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BRONCO BULLFROG

Director: BARNEY PLATTS-MILLS

86 Minutes| U.K.| 1969| Black and White| D-Cinema


Four decades after a fleeting initial release, one of British cinema’s great lost treasures returns to view, after the original negative was literally rescued from the bin at a
film lab. Barney Platts-Mills’ debut is a soulful, unpatronising portrait of young peoples’ lives in East London’s transition from terraced housing to high-rise anomie, blending the authentic vibe of Shane Meadows with Mike Leigh’s deadpan wit. Developed out of acting workshops with local kids, it’s essentially an ill-starred romance between a welder’s mate and a schoolgirl – whose would-be posh mum’s disapproval sends them sheltering with his crooked, none-too-bright pal (the eponymous Bronco). Shot in crisp black and white, dressed in the latest Mod gear, it’s a poignantly familiar story of constrained lives, yet put together with a complete lack of dramatic fakery, totally believable performances from a largely non-professional cast, and an overall time-capsule feel that’s simply captivating. Notes by Trevor Johnston

IFI IRISH SHORTS
This screening includes Anne Maree Barry’s Rialto Twirlers, 6 minutes, 2009.

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