One of the funniest films of the year, the superb black comedy Sightseers is directed by Kill List’s Ben Wheatley, produced by Shaun of the Dead’s Edgar Wright, and based on characters created by lead actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram. Loved-up couple Tina and Chris set out on an erotic odyssey in a caravan through the North of England, taking in Yorkshire and the Lakes. But as littering tourists, picky ramblers, and feckless partygoers get in the way, their trip transforms into a gory killing spree and the duo become the North’s most wanted. Steve Oram will be our special guest for the screening on 2nd November. ‘Hugely entertaining… Hilarious’ (Indiewire)
It’s rare for a film to capture the great British countryside in the way that Sightseers does. Beyond the chocolate box visuals of coy costume dramas, the epic wildness of Britain’s great outdoors is underused in movies. As Chris and Tina make their murderous journey through the north of England, the increasingly immense and desolate landscapes are analogous to their moods.
For Steve Oram, the film’s stunning locations revived memories of childhood holidays, ‘Sightseeing and British holidays are great and a big part of mine and Alice’s childhood. There are very few films that celebrate these tourist locations and we hoped they’d be quite evocative. Some of the places we went were insanely dramatic and beautiful too, such as the Ribblehead Viaduct and Honister Pass. Why go abroad when you’ve got the whole of the UK at your fingertips, I say!’
Sightseers has an almost mystical, magical realist aspect that chimes with the truly ancient history of some of its locations. For Ben Wheatley, it was a chance to imbue an ostensibly modern comedy with larger ideas of nationhood: ‘Chris and Tina are looking at Britain. On one level it’s almost like they are travelling back across time. They go into caves and stone circles, they visit all these places, and they’re encountering this collapse of Britain. It’s a very naturalistic film in many ways but then it has these magical elements, psychedelic moments.’
BBFC Cert 18.