Tag Archives: Jack O’Connell

2015 A Good Year – Happy Hols/New Year From Marlon Palmer (Kush Director)

Marlon Palmer
Director
18.12.15

 

Happy-Holidays

 

Greetings and salutations (Friends, Fans, Associates & Film Lovers),

It’s December (once again, LOL!) and almost time to end this year and bring in another New Year. Well after we have stuffed our faces, drank more than we can handle and immersed ourselves with family we both love and hate – well it’s got to be done!

This year from a film standpoint of view has been good, starting off with the January release of the much-talked about Selma and then Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ in May; two films we worked on. Paramount Pictures actually hired Kush Promotions & PR to market Top Five in 7 cities of the UK and allowed us to manage the budget. To allow us to manage the budget and nationwide-wide campaign was a justification of the 17 years of hard work and determination I have put in developing this business. After May PR work kind of dried up for us as the next big urban releases were from distributors who appear to have an issue with me/Kush; LOL! It appears I have told off the Head of International Marketing at both Sony Pictures and Universal over the years and I have not been forgiven TopFivePoster_smll(daam, I only told them the truth about their poor marketing of particular urban film) well seems like i’m “Blacklisted” – so be it – I will always speak my mind and tell the truth if some don’t like it, so be it! Was upset though, that we missed out on hip-hop films Dope and Straight Outta Compton; Sony & Universal film releases respectively.

Anyway the break away from Film-Marketing/PR was a Godsend (it was needed) as it allowed me to get back fully-focussed on the wide-ranging development of Kush Media. Something I wasn’t truly able to do for two straight years from October 2013 – May 2015 as Kush Promotions & PR became the go-to Specialist Independent PR Company marketing all black films month-after-month here in the UK (shhh! The remuneration was nice though). We also got to work on films like ‘Starred Up’ starring Jack O’Connell and The Maze Runner.

The breakaway allowed me to re-assess things and from that the ‘Kush Film Boutique’ was relaunched and in all that I do (even though it can be hard work) these days; I get the most satisfaction out of seeing the joy, dismay, shock, horror and amazement on patrons faces at our screenings – the wonders of film!

PR/Marketing work paid Kush well, and I strived hard to get to that position and be paid well but during the Top Five campaign earlier this year I realised that I wasn’t enjoying the work, it wasn’t why I started Kush Promotions back in 1998 and sitting in my office managing people (especially some of the difficult people I had to manage across the UK) became all so ‘Soulless’.

I had lost the joy of what I was doing daily and to wrap this part up – I believe in life to truly be successful you have to be fulfilling your life’s purpose and embracing daily the joy of all that you offer – once you lose that joy it’s time to reassess!

Anyway it’s going to be a very exciting end to the year with the massive impending release this week of Star Wars: The Force Awakens starring local Peckham Lad John Boyega whom we star-wars-force-awakens-posthankfully had time to meet whilst managing PR/Marketing for the film “Half A Yellow Sun” last year.

Straight away from speaking to John I knew he would be a star he was so down to earth, well-spoken and assured in his manner – definitely a star in the making and I said so at the time.

I can’t wait to see how well he exudes his persona off the big screen as the character ‘Finn’ in this massive blockbuster film; I’m sure he has done a fine job otherwise we would have heard already especially with all the earlier ignorant social media commotion about a “Black Stormtrooper”.

I won’t even go into that foolishness as it will bring down the tone of my newsletter and inveigle me into talking about dumb people from another galaxy!

Congratulations to rising star John Boyega and all the other British actors in the film (Daisy Ridley), and as a Star Wars fan it’s also great to see the old stars back; Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, Mark

John Boyega

Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and of course Chewbacca.

As you may have guessed I’m a sci-fi nut and love all films that expand our psyche to places unknown in the big ole galaxy. Bring on Superman vs Batman, Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond (with Idris Elba) and daam give me Black Panther now!!

Don’t forget get your tickets for ‘The Force Awakens’ this weekend! I’ve Got Mine

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas, a blessed Kwaanza and a harmonious Eid plus a totally great New Year.

Keep Believing and doing!
Marlon Palmer

The EE BAFTA’S – Winners Round-Up & Usual Diversity Issues!

