‘Recession breeds introversion,’ said Gareth Jones, director of Desire, which gets a screening at the Exeter Phoenix on Wednesday, April 13.
A veteran of European theatre and TV, this is Gareth’s first feature, and it’s making the rounds of art house cinemas up and down the country -a rare occurrence for an independent film.
‘With the dearth of public subsidy and the demise of the UK Film Council, British feature film is looking for a new resourcefulness and new audiences,’ said Gareth.
Desire is the story of a screenwriter whose character threatens to take over not just his creative and sexual life but his sanity and plays out behind the doors of London family home, whose secrets simmer dangerously beneath the surface till desire tips the balance and the highly unstable mix erupts.
‘Of course political campaigning film is needed, that’s why I founded the European training programme Babylon. But British film tradition has abandoned too easily the home truths of, say, Coward and Priestley, who opened the shutters on the hidden family life of middle-class Britain,’ said Gareth.
‘If economic recession brings sexual repression, history tells us the result is Fascism. A new puritanism threatens us all and I refuse to let pornography steal the erotic agenda or celebrity opium kid us we’re all talented and famous. Few filmmakers now put themselves on the line. My family in Desire is neither unusual nor dysfunctional. Like many others, it has a larger emotional life than anyone owns up to. Political correctness has emancipated some, but cowed many others into the subterfuge and hypocrisy that characterized the ’50s.’