'Red Riding'

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'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:28

as something of a johnny come lately to the books, with them still fresh and awful in my head I'm dead proper looking forward to the tv adaptations

they look quality, the casting definitely is and the smarter telly types are heralding it as being on a par with 'our friends in the north', for grit and ensemble chops, and saying it compares favourably with the best of contemporary american crime drama

such is my expectation I'm kind of fearing it'll fail or fall short of the horror pictures that have played out behind my eyes while reading the books

some of the events in the books seem unfilmable for current british telly- even if just intimated at- I can't imagine they'd play in the cinema either if shot as written

but I'm excited all the same

it'll be different but it's still the same stories, the same corruption and violence and dark heart

I carn't wait

http://redriding.channel4.com/

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 36631.html

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by a layer of chips » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:29

Ah, I saw a trailer for this the other day, yeah. Looks good.

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by lynsosaurus » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:33

i wasn't aware of the books, but the trailer makes this look really good. telly!

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by Paquito » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:42

I'm looking forward to this immensely. I've not read the books, but the cast is stellar and anything with Paddy Considine in it has got to be worth watching.

They've only filmed 3 of the books haven't they? Is it 1977 they've not done? I should know this as I read it in the Radio Times last week but have clearly forgotten!
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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:21

it is '1977' they've not done and as this is the one I'm reading now I'm confused as to how characters from '1974' apparently turn up again in '1980' when they simply shouldn't... I suppose all will be revealed or I've got the wrong end of the stick

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by Big Nose » Thu Mar 05, 2009 23:08

Blimey. That was a bit intense and good wasn't it?
My apple pies go off today.

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by alex_cornetto » Fri Mar 06, 2009 01:17

Big Nose wrote:Blimey. That was a bit intense and good wasn't it?
That was fantastic. Not read the books, but obviously will be getting onto that pretty soonish!

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by a layer of chips » Fri Mar 06, 2009 06:55

I fell asleep. Bollocks. Are they three separate stories? Or are they connected?

linus

Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 09:00

they're connected by certain characters but I reckon you could watch next week's without having seen last nights

I found it really frustrating and disappointing- last night's episode completely diluted peace's novel to a rather hackneyed 'big villainous baddy' plot- they merged at least 4 (5?) characters into one (the sean bean one) and cut out important incidental characters and events

I appreciate that may be because of time constraints and budget but if it means telling a very different story and pretty much coming up with an edgy but formulaic crime drama rather than something more complex and powerful like peace's book perhaps they shouldn't have bothered

the real horror of Eddie's predicament in the novel is he never seems to quite grasp the enormity of the situation he's in until it's too late- the John Dawson character is a pivotal but minor one who I don't recall having any dialogue in the book and the resolution (without giving it away) to the child-killings occurs in spite of the police and Eddie's investigation and not because of either of them, Eddie's final action in the book is down to him having nowhere further to go and finding himself completely submerged in the corruption and horror he's uncovered

telly not as good as books shocker!

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by Paquito » Fri Mar 06, 2009 09:27

I was waiting to hear Andy's take on it as someone who's read the books recently before commenting myself, and it's interesting to read what he says.

So as for myself, I found it disappointing too. I'm all for the slow burn when it comes to things but it didn't get going at all until, perhaps surprisingly, the Sean Bean character turned up (surprising in that I've never really rated him, though at least he could show off his whole range of accents in this film...) and then when dots were joined and things started happening it was more successful.

The trailer for next week suggested it'll be better. Lots of Paddy Considine I hope.

I'd like to read the books too. I've had GB84 for ages as well, I guess the 25th anniversary of the miners' strike is as good a time as any to start it.
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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 09:46

a lot of them's that know reckon it's his best work (GB84) and his bleakest- apparently when he was doing readings from it at bookshops and so on he'd read from the last few pages of the book explaining 'that it wouldn't give anything away because everyone knows how it ended'

I really felt they fudged it last night, thinking of the final few chapters ('hell week') when Eddie begins to understand everything that's taken place just as his life unravels and all the violence and depravity that occurs, well, it didn't really shift gears in that sense and the counterpoint in the book is that all this is occurring in the run up to christmas: Eddie's entering the heart of darkness while everybody else is gearing up for the festivities

it just lacked all those nuances and details

sorry, I'm going to drone on and on rather given half the chance

I'll be watching next week though, I didn't completely dislike it

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by humblebee » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:02

Last night, in summary:

the 70s were brown
coppers are bastards
the 70s were smoky
it's grim up north

linus

Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:04

and they put a seventies soul soundtrack on it when the book's full of the rollers and sub-peters and lee shit (imagine that)

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by crystalball » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:05

linus wrote:the real horror of Eddie's predicament in the novel is he never seems to quite grasp the enormity of the situation he's in until it's too late
Ah, that makes sense. I was thinking yesterday that he seems way too aware of what's going on but it's obviously more of a telly thing. Maybe it was because of that hindsight bias that yesterday's episode reminded me more of Doctor Who than Our Friends in the North.