Written By Graeme Wood
09.02.15

 

BAFTA_Winners

Champagne and back slapping at the ready, it’s another year and another awards ceremony! This years BAFTA film awards held no surprises for anyone who had even a cursory glance through the nominations or looked at award winners so far this year. While there was some worthy winners amongst the technical nominees the big awards could all have been safely predicted ahead of the ceremony.

JK Simmons was a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actor following his mesmerising and powerful performance in Whiplash, as was the critically acclaimed Eddie Redmayne picking up ‘Best Actor’, BAFT_JK-Simmonsfor his touching portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Julianne Moore picked up ‘Best Actress’ but has already received several nominations and prizes for her role in the yet to be seen in the UK movie Still Alice and similarly Patricia Arquette, picking up ‘Best Supporting Actress’, has received several nominations and awards for her turn in Boyhood.

The clear winners of the evening were Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, winning Best Director and Best Film, and James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, picking up ‘Outstanding British Film’ and Adapted Screenplay. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were left running just behind with Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki picking up the much deserved Cinematography BAFTA. While Wes Anderson’s quirky The Grand Budapest Hotel picked up awards for ‘Costume Design, Make-Up, Music, Production and Best Screenplay’. Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash deservedly picked up the awards for its Editing and Sound the two combined in the film to provide a mesmerising back-drop to JK Simmons and Miles Teller’s powerful performances.

The popular Pride was granted some recognition and picked up the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. The EE ‘Rising Star’ Award had strong competition but the public vote went to ‘71s charismatic Jack O’Connell a choice which also seemed popular with the BAFTA audience.
BAFTA_JOConnell&McAvoy

Surprisingly The Imitation Game which has already had many awards and nominations elsewhere failed to pick up anything despite being nominated in several categories. Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ which failed to light up the box office or critics also missed out on any of the big nominations.

The biggest disappointment from the awards however surely came from the nominations themselves and the films that failed to pick up even a cursory nod from the judging panel. It truly astounds that critically acclaimed and popular films such as Amma Asante’s ‘Belle’ failed to receive a nomination, even for its outstanding costume design, or that the powerful and relevant ‘Selma’ failed to be recognised by the panel. Surely when you have a British talent like David Oyelowo giving a strong performance that is critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic it deserves to be recognised? There is also a strong argument that Timothy Spall’s outstanding performance in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner deserved a place in the Best Actor category.

All eyes are now on the 87th Academy Awards which take place on the 22nd of February, will Boyhood continue its run of wins as Best Picture or will the inclusion of Selma see an Academy turnaround? Can Richard Linklater nab the Best Director Oscar or will Wes Anderson see recognition for The Grand Budapest Hotel. David Oyelowo is missing again from the Best Actor nominations so we might see Eddie Redmayne continue his winning streak although the inclusion of Bradley Cooper and American Sniper’s strong box-office performance may be a surprise winner. Julianne MooreBAFTA_JulianneMoore seems likely at this point to walk away with Best Actress and I’d be very surprised, and a little disappointed, if JK Simmons doesn’t come away with Best Supporting Actor. Patricia Arquette seems likely to continue her winning streak as Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood, though Emma Stone is also a hot contender for her performance in Birdman. While the wonderful Lego Movie managed to pick up Best Animated Feature at this year’s BAFTA it’s bizarrely been missed out of the Oscar nominations so don’t be surprised if Big Hero 6 walks away as this year’s winner.

John Stephen’s and Lonnie Lynn’s ‘Glory’ from Selma has been nominated and is expected to win this year’s ‘Best Song’ Oscar but wouldn’t it be fun if ‘Everything is Awesome’ from the Lego Movie won instead?

It all depends of course on how much relevance you place on the nominations, awards and industry panels against your own preferences and views. Away from the plaudits, box office and competition a bigger issue lay in the representation of our culture and the industry itself. Looking at the BAFTA audience, nominees and winners all many viewers could see were row after row of Caucasian faces and surely this can not be an accurate representation of the diverse body of filmmakers or challenging films that have been produced throughout the last year.

