1983: The Red Riding Trilogy Part 3


1h 40m 2009

Brief Synopsis

Another young girl has disappeared and Detective Chief Superintendent Maurice Jobson recognizes some alarming similarities to the abductions in 1974, forcing him to come to terms with the fact that he may have helped convict the wrong man. When local solicitor John Piggott is persuaded to fight thi

Film Details

Also Known As
1983: The Red Riding Trilogy Part Three, Red Riding: 1983
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2009
Production Company
Apparition; Channel 4; Film4 Productions; Lipsync Creative; Midget Entertainment; Noble Entertainment (Sweden); Revolution Films; Screen Yorkshire; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
Frenetic Films; IFC Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Synopsis

Another young girl has disappeared and Detective Chief Superintendent Maurice Jobson recognizes some alarming similarities to the abductions in 1974, forcing him to come to terms with the fact that he may have helped convict the wrong man. When local solicitor John Piggott is persuaded to fight this miscarriage of justice, he finds himself slowly uncovering a catalogue of cover ups.

Film Details

Also Known As
1983: The Red Riding Trilogy Part Three, Red Riding: 1983
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2009
Production Company
Apparition; Channel 4; Film4 Productions; Lipsync Creative; Midget Entertainment; Noble Entertainment (Sweden); Revolution Films; Screen Yorkshire; StudioCanal
Distribution Company
Frenetic Films; IFC Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m

Articles

Red Riding Trilogy - RED RIDING TRILOGY - The Critically Acclaimed TV Mini-Series Comes to DVD


In the first scene of Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, a young reporter covers a police press conference calling for information on a missing 10-year-old girl in West Yorkshire. Over the course of three feature films, which chronicle a decade in the shadow of fear, young girls continue to disappear and a few turn up, dead and in one case with swan wings sewn onto the back of the poor soul, as if to turn her into an angel in death. These murders haunt the films of this trilogy of features (adapted from a quartet of novels by author David Peace), hanging over each story while the police flail about, more concerned with public relations and protecting their power base than protecting their constituency. Until, that is, a serial killer dubbed The Yorkshire Ripper grabs headlines and embarrasses the department into action.

The Yorkshire Ripper and his five-year reign of terror is the real-life backdrop to the fictional story in this film trilogy, which was made for British television and subsequently released theatrically in the United States. While each film is helmed by a different director in a distinctly individual style and each features a different protagonist unique to that story, the trilogy is unified through a single screenwriter (Tony Grisoni) and production team, an extensive cast of characters that winds through the films and the murders that continue to terrorize the populace of West Yorkshire like a plague.

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, directed by Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited), brings us into the story through the clumsy investigation of rookie reporter Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield), a scruffy young man who takes the crime beat with more arrogance and ambition than experience. When a stray comment points him to previous unsolved cases in the area, he thinks he's onto a scoop, as if this hadn't occurred to anyone else. He blunders about, alienating the local cops, upsetting the bereaved mother (Rebecca Hall) of a missing child and ruffling the feathers of John Dawson (Sean Bean), a powerful developer involved in "dodgy land deals" and a particularly cozy relationship with the local cops who double as his private goon squad. What starts as a particularly unsettling murder mystery carries Eddie into a web of corruption, collusion and cover-ups, which makes him particularly dangerous to the men who are really running Yorkshire. In the words of one officer, "This is the North and we do what we want." That threat becomes a rallying cry by the third film.

Red Riding 1974 has little action but a brutal pace that drives the film with a momentum that outpaces the cocky kid. Eddie swaggers into the film with more moxie than moral grounding and ends up its shaky moral center, a would-be hero taking on forces he doesn't fully comprehend. Jarrold shoots the film on 16mm film, a format rarely used today but standard for documentary, news and British dramas and telefilms of the seventies and eighties, and the distinctive texture and color evokes gritty American cinema of the seventies as well as British television like The Sweeney.

James Marsh (Man on Wire) turns to the brighter, harder look of 35mm film for Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, which has even stronger echoes of American films like Serpico and Prince of the City. Paddy Considine takes the lead here as Peter Hunter, an internal affair investigator sent by the Home Office to see why the West Yorkshire police have made so little headway on the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. Even with the local stonewalling and sabotaging of the investigation, all the evidence points to police corruption and cover-up, much to the frustration of his bosses who are looking for a quick resolution, not a whole new scandal.

