On Saturday, March 12, 2011 I attended the gala World Premiere of Attack the Block
at the SXSW Film Festival. The sold-out screening took place at downtown Austin's Alamo Ritz. The film was a selection in the Midnighters section.
Set in a "typical" working class neighborhood in gritty South London, this dark comedic drama features a diverse group of teens out to defend their neighborhood from a mysterious unseen force. In my requisite spoiler-free fashion, I can say little more regarding the plot although one can rest assured that this film is NOT what it appears to be at first glance. Executive producer (and accomplished director in his own right) Edgar Wright and writer/director Joe Cornish have teamed up to bring to the screen (finally) a totally unique take on life in hardscrabble London and the restless bands of kids who roam the streets at night.
More than anything, the film establishes a level of authenticity rarely seen in movies that have tackled similar subjects. And it's no wonder why. Director Joe Cornish allowed the kids -- non-professional actors, culled from the neighborhoods in which the story takes place -- to retool the script, writing their own dialogue on the spot ("I wouldn't use words like that, I'd say it this way"). The result is so refreshing and the boys' bonds so dynamic that Attack the Block
breaks through as one of the finest films I've seen all year and my #1 Top Pick of the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.
Writer/director Joe Cornish was joined onstage after the screening for a Q&A by actors Nick Frost and Luke Treadaway, along with executive producer Edgar Wright (director of Shaun of the Dead
, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
). I chatted with Wright and Cornish afterward in the theater lobby.
Here are some pictures I shot during the Q&A and afterward:
GALLERY (15 photos)