Not so long ago the nominees and audience were full of fresh new hopefuls like Adam Deacon, Noel Clarke, Chiwetel Ejifor, Sophie Okonedo, David Harewood, Idris Elba and some of these have adam_deaconsubsequently found more prominent opportunities and work abroad rather than in the UK. The broadsheets have been quick to point out the lack of diversity from the BAFTA ceremony, particularly Chris Bryant in his column for the Independent. New initiatives (especially from the BFI & TV sector) have become meaningless, which are not worth their weight in hope.

So the debate meanwhile continues but none the less as we have seen over the years there is no significant change. However, it is evident that more work and career opportunities leading to prestige international exposure for minority film industry personnel would certainly bring a higher diversified profile to the UK film industry and so the question must be asked of BAFTA why no recognition for films like; Selma, Belle, Honeytrap, Second Coming and the many other diverse cinema offerings produced from a home-grown pool of black, Asian and minority ethnic talent. A recent Taking Part survey concluded that black and minority ethnic participation in the arts lags nearly 10 per cent behind white participation. It’s a disturbing under-representation for a community that consists of 12 per cent of the total population.

If this year’s BAFTA’s failed to totally represent the cinema audience or the UK talent pool it did however signal a growing strength and confidence in British film making which can only be for the good of the industry as whole (we hope?).

Read Chris Bryant MP Independent Newspaper article here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/baftas-2015-britain-is-diverse-so-why-is-our-tv-and-film-so-overwhelmingly-white-10034762.html

Busy, busy, Its going to be an exciting 2014!

21.03.14

Hello Film Lovers,
I hope all is well and good,
Do we have some good film news for you!

Good to be finally communicating with you as it’s been such a busy 2014 already and wow it’s almost the end of March already – this year has just raced along and we here at Kush have just about noticed; as right now we are in film heaven and work overload.

We are currently working on the marketing for two big new films which we want to tell you all about and hopefully you will decide to go and see them yourselves and also give us your feedback once seen.

The first film is STARRED UP (18) a very, very serious new British film depicting a startling view of prison life and how it affects young people (our young people), watching this film made me suddenly become thoughtful about all the young men and women now growing up angry without adequate or in some cases no parental guidance at all and finding themselves incarcerated.

Prison life is brutal and vicious and somewhat not geared to rehabilitation, it’s a miracle that some do find their way in life after incarceration.

Did you know that at the end of June 2013 there were 6,262 prison inmates in prisons in England aged 18-20 (7%).  10% of the prison population are aged 18-25 and 21-24 yr olds made up 15% of the prison population (12,822).

Black and Black British people made up 2.8 percent of the population but 13.2% of the prison population.

STARRED UP depicts prison life plainly, thrillingly and of course shockingly but in such a real-to-life way that the deeper you go into the film you really begin to understand the young lead characters PrisonWalkangry need for violence and you even absolutely feel sorry for him at the end.  Many young children in jail are products of their environment and know no better and only know one way of how to protect themselves and their fragile vulnerability.     

 

At the beginning of this week Kush organised a press screening and invited all the hot influential young entrepreneurs running media business along with a few older media & press personnel and as far as I know everyone that has seen the film young and old has been totally gripped, startled, excited and finally praising of the film (women and men alike), it’s also quite funny in places. It’s a must see – I say!

It is one of the best British films I have seen in a very long time and the star turn performance by young Jack O’Connell (Skins) is worthy of a rising star tag!  The supporting cast of David Ajala, Ashley Chin, David Avery, Rupert Friend  & Anthony Welsh

Starred Up is In UK cinemas from today: Friday 21st Marchtry it you may like it!
I Loved it!

You can find out more info on the film on our New Releases and Film Review pages.

STARRED-UP-_quad-posterFINARelease Date: March 21st 2014 / Certificate: 18
FIND YOUR LOCAL CINEMA BY CLICKING HERE

 Make sure to check-out the Kush review for Starred Up
You can also follow ‘Starred Up’ on Twitter @starred_up

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The other film we are working on is “Half Of A Yellow Sun”, a new epic super-dooper Nigerian film starring Oscar Winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton (Crash), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls)  & young John Boyega (Attack The Block). I know many of you are familiar with the story through the award winning novel written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who has again recently won an American literary award for her new novel Americanah, which allegedly Lupita Nyong’o is in talks with her to make into a film.