Marsh shoots the film in theatrical widescreen dimensions yet creates a claustrophobic atmosphere. The team is sequestered in an oppressive, windowless room like a dungeon in the middle of a maze of stairways and hallways, and the film keeps returning to interrogation rooms, anonymous hotel suites and squalid nighttime street scenes, where a maverick priest (Peter Mullan) working with the homeless and the cast-offs, introduces Peter to a street kid with information the police are trying to bury. As in the first film, the ostensible investigation for a killer becomes secondary to the rot that has infected the entire department from the top down to the roots, and if anything the conclusion is even bleaker.

The films build on one another until the institutional corruption doesn't even bother to disguise itself in Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983. Directed by Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie), it opens with a flashback to 1974 that reveals the heart of the police conspiracy before jumping to the present. Little girls are disappearing once again and the man convicted of the murders, a mentally challenged patsy coerced into confessing by the police, is proclaiming his innocence to anyone who will listen ("It's the wolf," he whispers, who killed the girls). When boozy attorney John Piggott (Mark Addy) takes his case, the police go into defensive mode. The truth behind this case of coercion bring down the entire department. Only one officer chooses to justice over power: Maurice Jobson (David Morrissey), a burnout who has been meekly following orders all through the films, can no longer live with these compromise and conducts his own investigation into what the rest of the department has been keeping quiet.

Tucker shoots on high-definition digital video in a style that emphasizes the clandestine deals and hidden truths. He shoots around corners and from behind observers, as if eavesdropping, and uses lens filters that streak the light across the image. Meanwhile the choppy, fragmented style crosscuts across multiple stories, constantly shifts perspective and jumps back and forth in time, reminding us how much past sins weigh on the present nightmare. It's not as confusing as it is simply unsettling, keeping us off-balance as the stories of John Piggott, Maurice Jobson and a street kid named BJ (Robert Sheehan), who has been on the margins of the first two films, all converge in a startling conclusion that satisfies, enrages and confounds the audience at once. By the final scenes, which tip into dream imagery (or perhaps a fairy tale interpretation of events?), we are brought to the end of a devastating epic that refuses to grant absolution to the viewers.

Individually these films are gripping, uncompromising dramas that defy the comfort of a happy ending to put things right. Together, they make up a remarkable saga, a fictional journey through a culture of corruption and collusion, where the reach for power leaves the innocent unprotected from the wolves.

To American audiences, the title is a reference to the famous fairy tale of the wolf on the hunt for an innocent little girl, but to British audiences it carries a second meaning. In Yorkshire, a "riding" is a district, something like a county, and while there is no "Red" riding, the West Riding of Yorkshire indeed becomes red with the blood of victims. It only seems like the mysteries are centered on the hunt for murderers. While the films present victims of the serial killers with restraint and suggestion, the violence of the police (whether intimidating a potential troublemaker on the streets or beating a confession out of a suspect in the interrogation room) is presented with uncompromising brutality. The scale of abuse of power is if anything more unnerving and terrifying than the mysterious killers on the loose. It may be fiction, but this is no fairy tale.

Given the strength of the films, the supplements are something of a disappointment. The anonymously executed 11-minute interview with director Julian Jarrold on "1974," conducted in the blandest of fashions, is the most informative of the pieces. The 18-minute "1980 Behind the Scenes" includes some insightful interviews with the cast and creators but is otherwise indifferently tossed together from production footage. The 6-minute "1983 Behind the Scenes" has even less material, while "IFC Exclusive Behind the Scenes" is simply a three-minute commercial with interview clips recycled from the above featurettes. Given the mix of historical backdrop and fictional stories, some background on the real Yorkshire Ripper, as well as the provincial culture of West Yorkshire and Northern England and the police corruption scandals in England in the eighties, would help American audiences put the films into a context that British audiences already have. These dramas are so powerful and rich on their own merits, however, that this is a minor complaint. It comes down to the movies themselves and these are brilliant. Also includes deleted scenes, TV spots and trailers.

