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Photographer Rankin Makes Moving Picture

Funding a debut feature in Britain is a notoriously difficult business. Internationally acclaimed photographer Rankin, the co-director of Lives of the Saints, took a novel approach that has paid divid...

Funding a debut feature in Britain is a notoriously difficult business. Internationally acclaimed photographer Rankin, the co-director of Lives of the Saints, took a novel approach that has paid dividends.

Rankin, the co-founder of trend-setting magazine Dazed and Confused, used his influence in the fashion world to garner financial support for the production from Italian denim manufacturer Meltin’ Pot. That this unique approach paid off is all the more remarkable given that this is a dark and bizarre morality tale set in grimy North London.

It’s testament to the strength of Tony Grisoni’s script and the artistic vision of Rankin and co-director Chris Cottam that the end result is so satisfying. The low-lives of this story are well drawn and entertaining characters, whose attempts to scrape a living are thrown into disarray by the appearance of an otherworldly child. The mute boy seems to have a mystical ability to grant others their innermost desires, a gift which others are happy to exploit, regardless of the consequences.

This is a promising first feature from Rankin, whose production company Dazed Film have a number of other projects in pre-production.  It displays a willingness to take chances with narrative, not falling back on the cockney clichés that sometimes weigh heavily on films based in London. Lives of the Saints is a truly original contemporary fable that defies expectations. 

Lives of the Saints is showing on 16 and 18 August at Cineworld.

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