Contact & Elephant
2 films


U.K. 1985 (64 mins) English
Dir. Alan Clarke, Starring: Sean Chapman, John Blundell, Ozzie Stevens, Jason Culiffe, Steve Sweeney, Graham Fletcher Cook, Gary Hailes, Chris Lee

A war film that follows a platoon of English Soldiers as they patrol the border between Northern and Southern Ireland. The camera follows them so closely that we are forced to live their tension as they search for snipers and explosive devices among the farms and derelict ruins. The audience is forced to feel both, comrade and enemy, victim and aggressor so that in the end we are left wondering why the English are in Ireland. Contact is a film that embodies all the strengths of Alan Clarke's late work: vigorous preparation, openness to the play of ideas among cast and crew and a hard edged mastery of mise in scene. The result is a critique of futile militarism as powerful as any mad by Kubrick or Fuller.

Further information available curtesy of the Wellington Film Society - click here


U.K. 1989 (37 mins) English
Dir. Alan Clarke, Starring: Gary Walker, Bil Hamilton, Michael Foyle, Danny Small, Robert Taylor, Joe Cauley, Joe McGee, Patrick Condren, Andrew Downs, Terry Doyle,Michael Liebmann, Gavin Bloomer, Barry Brent, Paul Nemer, Sam Doyle, Burt Murray, B.J. Hogg

"Perhaps the most controversial film ever made on Northern Ireland's Troubles, certainly the most unique, Elephant is simply a sequence of sectarian shootings, filmed silently and remorselessly by a roving Steadicam. Made in Blefast, Alan Clarke's penultimate work is a brutally minimalist attempt to show the futility of the cycle of violence." Richard Kelly, Edinburgh Film Festival.

Shot using non-actors and mostly where the crimes occurred, Clarke's Elephant was inspired by tales of sectarian murders in Northern Ireland, that weren't usually reported on outside the country. Banned for several years by the BBC, it may be one of the most daring and gut -wrenching indictment of violence ever committed to celluloid.

Further information available curtesy of the Wellington Film Society - click here