For more information about Red Riding Trilogy, visit IFC Films.

by Sean Axmaker
Red Riding Trilogy - Red Riding Trilogy - The Critically Acclaimed Tv Mini-Series Comes To Dvd

Red Riding Trilogy - RED RIDING TRILOGY - The Critically Acclaimed TV Mini-Series Comes to DVD

In the first scene of Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, a young reporter covers a police press conference calling for information on a missing 10-year-old girl in West Yorkshire. Over the course of three feature films, which chronicle a decade in the shadow of fear, young girls continue to disappear and a few turn up, dead and in one case with swan wings sewn onto the back of the poor soul, as if to turn her into an angel in death. These murders haunt the films of this trilogy of features (adapted from a quartet of novels by author David Peace), hanging over each story while the police flail about, more concerned with public relations and protecting their power base than protecting their constituency. Until, that is, a serial killer dubbed The Yorkshire Ripper grabs headlines and embarrasses the department into action. The Yorkshire Ripper and his five-year reign of terror is the real-life backdrop to the fictional story in this film trilogy, which was made for British television and subsequently released theatrically in the United States. While each film is helmed by a different director in a distinctly individual style and each features a different protagonist unique to that story, the trilogy is unified through a single screenwriter (Tony Grisoni) and production team, an extensive cast of characters that winds through the films and the murders that continue to terrorize the populace of West Yorkshire like a plague. Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, directed by Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited), brings us into the story through the clumsy investigation of rookie reporter Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield), a scruffy young man who takes the crime beat with more arrogance and ambition than experience. When a stray comment points him to previous unsolved cases in the area, he thinks he's onto a scoop, as if this hadn't occurred to anyone else. He blunders about, alienating the local cops, upsetting the bereaved mother (Rebecca Hall) of a missing child and ruffling the feathers of John Dawson (Sean Bean), a powerful developer involved in "dodgy land deals" and a particularly cozy relationship with the local cops who double as his private goon squad. What starts as a particularly unsettling murder mystery carries Eddie into a web of corruption, collusion and cover-ups, which makes him particularly dangerous to the men who are really running Yorkshire. In the words of one officer, "This is the North and we do what we want." That threat becomes a rallying cry by the third film. Red Riding 1974 has little action but a brutal pace that drives the film with a momentum that outpaces the cocky kid. Eddie swaggers into the film with more moxie than moral grounding and ends up its shaky moral center, a would-be hero taking on forces he doesn't fully comprehend. Jarrold shoots the film on 16mm film, a format rarely used today but standard for documentary, news and British dramas and telefilms of the seventies and eighties, and the distinctive texture and color evokes gritty American cinema of the seventies as well as British television like The Sweeney. James Marsh (Man on Wire) turns to the brighter, harder look of 35mm film for Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, which has even stronger echoes of American films like Serpico and Prince of the City. Paddy Considine takes the lead here as Peter Hunter, an internal affair investigator sent by the Home Office to see why the West Yorkshire police have made so little headway on the Yorkshire Ripper investigation. Even with the local stonewalling and sabotaging of the investigation, all the evidence points to police corruption and cover-up, much to the frustration of his bosses who are looking for a quick resolution, not a whole new scandal. Marsh shoots the film in theatrical widescreen dimensions yet creates a claustrophobic atmosphere. The team is sequestered in an oppressive, windowless room like a dungeon in the middle of a maze of stairways and hallways, and the film keeps returning to interrogation rooms, anonymous hotel suites and squalid nighttime street scenes, where a maverick priest (Peter Mullan) working with the homeless and the cast-offs, introduces Peter to a street kid with information the police are trying to bury. As in the first film, the ostensible investigation for a killer becomes secondary to the rot that has infected the entire department from the top down to the roots, and if anything the conclusion is even bleaker. The films build on one another until the institutional corruption doesn't even bother to disguise itself in Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983. Directed by Anand Tucker (Hilary and Jackie), it opens with a flashback to 1974 that reveals the heart of the police conspiracy before jumping to the present. Little girls are disappearing once again and the man convicted of the murders, a mentally challenged patsy coerced into confessing by the police, is proclaiming his innocence to anyone who will listen ("It's the wolf," he whispers, who