The Selfish Giant (2013 film)

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The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant poster.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed by Clio Barnard
Produced by Tracy O'Riordan
Written by Clio Barnard
Starring Conner Chapman
Music by Harry Escott
Cinematography Mike Eley
Edited by Nick Fenton
Distributed by IFC Films
Pigment Movie Pictures
Release date
  • 16 May 2013 (2013-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 25 October 2013 (2013-10-25) (UK)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $943,209[1][2]

The Selfish Giant is a 2013 British drama film directed by Clio Barnard. It is inspired by the Oscar Wilde story of the same name.[3]

Plot[edit]

The film follows the lives of Arbor and Swifty, teenage boys growing up in a poor and run down area of Bradford, northern England. Arbor suffers from hyperactivity disorder, which often gets him into trouble even when it is not his intention. When the boys are suspended from school after a fight, they decide to earn money collecting and selling scrap metal. They quickly realize that stealing copper from telecom, railway, and power utilities can be lucrative.

They sell their scrap to a local scrap dealer, Kitten, who owns at least two horses and competes in amateur harness racing. Kitten allows Swifty to work with the horse, once he realizes Swifty's surprising affection for and natural talent with horses. Kitten also lets the boys borrow a horse and a cart to collect scrap metal.

Arbor is envious of Kitten's kindness toward Swifty. Arbor decides to steal pieces of scrap from Kitten and sell them, along with some other scrap, to a dealer in Huddersfield. The plan ends up backfiring; Arbor is refused entrance at the other dealer, and when he makes a deal with some men who offer to sell the scrap for him, they recognize it as stolen and keep the money. Kitten finds out and physically intimidates Arbor into stealing a specific piece of high voltage electric power transmission wire to make up for his loss. The boys are not fully aware of the dangers of high voltage wire. After Arbor cuts the wire, Swifty helps to lift it, but is electrocuted and killed.

Arbor is devastated and Kitten is arrested, telling the police he is responsible and allowing Arbor to escape blame. Arbor sits resolutely outside Swifty's mother's house until, after several rejections, she allows him to hug her and share their pain. In a final scene, Arbor takes care of the horse Swifty adored.

Cast[edit]

Awards and reception[edit]

The Selfish Giant was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival[4] where it won the Europa Cinemas award.[5] It was also nominated for the 2013 Lux Prize. The film was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[6][7] It won Best Film at the 24th Stockholm International Film Festival in November 2013.[8] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars.[9]

The film was nominated for the 2014 Bafta for Best British Film.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Selfish Giant". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Selfish Giant". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Selfish Giant". Film4. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "List of films in Cannes Directors' Fortnight". Cannes. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cannes: 'Me, Myself and Mum' Takes Home Two Awards From Directors' Fortnight". Hollywood Reporter. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Selfish Giant". TIFF. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Toronto Adds 75+ Titles To 2013 Edition". Indiewire. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Advertisement". Variety. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Peter Bradshaw. "The Selfish Giant – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Ian Youngs (13 February 2014). "The Selfish Giant hopes to defy Gravity at the Baftas". BBC News. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 

External links[edit]