10 December 2012

David Town and Paul Bagshaw's 4 Days (2003)

4 Days is filmed in Southport and directed by David Town and Paul Bagshaw, two former teachers who moved into the video industry. The cast is almost exclusively made up of amateurs from Southport, Lancashire. I had a few doubts before watching this very obscure feature film, but was pleasantly surprised.
The story is a family drama involving three generations in which the father is in a battle to win control over his father's leisure industry empire in Southport. In the process, his son is kidnapped by (it transpires) men working for the grandfather, who is really a kind of evil godfather. The result of the battle is unknown as the murder (and I think we have to assume there was one) takes place off-screen: only a gunshot is heard.
There's a little wooden acting largely disguised by self-effacing head gestures and clever evasive camera movements, but that doesn't spoil a rather compelling film.
After 4 Days and The Mirror, Bagshaw (who began Channel 10 in 1989) decided that stories taken from real life were more effective, and The Secret (2007) is based on a situation he encountered when teaching, where a mother had to tell her 17-year-old son that she was in fact his grandmother and his sister his mother.

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