Why are a Scottish couple living in a hole in a French field? Tom Geens’ weird and wonderful debut feature proffers this arresting premise and proceeds to unfurl one of the most original British films in recent memory.
Kate Dickie (Red Road) and Paul Higgins (The Thick of It) play the couple who inhabit an underground forest dwelling, enabling them to eke out a sparse existence and play out mysterious grief-imbued rituals. Only when a farmer from the local village takes an interest in their plight does their bizarre edifice begin to come crumbling down. Having made his name with a string of dark and occasionally cruel short films, Tom Geens brings a profound oddness to the proceedings, interspersed with splashes of the blackest humour. From Geens’ mysterious premise emerges a tender relationship drama, enhanced by its lush yet menacing pastoral photography and a gloriously off-kilter soundtrack from BEAK> (Geoff Barrow of Portishead).