Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

what flower would you like to be?

Submarine is directed by Richard Ayoade, who has previously directed a live film for the Arctic Monkeys. I can only assume he has also looked at my Lovefilm list of films I enjoyed, and made a film based on that list. I don’t know why he would do that, but I’m glad he did.

The Life Aquatic + Harold & Maude


Things I like about Submarine

  • the opening sequence about the protagonist’s death. Straight from Harold & Maude
  • the wardrobe of everyone in the film. Straight from Harold & Maude
  • the soundtrack – scored by Alex Turner – an alternative pop star – just as Mark Motherbaugh scores Wes Anderson’s films
  • casting Noah Taylor, who is also in Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (he’s in the back of that picture up there, with the moustache)
  • the graphic identity – obviously a thread running through Ayoade’s work is his interest in the more twee side of life. ‘Borrowed heavily’ from Wes Anderson
  • the bit that takes the mick out of Don’t Look Now. I always thought that bit was funny too.

Now obviously what we have above is a list of ‘things that have been nicked wholesale from other – very good – films’. What sets Submarine apart from other similar films [such as the incredibly derivative and worthy Charley Bartlett – another film that borrowed HEAVILY from Harold & Maude] is that it absolutely hilarious.

Like Ayoade, Anderson is influenced by Harold & Maude, even casting Bud Cort in The Life Aquatic and using Cat Stevens songs in Rushmore. But Submarine isn’t just a stew of ‘heavily borrowed’ bits, oh no, there’s more!

More things that I like about Submarine

  • casting lots of comedians; Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine
  • the comedic timing demonstrated in the editing. I’ve rarely heard so much laughter in a cinema
  • Considine’s life-size cut out – where can I get one?
  • the Welsh countryside
  • everything everyone says in this film
  • the awkwardness of schoolkids caught perfectly

So in summary, go and see Harold & Maude.


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This entry was posted on March 21, 2011 by in films.
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