Profile: Warp Films

This year was very successful for the famous music label venture into movies. Let‘s take a closer look how it started and what lies ahead.

Electronic music label Warp was created in UK back in 1989, but let‘s not go deep into music history. Many people probably saw the first glimpse of Warp audio and video production ten years later with arguably the most famous and widespread studio creation – Aphex Twin „Windowlicker“ and Chris Cunningham directed video. Here is the full 10 minute version and let‘s continue after this time trip.

Of course during the years there were many other impressive music videos from the same Chris Cunningham or other creative and brave directors. Most important and unique clips were released in a DVD Warp Vision: The Videos 1989-2004.


The early success

Warp Films was established in 1999 and the early studio success has most to do with director Shane Meadows. His debut studio movie Dead Man’s Shoes told a extremely cruel story about an ex-warrior avenging for his brother’s tortures. The movie flied through the biggest festivals and got some solid nominations.

This Is England, Shane Meadows

His second movie brought Warp Films the biggest success till date. This Is England, released in 2006 not only got the BAFTA award as the best British movie of a year, but generally was considered the best cult British movie since Trainspotting. The coming of age story during Thatchers rule in the eighties, the beginning of skinhead movement and gripping interpersonal stories hooked the audience and introduced Warp Films to a wider public. Since then there were too mini TV series sequels: This Is England 86 and just screened „88“.


Generous present

Later studio years were not really notable. Couple of average movies, short stories and documentaries. The bigger success came only in 2010 with a controversial topic movie Four Lions. I don‘t think many studios or authors would be able to achieve what Warp and Christopher Morris did: a smart and emotional comedy about four guys, trying to become jihad terrorists. This year Four Lions won BAFTA for an outstanding Director/Writer debut.

Submarine, Richard Ayode

Another big success came with a totally different kind of movie. British TV show’s IT Crowd actor Richard Ayode made his debut as a feature director with Submarine. Sincere and witty story about a teenager, trying to lose virginity and help his parents rediscover their passion got a very good reception at last year‘s Toronto and this year‘s Sundance festivals. Recently the movie got a British Independent Film award for best screenplay.

The big winner in the same awards was the latest Warp Films movie Tyrannosaur. The film was released under the Warp X, the separate production company for digital smaller budget movies. Sad and cruel story about an elder lonely man and an abused woman got a BIFA award for a debut director Paddy Considine, actress Olivia Colman and was named the best independent British movie of a year.


Dark future

There is not much info about upcoming Warp Films or Warp X movies, but it seems the studios are going the dark way. There will be at least two horror movies in 2012 and 2013, one of them is even dedicated to next year Olympics, which will be invaded by zombies. It‘s directed by Chris Boyle and although I can‘t seem to find any connections to Danny Boyle, somehow zombies and London Olympics, where he will direct an opening ceremony, don‘t look just as a coincidence. Or maybe?

2012 olympics zombie movie

There are also couple of thrillers, which ideas look a bit overused: survival in a camping trip, foreseeing other people deaths, the beginning of troubles in Northern Ireland. On the lighter side the movie about British teenagers going to see Brigitte Bardot looks interesting. There are some love stories, sport dramas, even an animation about a death on strike.

Sadly, the hopes of seeing a feature film directed by Chris Cunningham are vanishing, but if Warp Films will continue to be successful and develop bigger projects, who knows!

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