In a delicious black comedy, two eleven year-old friends – Ethan and
Zachary – one day have a fight, and Ethan loses a tooth. The four
parents, in what they consider to be civilised fashion, meet to discuss
what to do. They become embroiled and trapped in the claustrophobia
of the apartment, as their true attitudes and characters emerge. A superb
ensemble cast with Jodie Foster, John C Reilly, Kate Winslet and
Christoph Waltz. (Cert 15)
Dir: Roman Polanski 77 mins Fra/Ger/Pol/Spain 2011

Programme Notes

Fra/Ger/Pol/Spain 2011 77 minutes Cert. 15

Based on the stage play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, controversial director, Roman Polanski, turns his sights to the upper middle class of Brooklyn, the source work having been set in bourgeois Paris. Polanski brings together a fine ensemble cast of two sets of rather over concerned parents who, following a fight between their young sons, meet to try and resolve ‘issues arising’ from the fall out. Set within the claustrophobic interior of Penelope and Michael Longstreet’s smart apartment, the mis-en-scène perfectly parodies their political and personal aspirations – from which there seems no escape. It is a wonderfully observed comedy of manners which will leave the viewer shifting uncomfortably in their seat. There are many laugh out loud moments, as the couples move between alliances and negotiate their way through their predicament.

Penelope Longstreet – Jodie Foster
Michael Longstreet – John C Reilly
Nancy Cowan – Kate Winslet
Alan Cowan – Christoph Walz
Zachary Cowan – Elvis Polanski
Ethan Longstreet – Eliot Berger

Director – Roman Polanski
Screenplay – Roman Polanski, Yasmina Reza, based on a play by Yasmina Reza
Original Music – Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography – Pawel Edelman
Producer – Saïd Ben Saïd

“Smart, dark, uncomfortable yet somehow endlessly watchable (even if you’re peeking through fingers), Polanski has succeeded in transferring the raw bile of Reza’s source play from stage to screen.” Daniel Green, Cine Vue.


I WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL (short film)

“1960s’ child-centred education at its very best. We should return to it!”

“Loved this – vanished days. Made by the NUT, so perhaps a trifle rose-tinted but, even so, how times have changed!”

“Very entertaining – those were the days!”

“A great aspirational film – did its best to show everyone in their best light
Strong memories evoked but it showed a more experimental method than my own strict ‘talk and chalk'”

“Very nostalgic but what happened to the Luton accent?”

“Took me back to the early ’60s, when much the same but no inkwells and desks in groups not rows.”

“Not a straightforward documentary – attempted to be a fly-on-the-wall docu-drama”

“School account very well done”

“Utopian but good for the NUT”

“Another world – was it really like that?”

“Another world. An ideal, perhaps idealised, school.”

“Too long and a bit of a dull, if idealistic, view of a school.”

“Luton? To-day’s kids would think this film was surreal science fiction!”

“Do we still have pupils and teachers like this?”

“Is this where Joyce Grenville [Grenfell] did her fieldwork?”

“The school seemed unnatural compared to my own school.”

“Not short enough”

“No merit at all!”

CARNAGE (feature)

“Brilliant feature!”

“Superbly made film. Build-up and timing were second to none!”

“Brilliant – very clever the way the comedy was wound up.”

“An excellent evening’s entertainment”

“Excellent acting and dialogue – excruciatingly funny”

“Exquisitely excruciating”

“One of the best American ensemble comedies in recent years. The entire cast was bloody brilliant and gave a master-class in screen acting on such a small set.”

“Superb update of Jean Paul Sartre’s play In Camera.”

“The contrast between early 1960s innocence and practicality was so well highlighted against 21st century ‘angst’. We probably need to submerge many more mobile ‘phones!”

“Very good satire”

“Good acting but it went on too long for the material”

“A well done play on film – one to go home and think about.”

“Very good acting by all concerned but it was like a filmed stage play.”

“Well drawn with some excellent lines”

“Much funnier than I expected and less bitter-sweet. Jodie Foster brilliant. Perhaps a tad predictable towards the end.”

“Funny in places but not up to his early standard. The animal wrangler did a great job with the hamster!”

“Pity the dialogue was so incoherent. An updated version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

“Like a long short – might make decent play …”

“Shades of Abigail’s Party

“A seminar in futility”

“There but for the grace of God, go we all …”

“The short was too long and the feature too short.”

“Perhaps we are just animals with a wardrobe allowance?”


A:16, B:17, C:7, D:1, E:1 to give 77%