Half Of A Yellow Sun directed by Nigerian Biyi Bandele known for his theatre work may be the film that takes Nollywood to Hollywood, this is no low budget film it’s a sprawling epic piece of filmmaking that has great performances from the cast and I think this is easily one of Thandie Newton’s best career performances.

I will be letting you all know all about the upcoming premiere which we are working on where Chiwetel and others from the cast will be present.

Half Of A Yellow Sun will arrive in UK cinemas on 11 April 2014.

I am expecting the African and African-Caribbean communities to unite and come out in force to support this film and give it great box office figures upon release confirming the arrival of larger budget size black films from the continents of Europe and Africa.

BombsBlow_HOAYS
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lanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Joseph Mawle), an English writer.

Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.

Based on the award-winning best seller by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is the feature film debut from London based Nigerian playwright, novelist and screenwriter Biyi Bandele. Starring Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), BAFTA-winner Thandie Newton (Crash), BAFTA-nominee Joseph Mawle (Birdsong), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) and John Boyega (Attack the Block).

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN is an epic love-story weaving together the lives of four people swept up in the turbulence of war, produced by Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films (The Last King of Scotland).

A FILM BY BIYI BANDELE | BASED ON THE BESTSELLING NOVEL BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

STARRING: THANDIE NEWTON | CHIWETEL EJIOFOR | ANIKA NONI ROSE | JOSEPH MAWLE | JOHN BOYEGA |GENEVIEVE NNAJI | ONYEKA ONWENU

Release date: 11 April 2014

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Well that’s me for another month; got lots of work to do which includes the continued development of kushfilms.com so be prepared to see some new changes happening to the site over the course of the next two-three month with new pages & sections that we hope you will like and enjoy using.

If there is anything I can do to help you in your film industry career then please let me know?

advice on best career routes, how best to promote and market your film, where to look for government funding, film exhibition etc then please feel free to send me an email: info@kushfilms.com

Best

Marlon Palmer
Director

Starred Up: Film Review

 

STARRED-UP-_quad-posterFINA FIND YOUR LOCAL CINEMA BY CLICKING HERE

NB – This app allows you to view the trailer and then find cinemas near you (using your location or inputting the post code); you can also check out showtime’s. Once you’ve found the right cinema and correct showtime you can click on that link to book your tickets which then takes you through to the film booking page on the cinema venues website.

 

Written by Leslie Pitt
20.03.14

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend, David Ajala, Anthony Welsh & Ashley Chin

One of the reasons Alan Clarke’s Scum remains in the British psyche, is down to how relentlessly unyielding the film is. Like so much of Clarke’s work, the film details a broken social system and its disparate underclass with a potency that has become difficult to match. Texts such as NEDS (2011) and the works of Shane Meadows have come exceedingly close. We’ve also seen the London gangster movie (and football hooligan sub-genre) cumbersomely littering supermarkets everywhere yet do little to penetrate the consciousness further. Clarke’s film remains a constant reminder of the some of the sordid crevices we like to ignore.

Starred Up enforces itself upon the viewer like a 35 year old update of Clarke’s original texts. Infused with a fierceness sparked by Jack O’Connell’s savagely raw central performance, Starred Up does well to pose difficult questions to current justice system without resorting to easy answers. Despite the grimness of the subject matter, the portrayal of such a difficult protagonist is a riveting one.

Based on screenwriter Jonathan Asser’s own experiences as a volunteer for HM Wandsworth, Starred Up illustrates the difficulties of rehabilitation which was seen with Clarke’s earlier Scum.  Higher-ups clash over their convictions of how to deal with the prisoners. O’Connell’s Eric is powder keg waiting to blow, but the screws can only envision cruelty as discipline. Oliver (deceptively played by Rupert Friend) spies the possibility of reformation but is held-back by red tape.  Eric’s father Neville (Mendelsohn) is a particularly dangerous part of the equation, as he is the epitome of the institutionalised man.

As with such narratives, Eric has  demons and angels on either flank pushing him towards the side they favour, highlighting the films main theme – control. Through the complicated prison hierarchy, -Jack O Connell playing Eric and Ben Mendelsohn playing Nevilleto the anger management tasks given during the group therapy, nearly every scene is an example of combating or maintaining control over masculinity and aggression.  David MacKenzie and cinematographer Michael McDonough encompass this by encasing the film in tight, cagey close ups.

