After two prize-winning short films, Duane Hopkins made his début as a feature director with Better Things (previously a CineMart project in Rotterdam), with which he pursued a long British tradition of cinematographic social realism. At the same time, he gives his very own take on it.
Hopkins shows three relationships of inconspicuous lovers who are all in a crisis. There's a schoolgirl who is pestered by her jealous ex-boyfriend. There's the older married couple who are still tormented by an event from the past they cannot discuss, living in a permanent state of cold war with each other. And there are the two young lovers who are in danger of succumbing to their inability to resist the seduction of hard drugs.
Hopkins avoids melodramatic or politically charged class consciousness. He does not tell a story from A to Z, but zooms in on the moments that are decisive in life. With determined precision, he seeks in each of his characters the emotional price that is paid for deeds of which they have not estimated the impact in advance. The observations do not seek a classical climax, but form more of an unprejudiced 'close study' of mutual dependence and the lack of an individual course. And is it far-fetched to compare the heroin intoxication of some of the protagonists with the languid, subtle, warmly photographed style of the film? (EH)

Filmmaker
Duane Hopkins
Country
United Kingdom, Germany
Year
2008
Medium
35mm
Length
93’
Language
English
Producer
Samm Haillay, Rachel Robey, Helge Albers
Production Company
Third Films Ltd, Flying Moon Filmproduktion, Wellington Films Limited, Brocken Spectre
Sales
Celluloid Dreams
Writer
Duane Hopkins
Cinematography
Lol Crawley
Editor
Chris Barwell
Production Design
Jamie Leonard
Sound Design
Douglas MacDougall
Music
Dan Berridge
Cast
Rachel McIntyre
Website
http://www.celluloid-dreams.com/celluloid_dreams_library/b/better_things/