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Customer Review

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 Hours of Vaguely Related Gay Scenes in South London, 22 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Clapham Junction [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I had earlier viewed a 90-minute version of the Clapham Junction as broadcast in 2007 by the BBC. An IMDB review of that presentation of starts, "Over a two day period a series of interconnected events impact a disparate group of [gay] Londoners," and that is quite accurate even if the period is about 36 hours. It is interesting that this DVD remains unreleased in the UK.

Clapham Junction is not far from Lavender Hill, the location for The Lavender Hill Mob, but that was a comedy and this certainly is not.

In 2005, Jody Dobrowski suffered a horrendously brutal murder on Clapham Common, and a similar event is central to this film, which is an ultimately depressing and sometimes shocking exploration of contemporary urban gay sexuality. Some of the characters are deeply unpleasant, dishonest and self absorbed. But you will want to watch them.

One gay youth who play the violin is clearly intimidated and frightened by gangs on his walk to his teacher, whilst another gay inbetweener embraces his homosexuality and relentlessly stalks an older gay neighbor. Some of the gay yuppies are married but unfaithful to their wives in the type of park restrooms frequented by George Michael, and one who marries his partner dallies with a server boy in the kitchen after the ceremony. It is hardly justice when a gay gay-basher gets bashed himself. And you are forced to watch, or not.

The actors sometimes rise above the material. Paul Nichols is clearly full of himself as his character, Terry, and the scene in which he dresses for a night out is great, though one surprising scene reportedly used a stand-in. The film unites James Wilby and Rupert Graves of Maurice, but their relationship could not be more different than what they shared in that film, though both were, again, brave to take their roles. David Leon is powerful in his role as Alfie Cartwright (the Jody Dobrowski character). But Luke Treadway as young Theo pursuing a reluctant Joseph Mawle as Tim is absolutely chilling, and worth the price of the DVD if anything is.

You will never forget Clapham Junction if you watch it. But there is some hard-to-watch "bad" mixed with the "good" (the performances).
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Feb 2013 15:05:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 15:08:11 GMT
Hi Bob, when CH4 originally broadcast this movie on 22nd July 2007 it was 99 minutes long, exactly the same length as this US Import. It has never been broadcast by the BBC. Amazon are displaying incorrect information in the above item description! I have notified them of their error and uploaded a shot of the back cover to confirm my statement but so far they haven't bothered to correct this mistake.

I did contact CH4 shortly after the film went to air to ask if a DVD release would be forthcoming but they said that they did not own the rights to the movie, hence why it has never been shown again since! Apparently any such release would be down to the film company that did make it. I'm guessing the reason it was only released through the US was because it could be done without expensive 'Certification'.

This still remains one of my all time favourite movies alongside 'Beautiful Thing' and talking from experience this does portray gay life in London very accurately. Obviously there are differences of opinion here but anyone who is gay themselves will now that life is not 'pink and fluffy' like some people seem to believe, there always exceptions in all walks of life.


In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 16:23:36 GMT
Bob Drake says:
I downloaded a version long before it was available on DVD and was smitten by the cast of characters. I was unaware of the murder on the commons until I did some research. Mine is an across-the-pond view of things, so I am no expert on the London scene. I would not recommend the film to the crowd that reveres Beautiful Thing, though I agree that it deserves viewing. That is why I wrote the review that I did. For the Beautiful Thing crowd I would recommend Get Real or North Sea Texas, or Maurice or Latter Days. This film is like an auto accident in slow montion. You know you ought to look away, but you don't. Thanks for the clarification.
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