It’s O’Connell that is the main draw here, with a snarling performance that is reminiscent of Tim Roth’s teeth gnashing display in Made in Britain. O’ Connell’s Eric doesn’t hold the same intelligence as Trevor, but inhabits a ferocity that’s no less intense. O’ Connell, whose best known as mouthy delinquent James Cook in TV’s Skins, continues his impressive work here, balancing his aggression with the same devil may care swagger that made him the most memorable characters of the Skins series.  Ben Mendelsohn once again delivers his own particular brand of manic energy to a father role that could have been a lot more typically conveyed. Much like the films plot – which comes across more like rugged vignettes than a conventional plot – Mendelsohn adds an unpredictability to scenes that ratchets the tension to formidable levels.

MacKenzie’s film also delivers wise choices with the lesser known supporting cast. David Ajala and TheGroupAnthony Walsh (My Brother the Devil) invigorate supporting roles that are often considered as thankless. Their characters are not just lip service to a white anti-hero, but well formed secondary characters. The suggestion that these characters have benefited from therapy is a factor of importance when we place their ethnicity into consideration. The sight of urban characters providing an alternative to violence, while not being nurtured themselves is an important and welcoming element.

At its lesser moments Starred Up comes off as slightly televisual and those well versed in British film may wonder why we need another grim and gritty feature. However, the film at its best is a tense and authentic drama with a surprising amount of dark humour. Starred Up observes the limits of control being pushed to breaking point with effectiveness.  MacKenzie never takes his eyes off the prize, dealing ideas of civility along with the rattled cages of the snarling dogs. Many bemoan the British fixation on grit and grime. The thing is, it’s tough when we make them quite well.

Read about the production of the film Click Here
© Kushfilms.com 2014

Follow Starred Up on twitter @Starred_Up

New Much Talked About British Prison Drama STARRED UP hits UK Cinemas: 21 March 2014

 

IN CINEMAS NOW

Find Your Local  Cinema Here: https://starredup.foxfilmbookings.com/


STARRED-UP-_quad-posterFINA
When Eric, a young man whose native language is violence, is prematurely moved to an adult jail (“starred up” in prison speak), he enters an environment where secret lines exist between different strata of the pecking order and a careless glance or a word can lead to bloodshed.

When Eric tries to assert himself by going on the attack, the prison kingpin assigns an older man, Nev, to watch over him. Nev, whom Eric has not seen since the age of five, is Eric’s father. Behind bars, Nev has created a new kind of family in the narrow world of the prison wings. He wields considerable authority, but not over his son, who resents Nev’s attempts to control, influence and protect him.

Eric battles to assert himself against the prison officers. He goes through territorial conflicts with other inmates and is forced to challenge the unfamiliar and unwelcome paternal authority of his own father. Through these struggles, he learns that there are smart options beyond hidden razor RupertFriend_smllblades and brutal force. A lone prison psychotherapist, Oliver (Rupert Friend), brings Eric into his therapy group comprising a small, tight unit of inmates who are learning to confront and control their anger and murderous impulses.  They share their pasts in therapy and spar with each other in boxing training and workouts. They offer Eric something he has never experienced before: the promise of trust and maybe even friendship. Oliver and the group help turn a mirror on Eric’s anger and expose its origins in parental abandonment.

Hope and change are strange new forces for Eric: his years coming up through Care, Secure Units and then a Young Offenders Institution have taught him to trust no-one and to attack rather than to listen. Can Eric complete his journey of transformation through the rivalries and hatreds, the visible and invisible barriers that dominate prison life? Can the boy learn enough to save himself and reconcile with his father in any way? As Eric smashes the rules – first with the prison officers and then with the prison kingpin – he becomes marked as “trouble” by both sides, putting himself in grave danger since the officers and the prison mafia are secretly in cahoots, and have ways of making prisoners who are trouble disappear.

About the Film PrisonWalk

Starred Up” is a powerful film that turns an unflinching eye to the cruelty depicted within the fictional prison walls, while at the same time revealing hidden layers of camaraderie and hope amidst the violence. The focus is on emotional truth not stylization or glamorization. Also woven into the narrative are details about prison life that we have not often seen before, details which are revealed here with authority. Despite the tensions within the film, director David Mackenzie’s perspective is ultimately a compassionate one.

