George MacKay Is ‘Unrecognisable’ In Bypass

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC George MacKay Is 'Unrecognisable' In Bypass
The new film Bypass by Duane Hopkins is showing at this year’s LFF and it stars an ‘unrecognisable’ George MacKay (Sunshine on Leith; Pride etc) in the role of morally compromised petty criminal Tim.
It’s going to be a crowd pleaser if Venice is anything to go by: the Gala screening there last month saw an audience of 1,300 give it a standing ovation throughout the credits 🙂 and the rest of the screenings were packed out.
Here are some fun facts –
  • The acting of the three siblings in Bypass is stand out, in particular George MacKay playing protagonist Tim.
  • The film is very prescient given the plight of today’s youth: swathes of young people and not just those from poor and underprivileged backgrounds, who are trapped and invisible, unable to utilise or grow their talent and desperate for money.
  • The cinematography is beautiful and music likewise arresting.
  • Bypass is set in an unknown town but is indicative of many towns across the UK. Duane’s idea to make the film came out of reading Professor Rob Macdonald’s book ‘Disconnected Youth Growing up in Poor Britain.’  Professor Macdonald at Teeside University became research consultant on the film and his recent research bears out his work cited back in 2005. The Proffessor has colleagues in other parts of the UK with the same story to tell. Duane’s other collaborator in the research was Mark Johnson best selling author of ‘Wasted’ and founder of User Voice.
  • Duane’s research prior to script stage (2009) included interviews with organisations which support the young and vulnerable (support groups, homeless shelters, social workers, etc) and interviews with the individuals who are using those services in particular young men 18-25 years old – the age of his to be protagonist, Tim   So the film is based on hard research and fact rather than fiction, but none the less transports the viewer drawing them quickly in to support of the siblings’ plight in an increasingly menacing and dangerous landscape.
Quote from Professor Macdonald here:
“I can see some of the sociological reality of what we have uncovered over years of in-depth, close up research reflected in ByPass. One example would be about the sheer monotony, boredom, dirge, ‘un-glamour’, labour of the low-level criminal economy, in which Tim is trapped. This ‘work’ is very similar in character to the labour of the low-level non-criminal economy of meaningless jobs and zero hour contracts that has become common for many. “

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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