Starring: Barry Ward, Hayley Squires, Jimmy Akingbola. UK/Italy 2014. 86 mins.
Every Tuesday we strive to bring our audiences the best independent, foreign-language or documentary film, and this week is no exception!
Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull direct Blood Cells, a 2014 independent telling the story of a man who is detached from the world and embarks on various surreal journeys throughout Britain.
This film is a reminder of the importance of mental health, a subject that is often still taboo and needs more attention than it receives – especially post-traumatic stress disorder, which is perfectly illustrated here. In light of a horrible incident from his past, which is gradually revealed in flashbacks, we start to understand Adam’s (Barry Ward) behaviour: denial, anger, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, smoking, and ultimately avoiding those who are dearest to him.
The beauty of this film lies in the way it captures isolation, whether through our protagonist or in bleak, industrial shots of the country, which are thrown into relief by disco lights, fairground rides and an arcade, vibrant backdrops against which Adam appears a hollow silhouette. The effortlessly convincing acting from all involved helps the audience to identify with the characters in different ways and at the same time gives a social-realist depiction of a traumatised and broken Britain.
Although Blood Cells is sometimes a challenging watch, it is most definitely an important one, both for its beautiful symmetrical images and for its evocative story of everyday life. It’s no wonder that it has already received rave reviews and taken festivals such as Venice by storm.
Every day MUBI’s in-house experts hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have 30 days to watch it. £4.99 a month with the first month free for Picturehouse customers. mubi.com/picturehouse