Submarine In New York: A Peeler’s Review

© Gina R Snape

Richard Ayoade’s acclaimed debut film Submarine has reached the USA, with a Q&A screening at Y Tribeca in New York this weekend.

TVO peeler Gina R Snape was one of several of our readers who attended the event [more from them soon!] and has sent us this report:

On Saturday I went to the film screening and Q&A for Submarine, Richard Ayoade’s feature length film debut.  The venue holds 70 seats, so it was an intimate affair. Peelers may recall that Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and Oliver Ralfe came to the same venue for a showing and Q&A for Journey of the Childmen.

Submarine was delightful, as was Ayoade who is equal parts shy, unassuming, and polite but also funny and quick-witted.  The film itself was a brilliant way for Ayoade to broadcast his screenwriting and directing talents. And Arctic Monkeys fans will enjoy the soundtrack with original songs written for the film by Alex Turner.

Ostensibly a coming of age tale, he weaves comedy and drama expertly and uses a variety of cinematic styles and techniques to tell the tale from the perspective of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). Although it’s very funny, its poignancy and mixed tone lead Ayoade to declare “it’s not funny enough to be a comedy.” I don’t want to spoil all the details of the film, and there are loads of synopses and reviews online [including our own (ed.)]. Instead I’ll focus on highlights of the event.

After the film showing, Ayoade came out for the Q&A. Standing in the corner full of shyness, he’s brought over to a chair and interviewed first by one person. He jokes that he’ll make eye contact in 10 minutes, clearly to become comfortable in front of the audience. After a few minutes, questions were taken from the audience. Boosh fans should take note that Ayoade did not participate in any of the recording for the as yet to be released album.

Among the questions he answered:

You want to make a splash with your feature debut. Why was this the one you could do the best with, perhaps?

“Well, you don’t sort of presume this is the first of many . . . you just hope to make something. And, em, I just really liked the book.”

Amusingly, his mobile rings at one point and he fumbles and confesses not really knowing how to shut it off. Clearly there’s a difference between Ayoade and Moss!

I was curious how you got started going from writing to acting to the directing of music videos. How did that happen?

“Just like, er, a crisis of confidence probably. I’ve always wanted to do music videos . . . and partly like, when we did the show Garth Merenghi and partly it was just trying to be sabotage . . . I suppose directing was more from writing. Just trying to make it turn out right . . . so I could personally screw it up.”

About his influences in making this film:

The main influence on it was Taxi Driver. Yes, it’s true. Just because it’s so internal – Taxi Driver – and very subjective.”

Are you doing any personal writing that you want to turn into a screenplay?

“Erm, as opposed to adapting? Er, yeah. It wouldn’t sound like anything if I said it. It’s some stuff . . . that I’m writing. Yeah. That’s my pitch.”

After the film, Ayoade stood outside in the hallway and graciously shook hands, stood for photographs, and accepted a generous flow of compliments from attendees. It was a lovely event and I can’t speak highly enough of either Richard Ayoade or the film! If you get a chance to see it – GO!

Thanks to Gina for the review!  If you’re attending an up & coming event, why not contact us about submitting a review?

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