Midlands Review - Back in My Day
By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2019 09:19AM
Back in My Day
Directed by James Foster
A gentle old man opens the door to a policeman who states he is under arrest in a riveting start to new film Back in My Day from local filmmaker James Foster.
In his first non-student directorial debut, James Foster introduces us to our lead – a Father Christmas-bearded senior citizen who does nothing more than hang out his washing to dry and talk about his bridge club games.
However, an ominous plaster on the gentleman’s head hints upon a recent accident in the man’s life and the film lets the audience uncover the details of the mystery in a reverse narrative technique.
Edited akin to Nolan’s Memento (2000), the film plays out in reverse chronological order with each scene being set slightly before the previous one, forcing us to act as investigator to put the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together ourselves.
A time stamp in the bottom left corner of each sequence keeps the viewer informed of the progress of things which also helps clarify the twisting story.
As our elderly protagonist asks if mobile phones can be tracked we are somewhat lulled into a sympathetic position where it is assumed the man may be returning the lost item. However, there is a much more sinister truth to the short as we start to see the scenes unravel.
[SPOILER] What is revealed is that the man is part of a cult who has kidnapped a teen. And whose robes echo the group from Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz in fact. Unlike that cloaked cult, this short isn’t played for laughs however. A final (technically first) shot of the old man leading astray his young victim after dropping bread rolls from his shopping – Hansel & Gretel anyone? – is a dark finale to an intriguing short.
The cast and crew of the film are based mostly in and around Lincoln, and the film itself was shot in Lincolnshire in the director’s home town of Scunthorpe keeping it suitably local. The 6-minute short tries to breathe new life into familiar themes, making our sympathies switch from pensioners being terrorised by your typical young hoodie-wearing tearaway to another horrific situation altogether.
Here the hoods are very much worn by the elderly group and the darkness is often just hinted upon in the short – but is an effective way of making your brain fill in the gaps.
An interesting dark puzzle of a film, Back in My Day plays on our notion of elderly victims and young perpetrators. And along with its different structure, delivers an effective story that inverts not just the narrative – but challenges our presumptions of certain groups to fantastic effect.