1. This is England. Shane Meadows best film so far. A loosely autobiographical film about an isolated twelve year old boy who comes under the influence of some local skinheads. read This is England full review
2. Dead Man's Shoes. An exceptionally intelligent and chilling thriller telling the tale of an ex-soldier returning to his home town to exact revenge on his brother's tormentors. read Dead Man's Shoes full review
3. A Room For Romeo Brass. An enthralling, bittersweet and sometimes brutal tale of two young boys who become separated when a stranger enters their life and drives a wedge between them. read A Room For Romeo Brass full review
Latest Shane Meadows news: The Stones Roses - The Documentary .
August 2012: Shane Meadows has revealed details about the documentary that he is making with The Stones Roses about their reunion and subsequent tour. The project (which he has described as his dream job) has meant the latest installment of the acclaimed This Is England film series (This Is England 90), has had to be put onto the back burner. Shane Meadows has been filming the band since the start of the year and he has stated that there is huge amounts of footage (700 hours so far with filming not yet complete!) for the director to go through in his efforts of gaining a cinema release date of Christmas 2012. We can't wait to see it. You can watch the BBC interview at with Shane Meadows and producer Mark Herbert at The Stone Roses Heaton Park show here.
Shane Meadows - An unofficial biography.
Shane Meadows was born on 26th December 1972 in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. Shane's break into the world of Cinema was when he persuaded a local video production company to allow him to borrow their equipment to make short films, whilst in return he would work for them free of charge. Armed with video equipment, he and his friends and family were soon co-opted into his short films that would be shown at open nights in a small local cinema. It is one of the shorts, called "Where's The Money, Ronnie?" that brought him to the attention of Channel 4 TV, who commissioned Shane to make a documentary. The project called "The King of The Gypsies" a short documentary about a bare knuckle boxer who, like Shane, was also born in Uttoxeter and who Shane had known for many years.
This commission in turn led to Shane's first step onto the "commercial" rung of the film ladder when he was given £5,000 by The BFI (British Film Institute) to help him complete an extended short movie, that he had been making with his friends who had appeared in his previous shorts. This hour long film turned out to be "Small Time". Small Time together with the completed short of "Where's the Money, Ronnie?" was shown at various film festivals and it garnered much interest from the industry, so much so that Shane was able to finance his first proper feature film.
In 1997 with £1.5 million secured from the BBC for "Twenty Four Seven", he made a film about Alan, a man trying to help local youths from a rough estate to find some purpose and direction in their lives by starting up a boxing club. The man Shane persuaded to play Alan was Bob Hoskins. With a great performance from Hoskins, an excellent script and a refreshing approach to film making, this black and white film meant the film garnered much critical and popular praise alike and went on to win many awards and nominations.
In 1999 Shane Meadows started work on his next feature "A Room For Romeo Brass". The film was loosely based on his childhood friendship with the film's co-writer Paul Fraser. Whilst it again managed to gain some favourable reviews it did not manage to maintain the critical interest that had been afforded the previous film (despite the film introducing the world to the talents of debutant Paddy Considine).
In 2002 Shane's next film marked a considerable departure from his previous body of work with "Once Upon a Time In The Midlands" - a spaghetti western transplanted into the heart of a council estate in the Midlands. With a considerably increased budget, Shane chose to cast some big names to lead his movie including Robert Carlyle, Ricky Tomlinson, Kathy Burke, and Rhys Ifans. Despite the film's accessibility, the move into the "big league" was not entirely satisfactory and was considered a backward step in some circles.
In 2004 Shane Meadows began to rise again with the critically acclaimed "Dead Man's Shoes". The film was made on a shoestring budget (reputedly £750,000) that allowed him to retain complete control of the movie he wanted to make, and from the time of first discussing making a movie to the completion of filming was only a matter of three months (a truly remarkable feat). "Dead Man's Shoes" received much critical and popular praise, and gained a much wider audience than any of his previous films.
Shane Meadows latest film is entitled "This Is England". A loosely auto biographical story set in 1983 surrounding an isolated young boy growing up in post Falklands conflict England, that falls under the influence of a gang of skinheads. This film looks certain to be Shane Meadows biggest success so far, as it was extremely well received in international film festivals at the end of 2006, and its UK release in early May 2007 has seen receipts exceed those received for all of his other films put together.
Most of Shane Meadows films have a consistent quality to them. He has remained loyal to this area of the Midlands and indeed his films have all thus far been set in the Midlands. His "schooling" in making lots of short films (which he continues to do) has stood him in good stead in terms of both unobtrusive camera work and his ability to obtain superb performances from both experienced actors and new comers alike. Indeed his approach to casting seems similar in approach to that of Ken Loach, in that "local" talent is preferred in order to preserve authenticity. Whilst his parochial settings may at times hinder the ability of his films to translate to a mass worldwide audience (America) his films particularly Dead Man's Shoes continue to shine like a beacon for the ethics of quality over style, and story over budget. He also shows particular mastery in his choice and use of music in his films, indeed the soundtracks of his films are absolutely superb.
Of the new wave of British Directors Shane Meadows has had maybe the hardest journey to bring his work to the screen, but his work is ultimately the most rewarding of any of his peers, and with his recent offerings, "Dead Man's Shoes" and "This Is England", his films are finally beginning to receive the mass exposure that they deserve.