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by humblebee » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:15

crystalball wrote:Ah, that makes sense. I was thinking yesterday that he seems way too aware of what's going on but it's obviously more of a telly thing. Maybe it was because of that hindsight bias that yesterday's episode reminded me more of Doctor Who than Our Friends in the North.
Heh. I wish I hadn't heard that sloppy OFITN comparison before I watched Red Riding: without the inflated expectations I might have enjoyed it a bit more.

I probably won't bother with it again. Good acting, fantastic production, but not much of a story, no real intrigue. Life on Mars with more smoke and no laughs.

But then I haven't read the books. And I was tired.

linus

Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by linus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:05

I'd go out on a limb and say do watch next week's and the subsequent episode

the principal character should be paddy considine's and it plays out against the backdrop of the 'yorkshire ripper' case

what's so frustrating is that '1974' (and '1977'- not adapted for this run) apart from the stories they tell is that they also present you with a world where the 'ripper' murders are an almost inevitable outcome of the misogyny and corruption that peace conjects were all too commonplace at that time- and that would've been far more interesting than the 'hack out of his depth falls for the tragic blonde story' the screenwriter seemed to centre on

last night's episode lacked any of the real anger in peace's series of books

and the comparison with Our Friends In The North is probably truer of the books than what we've seen so far (the broad cast of characters, the passing of time, the personal stories told against the backdrop of history, the corruption, sacrifice and all that) - trust me to get my bloody hopes up with telly

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by BillyS » Fri Mar 06, 2009 14:28

linus wrote:ast night's episode completely diluted peace's novel to a rather hackneyed 'big villainous baddy' plot- they merged at least 4 (5?) characters into one
Haven't read the books, but I suspected the adaptation had over simplified the original as I watched it.

Are we really supposed to buy into Sean Bean's character as a violent, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, ruthless property developer who has the entire Yorkshire police force as his private army AND happily torches fields of gypsies AND shags and kills anyone who gets in his way AND has a sideline as a psychopathic animal abusing paedophile who murders little girls, kills swans and stitches their wings into his victims' backs THEN shags their mothers afterwards?

It makes sense that the sickness of Yorkshire during that era could influence various individuals to commit some of the above crimes, but just one geezer who gets happily bumped off at the end? Come off it.

I enjoyed the show as a typical potboiler, but the clumsy attempt to shoehorn various 70's/80's Northern folk devils into a single character seemed incredibly silly afterwards.

I'll watch the rest of the series, but I'm even more curious to read the books now.

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by lynsosaurus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 18:34

i just watched it there and i was only kind of half watching it for the first half, but it seemed pretty good.

i'm looking forward to the next one, though, because it has paddy considine AND maxine peake in it. i definitely want to read the books, anyway, based on descriptions above.

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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by Woodbine » Fri Mar 06, 2009 19:47

I was a little disappointed too, mainly for the same reasons as BillyS - I just found it too implausible and a bit confused about which story it really wanted to tell, and given what people have said here (and what a colleague who has read the first two books said this morning), this seems to be largely down to trying to fuse too many characters together from the books. Obviously I'm no criminal psychologist, but I just couldn't buy into the idea of Sean Bean's character (Dawson) as a psychopath. A nasty piece of work who would have people bumped off, yes, but there didn't seem to be any evidence that he was mentally imbalanced in the sort of way that would make him feel compelled to torture and murder little girls. Yet for at least half of it you were sort of led to believe that that's what the story was mainly about - it was after all the first image the viewer was given - so Dawson's admission that it was 'just a weakness' at the end was not only unbelievable but also rather a disappointment when the whole thing seemed to be geared towards some sort of massive revelation about the true identity of the killer.

The other thing I couldn't work out was why the police gave Eddie the gun when they were clearly trying to protect Dawson. I suspect it was something to do with wanting someone else to do their dirty work, or perhaps no longer wanting to be at his behest, but in that case, why bother burning the incriminating evidence on him at the end? Unless I've missed something....my colleague couldn't remember, but seemed to think that in the book, the gun comes from somewhere else.

I did enjoy it though - I thought it looked brilliant and the acting was great, but if they could have dispensed with the murder plotline and just focussed on the corrupt local businessman's greed, it would have been quite a bit better. Agree that next week's looks like an improvement, though.
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Re: 'Red Riding'

Post by islandhopper » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:05

I've never read the books, so couldn't be disappointed by it in that way. It was a fairly conventional crime drama though. It didn't have anything particularly important to say. That's not to say it wasn't very well done and very watchable though.
I'm all for changing huge aspects of source novels for the screen if it's done well. I always think Trainspotting's a great example of this and even includes the amalgamation of 2 characters in Davie and Tommy. It does of course include a lot of superfluous action, so it would be easier in that regard.
I think what I'm saying is that I'll be watching next week!

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