Snapshot. Christine (1986) Director -Alan Clarke

Alan Clarke’s Christine is shocking not in its portrayal of drug abuse, but the ability that Clarke affords us his audience of emotional intelligence where the drama unfolds at its own pace without judgement.

SSDD Film Review

“Sometimes we see people talk, but we don’t always hear them.”

Though the title might suggest a film mired in a cliché of social realism, where a backdrop of recession and the current economy are never far away, SSDD plays with those themes, but we get characters who are more than just one-dimensional working class stock. They are also part of the interspersed snatches of dialogue, where peppered conversations with people also form vignettes of the city. SSDD crackles with observational humour from exchanges in cafes about the theoretics of free speech, and later scenes with drug addled dealers that swiftly turn to paranoid ramblings.

The borough of Hackney, in East London is just as much of a central character as the people who live there. The multi-layered landscape of high-rise buildings, council estates, and the loft apartments all within reach of the moneyed, financial district of the City. Phil, (Richard Oldham) a squatter and former rioter and Lee (Samuel Anoyke) recently released from prison, work as security guards, relieving the tedium of the night shift with drugs and tales of the poll tax riots.

In an age of globalisation where wine bars, and gastro pubs have replaced community pubs, at the heart of the film there is a recurring sense of community. Pivotal scenes take place in a working men’s club as opposed to a pub, illustrating a setting where locals are regular customers brought together not just through class, and economic structure, but also through a fear of change. Trying to make sense of a recently reported suicide bomb in the city, Rick (Paul Marlon) taps into what he sees as relevant parallels with the film ‘ Conan the Barbarian.’ Holding court with a half drunk, but still lucid monologue he sees Conan as a folklore hero of the oppressed held under a brutal dictatorship. What could so easily have been an overwrought scene, in a lesser skilled director’s hands, Hall makes good use of the subtle underplay, with Marlon’s perfomance appearing effortless but still engaging.

SSDD explores the sense of loss that is not only attributed to life, but the loss of identity in a transient age.


Lee – Samuel Anoyke
Phil – Richard Oldham
Jermaine – Issac Ewulo
Rick – Paul Marlon
Sophie – Angela Hazeldine
Lynn – Clare Barry


Greg Hall – Director-

Becky Finlay-Hall – Producer –

Nicholas Winter – Cinematography –

Jeet Thakrar – Sound –

Original Score – Jehst -

Photos: Hannah Powell

For information on the films release please go to

Conan The Barbarian 1982 – Director – John Milius