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Thursday 28 March 2013, 09:08

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

Sightseers, one of my favourite films of last year, is just out on DVD. This weird tale about caravanning and killing shares a lot with Nuts In May, Mike Leigh's hilarious camping comedy from the 70s - what a great double bill...

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Sightseers review

Bleak moments with Mike Leigh

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    Comment number 1.

    I watched Sightseers last night for the first time. What a great film it is too.

    *What a shame it is that I will have to watch it again this weekend along with Nuts In May.




    *Sarcasm

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    Comment number 2.

    I was introduced to the wonderful 'Nuts in May' by the band Pop Will Eat Itself, it was essential viewing on the tour bus, constantly being quoted, and have grown to love it more as the years have gone by.
    In the same vein was the brilliant BBC sitcom 'The Great Outdoors' with Ruth Jones and Mark Heap.

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    Comment number 3.

    Like 'em both, but I'll skip viewing 'em together. Being in the New Forest, we live it!

    While I enjoyed Sightseers, I don't see it as a comedy, and I felt the marketing and trailer was misleading. Granted it was based on Oram and Lowe's comedy characters that happened to be killers, but by taking them out of the comedy sketch milieu and plonking them into reality, they are altered into two troubled people whose lunacy vibrates on increasingly different frequencies. In your typical black murder comedy such as Kind Hearts and Coronets, Little Shop of Horrors, Heathers, or even Shock to The System, the victims are treated in a satirical way to help justify their deaths as twisted vengeance. Sightseers marketing tries to sell it as just that, but it is a different more complex animal. In Sightseers, some of the victims have irritating qualities, but by grounding them in a Nuts In May reality, that edge is blunted, and as things progress it becomes apparent that its not about that. What emerges is a character study with beautifully observed humour, and some twists of the knives.

    Ben Wheatley deserves praise for pulling off this balancing act, by letting it be brutally realistic rather than blithely satirical, it's worthily disturbing for it. While I'm not sure why he's sniffy about comparisons to Nuts in May, but as I've working on a novel which includes a tourist killer, I'd be annoyed by comparisons with Sightseers (should I ever get it published).

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    Comment number 4.

    Well done for mentioning Shock to the System ^^^ fellow Brian (but from the New Forest)- It has not been seen by enough people. It's one of Caine's best films imo. Constantly quoted by my former flatmates and I to this day! It's also (like Sightseers) darkly funny.

    Still to see Nuts in May, going to rent today.

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    Comment number 5.

    I've had Nuts In May in my watch list on Amazon for ages. Thing is you can only pick it up as part of a Mike Leigh box set and it's getting on for £40.
    A real shame as if it was available on it's own I can imagine it'd have be fairly popular at the cinema release and DVD release of Sightseers.

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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