004 (UK) /
||Genre: Crime, Drama
||Director: Richard Jobson,
||Stars: Allison McKenzie, Ewen Bremner, Gerald Lepkowski, Iain De Caestecker, Jim Carter, Kevin McKidd, Laura Fraser, Lewis Macleod, Lisa May Cooper, Marcia Rose, Michael Moreland, Noof McEwan, Russell Anderson, Stuart Sinclair Blyth, Susan Lynch
||Synopsis: 16 years of alcohol is about a skinhead named Frankie; his violent childhood, alcoholism and his love for Ska.
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I was not expecting much from '16 Years of Alcohol'. Perhaps an overly
sentimental look back at Scottish urban life, perhaps a neo-realist
bleakness. But when it started with hypnotically beautiful images of
Edinburgh and a voice-over in that recognisable cadence, with repeating
cycles of words drawing out every ounce of meaning from clichés like
"hope"... well, I knew that I was firmly in Richard Jobson territory,
and that maybe he has always been a film-maker at heart. He skirts
cliché while playing with it, trying to show the violence endemic in
that society and making many references to other films ('Clockwork
Orange', westerns, 'Trainspotting', Martin Scorsese, etc.). It is
larger than life and demonstrates how the mythic archetypes shape the
characters rather too small for the roles they want to adopt.
Kevin McKidd is brilliant as "Frankie", a character the amalgam of
Jobson and his brother; I kept forgetting he was not in fact Jobson.
The women are incredibly beautiful and yet have a depth of character
not commonly seen in films that make women into such visual feasts.
They are saviour archetypes but again somehow avoid cliché. How is
Jobson doing this? There is some subtle artistry at work here. The
cinematography is gorgeous and I was glad for the snippet of Skids on
the soundtrack, though 'Love is the Drug' gets the best treatment in a
scene that is both scary and hilarious.
The film is dedicated to Jobson's brother, who did not escape the life
of alcohol and violence and was murdered a couple of years ago. In the
post-film talk at the Dublin Film Festival, Jobson revealed he had in
fact run with the most notoriously violent of Edinburgh's youth gangs,
until Skids took him away from that. This is quite obviously a very
personal film and yet a highly aestheticised interpretation as well.
I did not want the film to end, and would gladly have sat through it a
second time immediately. Maybe it's just where I'm at in my life right
now. Maybe it's because I have spent so many hours over the years
infiltrated by Jobson's aesthetic. Maybe it's just a damned good film.
'16 Years of Alcohol' won Richard Jobson the award for Directorial
Debut at the British Independent Film Awards. It has received glowing
reviews from Time Out, The Guardian, and Sight and Sound. It has played
at festivals the world over. Forget the dismal comments of those too
cynical to enjoy real film-making. See this poetic triumph for
Tags for 16 Years of Alcohol Full Movie
, Ewen Bremner
, Gerald Lepkowski
, Iain De Caestecker
, Jim Carter
, Kevin McKidd
, Laura Fraser
, Lewis Macleod
, Lisa May Cooper
, Marcia Rose
, Michael Moreland
, Noof McEwan
, Russell Anderson
, Stuart Sinclair Blyth
, Susan Lynch
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