If you decide to catch a short film in March, you would do well as a denizen of York to seek out The Great Yorkshire Bank Robbery, an entertainingly nasty little film.
The soon-to-be-released film is a Malcolm McDonagh-esque black comedy featuring a cast of wonderfully horrid characters. And, it is shot throughout the city of York boasting an entirely local cast and crew. For easy access, it’s also set to premiere at York’s own Picturehouse cinema.
The director of the film Jack Spring is a 19 year old Londoner and at that tender age has become one of the first teenagers to direct a seven-figure budget feature film.
Currently running just over 30 minutes, the comedy focuses on a group of York-based criminals. The six men involved are dramatically different, ranging in character from relatively relatable to violent and sadistic. With these volatile personalities involved, the biggest question is not whether they can pull it off, but whether or not they can actually trust one another.
The rough cut seen at the preview screening still has some editing to be done, which the crew were keen to stress to the small gathering in attendance. So, there were a few minor issues with colouring and audio that were evident at the time of the showing.
However, this did little to detract from the film’s effect. It’s clear this is a production team who know what they are doing.
The camerawork and overall visual style are sharp, particularly in one memorable scene that takes place in a public bathroom.
The most essential aspect of the film, though, are its characters. The actors involved are all very talented, and do excellent work making their characters engaging and memorable despite their small amount of time on screen. Look out, in particular, for the actor playing Fox. He is the cleverest and nastiest of the robbers and delivers an unnerving performance that pulls the focus each time he’s on screen.
The black comedy tone of the film shines through and there are some very funny moments amid the threats and deception. One of the strongest sequences involves two characters arguing over a bottle of bleach, and the very different ways they each intended to use it. Another memorable scene involved a six pack of yoghurts, and may be the worst advert for Petits Filous ever.
I shan’t give away more of the plot, but be assured that The Great Yorkshire Bank Robbery is an inventive, darkly funny film that showcases the sort of filmmaking talent that York has to offer. If you decide to head to the premiere, you will be in for a treat.