Hinterland: An Arthouse Journey

A new arthouse film is set to be released from a debut director.

Directed by: Harry Macqueen

Written by: Harry Macqueen

Starring: Harry Macqueen, Lori Campbell

Release date: February 27

The feature debut of British director and producer Harry Macqueen follows two childhood friends who escape from the city for a nostalgic journey through the countryside.

Hinterland, without a doubt, is an arthouse picture and the film begins with long takes of items around a house with calm, relaxing music over the top.

Immediately, through the long takes, it becomes clear that this picture fits within the arthouse genre.

Long shots are a common element of any arthouse films and Hinterland upholds to the characteristics of an arthouse picture.

Throughout the film, there are lots of long takes of nature and the surrounding areas and the occasional still shots that add to the arthouse feel.

Written, directed, produced and starred Harry Macqueen, the film can be seen as a road trip story and there are countless shots of them driving on motorway roads and country roads.

As the film began (in London) it was not clear at first what the relationship between the two characters was and it really made you think whether they were related or childhood friends.

As it progressed, it becomes clear that they are childhood friends who haven’t seen each other for a few years.

The relationship between them began to make a little bit more sense and through the shots it was hinted that the feelings were more on his side rather than mutual.

Lola, played by Lori Campbell, was a carefree, Erasmus student who loved taking pictures throughout the entire film and played guitar.

It became clear that her parents have recently separated and could have been the reason why she is back in the UK but the reason was never really explained.

Campbell was a very talented actress and showed that she can play the guitar and sing at a talented level.

Harvey, played by Harry Macqueen, was more of the quiet type, not really saying much but through the use of shots and music, you can easily understand that he has romantic feelings for Lola but knows that they aren’t reciprocated.

They are both very similar characters in the sense that he is an aspiring writer and she writes music and also the fact that they have both not been writing much in the space of them not seeing each other and they are two people who are trying to find their way through life.

There was only a few minor character developments throughout where we learnt some background of them but it wasn’t essential.

The relationship between them was obvious through long takes and the minimal dialogue

There seemed to be a lack of a narrative but that is typical of an arthouse film.

It is not the linear narrative found in any Hollywood film and not much was explained as to why these two characters were in a car going to Cornwall and then suddenly back to London.

In keeping with the arthouse theme, the film consisted of beautiful shots, and in particular, there was a shot of them inside the house but it was shot from the exterior and could see what they were doing through the lights being turned on in each room.

This was a truly unique and brilliant shot. As well there were shots of the two characters but their voices did not match what was happening on the screen, which really reinforced the arthouse theme.

Music, produced by Graham Hadfield, plays a vital role. The indie music helps to reinforce the indie/art house film and the film had a great soundtrack.

One criticism was that the script was quite amateurish but as the film had already made it obvious that it was not a Hollywood blockbuster, it was something that needed to be mentioned but didn’t really make much of a difference.

The film was brilliantly and beautifully shot and through the long take shots, the audience are able to get a whole narrative just from the shots and therefore the script didn’t need to be perfect.

Hinterland had an unexplained ending and it was up to the audience/viewer to decide what happens to the characters. Do they meet again? Do they stay together?

The ambiguous ending emphasised the fact that the film is an arthouse picture.

Throughout the film, Lola is seen taking photos of their journey together and during the final credits those pictures are shown as the credits roll which added a nice touch to the end.

Hinterland is officially released on February 27 and will be on a full cinema run in all Curzon Cinemas across the country.

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