When did you last see your father?
When did you last see your father? is the true story of a son growing up stifled and frustrated by his overbearing yet charismatic father. Years later, when his father (Arthur) is diagnosed with terminal cancer, the son (Blake) revisits his family home and the memories he has battled for years. Some reviewers describe the movie as 'relentlessly grim', but I have to disagree. It's very subtle but also frank and poignant, with moments of mischief shining through. Which, for me, makes it a very English film. With great scenery.
It's hard to find movies made on location in England that aren't period dramas, filled with flouncy Jane Austen characters. So, although much of this film is supposed to be taking place in the Sixties, it is one of the best movies I've seen that show England as it is today. The only nods to that period are the car that features heavily in the drama, and some slightly outdated fashion.
Father is shot on location in London and Derbyshire, and is a great chance to see some very picturesque English countryside. Derbyshire locations include the dramatic Snake Pass through the Pennines (top), the Lathkil Hotel in Lathkil Dale, and the hamlet of Kedleston (below). Two local lodges, Cromford and Weston, provided the setting for The Grange, home of the Morrison family.
Beyond Derbyshire, you get a few shots of London – a street scene plus the grand interior of the National Liberal Club for an awards ceremony.
Also in the south of England, you get a glimpse of the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Sussex, slightly modified to suit the period, and the vast sands of West Wittering Beach (below), where Arthur teaches Blake to drive.
Another great scene, where child Blake catches his dad canoodling in the car with his aunt, features a sweeping view of the grand Petworth House in Capability Brown-landscaped Petworth Park, West Sussex (below).
And finally there's a lovely scene filmed at the Pier in Brighton (below), on the south coast, where Arthur and Blake play Crazy Golf. It's done up to look like the Sixties, but it's amazing how little British seaside towns change.
The film features some very interesting camerawork through windows, into mirrors, and even into running water. This, combined with the long, slow shots of the English countryside, add to the brooding feeling, the weight of Blake's emotional turmoil. Far from being grim, it captures England's beauty, intensity and eccentricity very accurately. – Roshan McArthur