December the 10th

Blood & Carpet : a step back to the 60’s !

« Everything is not black and white » is both a British saying, and a motto for the team of ‘Blood and Carpet’, a 2015 black and white movie signed by Graham Fletcher- Cook. According to the director of photography Jeanette Monero, the choice of a black and white aesthetics in the movie is rooted in several practical aspects including budget, the long process it is to balance colors and the good respond from the audience. Still, what comes out of the movie really is that feeling of nuance and shades : you thought you had understood every aspect of the story and its main character ‘Ruby’ (played by Annie Burkin), but you just haven’t. The movie ends, and there are still so many details to be processed. Ruby is all about nuances herself : she’s strong but weak, remorseful but still self-willed. She is the kind of complex character which depicts humanity as it really is : neither good nor bad, probably just in between in general and on the edges at some particular moments.

‘Blood and Carpet’ brings back the spectators to the nostalgic 60’s where « everything looked cooler, scratchier, shittier » commented Graham Fletcher-Cook in our interview. It’s about focusing on the shades and contrasts, on the storyline and on the things that actually matter in a movie rather than bright colors and profusion. It’s about details and subtleties – how comes the character of Lyle (played by Billy Wright) can’t get the stain off when Ruby can ? Why does he appear so « immaterial » ?

This movie is rather a participatory project than a conscious decision : Graham Fletcher-Cook wanted his movie to be unique. ‘Blood and Carpet’ is the kind of project which gathers people as it grows into a movie. It is made of people wanting to add a little something of their own life to the project – an old car from the 60’s, a piece of clothing – until the very moment the movie itself takes life. It also brings the spectator to think it, reinterpret it even long after the curtain have been drawn.

Unconscious does not mean unaccomplished : this movie has meant a lot of work for both the team behind the scenes, and the actors. If we consider the character of Melvin, it appears obvious he’s done his job well, given the hatred the spectator feel towards him… It’s actually been a long process for the actor Frank Boyce to adjust his voice, his flow of speech, and…his manners, obviously ! The resolution of the film crew was to make a movie out of few but deep characters : the gamble was a success. Even the character of Lyle, so kind and goofy in the beginning reveals himself to be somehow mean and some kind of self-reflection for/of Ruby. All these characters are split into different shades of their own personality and oscillate between different “spurs of the moment” types of actions.

This movie was qualified by the Univerciné British festival of Nantes as a “petit bijou cinématographique teinté d’humour noir” (a little piece of cinematographique jewel with a hint of black humor). One thing is sure : if you want to catch a glimpse of what British humor and cinema may be like, hurry up and seize your opportunity to catch it on

Elizabeth Vénisse