Review: Panic

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Panic

Desperation is a powerful thing. It makes people do some reckless shit. It’s why we find dead bodies at the back of lorries, cargo ships, fishing boats. Desperation makes the wrong people start asking the right questions.

You know when you hear about somebody disappearing and you speculate how it was that nobody saw a thing until weeks, months or years later when witnesses begin to appear, and you wonder why they hadn’t chosen to say anything earlier.  PANIC director Sean Spencer has created an immediately intriguing neo-noir debut feature film, inspired after seeing a man walking through a pub trying to sell DVDS.

Starring David Gyosi (Interstellar, Cloud Atlas, Containment) as Andrew Deely, a music journalist with an enviable wall of vinyl in his London flat, describing the albums and perhaps life too, like this: I think we all want to own something put together with a bit of care and artistry. I think we need it. Don’t we?

After being badly beaten up after a gig, Deely has spent the last 8 months indoors, while looking at life out the window, conducting interviews over the phone and inviting an occasional person over for warm human contact. When an incident occurs involving his neighbour Kem (Yennis Cheung), Deely takes action, travelling through London with his only defense being a hammer he has found under his sink. The resulting film is about a physically vulnerable man as he discovers London’s ‘ghost economy’ and the way it connects to an underlying criminal society; as well as confronting the important question of what happens to unregistered, exploited, desperate immigrants.

DOP Carl Burke has made a bland urban highrise estate into an attractive mass of flickery light-filled windows, drawing you into having a look and wonder at the things we can’t quite see. Composer and sound designer Christopher Nicholas Bangs’ brilliant sound track includes some subtle breathing/siren background ambience for added nerviness as Deely, despite his moral engagement, fights his anxiety and decides to pursue the mystery himself.

Produced by White Night Films PANIC, released in cinemas this month, premiered at the 2014 Raindance film festival where it was nominated for the best UK feature award. It has since been selected for film festivals worldwide including the Dinard Film Festival, East End Film Festival and Times BFI London screenings.

Sean Spence’s short films STRIPES, ROMANCE, FOUR LITTLE LETTERS & 3 x 4 have been broadcast and distributed by a number of organizations, including the BBC, Sky, ITV, The British Council and The BFI. They have also been selected for film festivals worldwide, including Edinburgh Film Festival, Clermont Ferrand, Manchester Kino, Berlin Britspotting and Soho Rushes. Stripes was selected for Sight & Sound magazine’s best UK shorts issue.



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An Australian who has spent most of her adult life in Paris, Louise is a sometime photographer, documentary-maker, writer, researcher, day-dreamer and interviewer, who prefers to start the day at the local cinema’s 9am session.



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