killed the girls). When boozy attorney John Piggott (Mark Addy) takes his case, the police go into defensive mode. The truth behind this case of coercion bring down the entire department. Only one officer chooses to justice over power: Maurice Jobson (David Morrissey), a burnout who has been meekly following orders all through the films, can no longer live with these compromise and conducts his own investigation into what the rest of the department has been keeping quiet. Tucker shoots on high-definition digital video in a style that emphasizes the clandestine deals and hidden truths. He shoots around corners and from behind observers, as if eavesdropping, and uses lens filters that streak the light across the image. Meanwhile the choppy, fragmented style crosscuts across multiple stories, constantly shifts perspective and jumps back and forth in time, reminding us how much past sins weigh on the present nightmare. It's not as confusing as it is simply unsettling, keeping us off-balance as the stories of John Piggott, Maurice Jobson and a street kid named BJ (Robert Sheehan), who has been on the margins of the first two films, all converge in a startling conclusion that satisfies, enrages and confounds the audience at once. By the final scenes, which tip into dream imagery (or perhaps a fairy tale interpretation of events?), we are brought to the end of a devastating epic that refuses to grant absolution to the viewers. Individually these films are gripping, uncompromising dramas that defy the comfort of a happy ending to put things right. Together, they make up a remarkable saga, a fictional journey through a culture of corruption and collusion, where the reach for power leaves the innocent unprotected from the wolves. To American audiences, the title is a reference to the famous fairy tale of the wolf on the hunt for an innocent little girl, but to British audiences it carries a second meaning. In Yorkshire, a "riding" is a district, something like a county, and while there is no "Red" riding, the West Riding of Yorkshire indeed becomes red with the blood of victims. It only seems like the mysteries are centered on the hunt for murderers. While the films present victims of the serial killers with restraint and suggestion, the violence of the police (whether intimidating a potential troublemaker on the streets or beating a confession out of a suspect in the interrogation room) is presented with uncompromising brutality. The scale of abuse of power is if anything more unnerving and terrifying than the mysterious killers on the loose. It may be fiction, but this is no fairy tale. Given the strength of the films, the supplements are something of a disappointment. The anonymously executed 11-minute interview with director Julian Jarrold on "1974," conducted in the blandest of fashions, is the most informative of the pieces. The 18-minute "1980 Behind the Scenes" includes some insightful interviews with the cast and creators but is otherwise indifferently tossed together from production footage. The 6-minute "1983 Behind the Scenes" has even less material, while "IFC Exclusive Behind the Scenes" is simply a three-minute commercial with interview clips recycled from the above featurettes. Given the mix of historical backdrop and fictional stories, some background on the real Yorkshire Ripper, as well as the provincial culture of West Yorkshire and Northern England and the police corruption scandals in England in the eighties, would help American audiences put the films into a context that British audiences already have. These dramas are so powerful and rich on their own merits, however, that this is a minor complaint. It comes down to the movies themselves and these are brilliant. Also includes deleted scenes, TV spots and trailers. For more information about Red Riding Trilogy, visit IFC Films. by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 2009

Released in United States February 12, 2010

Released in United States February 2010

Released in United States January 2010

Released in United States October 2009

Released in United States September 2009

Released in United States Winter February 5, 2010

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Special Presentations) January 5-18, 2010.

Shown at Rome International Film Festival (Special Events and Screenings) October 15-23, 2009.

Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Special Presentation) February 4-14, 2010.

Shown at Telluride Film Festival September 4-7, 2009.

Based on David Peace's British crime novel series, "The Red Riding Trilogy."

Released in United States 2009 (Shown at AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 30-November 7, 2009.)

Released in United States January 2010 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Special Presentations) January 5-18, 2010.)

Released in United States February 2010 (Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Special Presentation) February 4-14, 2010.)

Released in United States Winter February 5, 2010

Released in United States February 12, 2010 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States September 2009 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival September 4-7, 2009.)

Released in United States October 2009 (Shown at Rome International Film Festival (Special Events and Screenings) October 15-23, 2009.)