Rising star Jack O’ Connell gives Eric an edgy, unpredictable energy that carries much of the story, and his plight is framed by two opposing forces: his father and his therapist. Australian veteran actor Ben Mendelsohn creates an explosive picture of a man twisted by the system and unable to prove himself as a father. Mendelsohn, who gave a terrifying performance in the multi-award-winning “Animal Kingdom”, shows STARRED-UP_Father&Songreat sensitivity beneath the violent façade. At the other extreme is Eric’s therapist, portrayed by Rupert Friend, a character who might just crack, and who may have a secret history of violence. In a way that reflects the protagonist’s own experience, we the audience don’t know who to trust – father, therapist, or neither. 

In an attempt to capture the tension and raw immediacy of the story, Mackenzie shot the film in sequence and edited with a two-editor crew – including long term collaborator Jake Roberts – to get results almost immediately after they were shot.  This energy is amplified by Mackenzie’s careful preparation with the cast who were given the freedom to explore the material and inhabit their characters, producing performances that are alive and unpredictable. 

This, along with the use of an almost fully intact former prison (with subtle and detailed production design by Tom McCulloch) creates a picture of a real environment. This is complemented by cinematographer Michael McDonough ASC, who worked closely with director and cast to capture the atmosphere and nuances of the story, giving it an unexpected human warmth.

With “Starred Up”, we see a filmmaker achieving maturity, paradoxically through his embrace of greater simplicity. We also see the emergence of a new energetic and important talent with O’Connell creating what may be his signature role in years to come. 

The Group

TheGroupAnthony Welsh (“My Brother the Devil”, “Red Tails”, “Comes A Bright Day”), who plays Hassan, Ashley Chin (Victim) who plays Ryan and rising actor David Ajala (“The Dark Knight”, “Fast and Furious”), who plays Tyrone, are in the therapy group set up by Oliver and joined by newcomer Eric.

Anthony and David hadn’t previously worked together but “we did a screen test together,” says Anthony, “and pretty soon we were finishing each other’s sentences. There’s only one scene in which we don’t appear together. That was actually quite emotional.” That instinctive bond is vital to the dynamic of the prison therapy group of which they are key members.

“The whole essence of that group,” says David, “is ‘I won’t give you the answer, you have to find the answer for yourself.’ It’s tough love for Eric. That world is really heightened, claustrophobic. There’s no outside world, which means that every little thing is important. Something that wouldn’t be noticed on the outside just erupts in that environment. You can never switch off.”  Says Anthony: “With all the characters in the film, there’s an outer life, how you carry yourself on the wing and in the group, and then there’s an inner life as well. You see Tyrone and Hassan in their cell, drinking tea, having a little smoke, or working out. That’s intimate. It’s the opposite of how you have to be the rest of the time.”

Director Mackenzie’s plan that the actors should practically live in the prison had benefits says Anthony: “It really took time to think of that place as a film set. The first time I stepped into a cell and the door closed I just stood there for five minutes, trying to take it in, thinking about the people who’d been in there, the writing on the wall… You have to be match fit for this kind of filmmaking. David doesn’t do many cuts; it’s just ‘go again, go again, go again’. I think that keeps it real. You watch this and you think, ‘these guys are serious’.”

GET TO KNOW ‘PRISON SPEAK’ – A GLOSSARY

  • ACKI – fellow Muslim BACON – any type of sex offender BAG HEAD – heroin addict CLUMP – hit
  • CSU (Care and Separation Unit) – solitary confinement DOUBLE BUBBLE – two for one
  • FRAGGLE – vulnerable prisoner
  • GWAP – money
  • KANGA – prison officer
  • KICK OFF BACK DOOR – anal sex
  • MUG OFF – show disrespect OFF – kill
  • STARRED UP – premature transferral from juvenile to adult jail
  • STRAIGHTENER – pre-arranged fist fight
  • TECH – mobile phone TOP – kill

READ THE KUSH FILM REVIEW HERE

Follow Starred Up on Twitter @Starred_Up