He is undoubtedly the most gifted British director of his generation, and he is fast joining the likes of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh for the integrity and mastery in bringing his stories to the big screen.
Sept 2007. Shane Meadows has now been honoured with a UK box set release of his films. Entitled This Is Shane Meadows the set includes the films TwentyFourSeven, A Room For Romeo Brass, Dead Man's Shoes and the critically lauded This Is England. Its lack of exclusive extras content means this is a release aimed at new fans of Shane Meadows rather than those who already have all of his films on DVD. Also released on 3rd September is This Is England which is released as a two disc edition with tons of fantastic extras. Both of these are available to by from our very own Shane Meadows UK Store or Shane Meadows USA Store in association with Amazon.com.
April 2008 - Shane Meadows official site has been updated with details of his forthcoming projects - both of which started life intending to be shorts. The first is Somers Town written by Shane's long term writing partner Paul Fraser. The story revolves around a young Polish boy (Marek) who comes over to London with his father to live and work in Somers Town. Marek meets a young lad who has run away from a Sheffield care home and an unlikely friendship begins, as as they both fall in love with a French girl who works in the local cafe. The film has been shot in the UK plus Paris and Warsaw.The cast will include Thomas Turgoose, Kate Dickie, Andrew Shim and Perry Benson. The film has already been accepted into the prestigious Berlin FIlm Festival. The 70 minute film looks set to be broadcast on TV sometime before the summer (video recorders at the ready then). Check Shane Meadows Official site for more info.
Also announced is 'Le Donk' starring Paddy Considine. The story centers around Le Donk a builder, rock drummer and roadie played by Paddy Considine, and who roadies for The Arctic Monkeys. The feature length film looks set to be released on DVD this year. A 'Le Donk' teaser trailer for has been posted up on Youtube. (Think the personal story behind the scenes at Spinal Tap but wi' more mushy peas).
The long awaited project 'King Of The Gypsies' looks like its finally going ahead. In interviews the wonderful Mr Meadows has often talked about his dreams of making this project a reality, but to do the story justice he required substantial finance for the story. This story is about the life of bare-knuckle boxing champion Bartley Gorman (who will be played by Paddy Considine). This again started off as a 10 minute documentary in 1995. Shane's official site has the original 10 minute King Of The Gypsies documentary posted on it.
July 2008. Shane Meadows first new film since the fantastic This Is England is about to be released. Somers Town will receive its UK cinematic release on 22nd August. There is already a great buzz about the film which earlier in the year picked up an award at the Berlin Film Festival, and at the end of June received the prestigious Michael Powell award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
August 2008. The trailer to Shane's new film Somers Town has just been made available on Shane Meadows official site. The film stars young actor Thomas Turgoose, the brilliant young actor who made such an impact in Meadows' film This Is England. Judging by the trailer it looks like another Meadows masterpiece and we here at alt-flix can't wait to see the film, in fact it will be the highlight of our summer. Judge for yourself by watching the trailer below.
There is also an official Somers Town site which contains the film trailer, a synopsis of the film, cast and crew bios, news and reviews of the film, some beautiful stills from the movie and also some equally beautiful music from the forthcoming soundtrack CD by longtime Meadows contributor Gavin Clark.
August 2009. After months of rumour, tantalising tit-bits and many respective fingers crossed, it has been confirmed today that Shane will be making his first foray TV drama, with a drama series continuing of the story begun in his award winning and critically acclaimed 'This Is England'. The drama, to be called We Were Faces, which will pick up the story in 1987, some four years after the end of the story in the film, will be screened on Channel 4 in 2010. We for one already can't wait to see it, and we commend Channel 4 for having the nouse to commission this work in what promises to be one of the TV highlights of 2010.
Also Le DonknScor-Zay-Zee now being readied for release in both a limited cinema run and on DVD both in October 2009.
September 2010: We are really enjoying the run of This Is England '86, and it is seriously living up to our already high expectations of the TV event of the year. We think it is Shane's most complete work so far, and there is such a real depth to the work that this extended format allows which so suits the story (and what a superb cast too) and we already cannot wait for a follow up series.
For those who have missed the series so far they can watch all the episodes online for free with This Is England '86 playing on the official Channel 4od service, and also find exclusive interviews, trailers, photos etc on the official This Is England '86 site.
In the meantime the This Is England '86DVD and soundtrack CD are released on 11th October 2010, and we have added these, plus the new release of Shane's debut film Small Time together with some new Shane Meadows Blu-rays to our Shane Meadows UK store (in association with Amazon).
Here is the official trailer for the series - watch and enjoy.
Something we'd like to point you in the direction of is Shane MeadowsThis Is England '88, which is being shown on Channel 4 on 13th to 15th December. Whilst it might not put you in the Christmas party mood, the continuation of the This Is England story looks to be the televisual event of the year. For those who due to other commitments (e.g. office Christmas parties involving too much alcohol and misuse of photocopiers) may miss any episodes they will be able to watch all the episodes online for free on the official Channel 4od service.
This Is England '88 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 23rd January 2012, and can be pre-ordered alongside all of Shane Meadows other Blu-rays, DVDs etc from our Shane Meadows UK store (in association with Amazon).