Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee

Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee


Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald

Le Donk feels like a character almost perfectly formed from the first scene - "Let's make music-fuckin history", he barks in the first shot. Donk (Paddy Considine) is a borderline talentless gimp, having lived on the outside of the music industry since forever. He's got the masculine aggro defence mechanism on standby and a delicious sense of timing; he's basically another East Midlands chancer that Meadows and Considine have been performing variations on for more than 10 years rather well. It's all very funny and clever stuff. Considine - in a gorgeous comic performance - sports a haircut like an upside-down rubberplant, and has charm, and a motormouth to match.

The story was probably pitched off the back of a postage stamp - ageing rocker picks up sidekick, goes to Old Trafford to support the Arctic Monkeys, has his first child and learns various responsibilities on the way, all in a single weekend. The film was made in a similar timeframe, which might raise a few eyebrows. I needn't have worried; Meadows is far too talented a filmmaker at a nuts and bolts level to make anything truly awful, and the heavily compressed timescale does not compromise the feel.

The film has been roughly fashioned as a mockumentary and, in this guise, often pulls down the fourth wall with great force. It brings into play two cameramen - one of whom is Meadows playing a fictionalised version of himself, who has many hilarious heated exchanges with the cast, and offers pertinent love-life advice to very funny effect. In addition, the camera-shy producer Mark Herbert and the Arctic Monkeys turn up as themselves. The fatherhood story lends the slender material structure. The relationship with Donk's ex-girlfriend (Olivia Coleman) is a source of much passive-aggressive comedy. Coleman comes close to corpsing with all Donk's full-on masculine gibberish.

Donk's sideckick is a lardy white rapper, Scor-Zay-Zee (playing himself), a seriously talented performer in his own right. He's so good, he ended up getting a lot more material as shooting continued. ("Kids need hugs, not drugs") Also, the film had its name changed to get both of them on the poster. Considine gets a lot of funny material out of this, as the mockumentary threatens to switch leading roles. "He's like the Honey Monster with a lobotomy" - Donk moans as Scor-Zay-Zee gets more attention from the Monkeys than himself.

In the current economic climate where studios only splash out on known brands, the five-day shoot and minimally budgeted guerilla filmmaking movement that Meadows is pushing seems like a great step in the right direction. The inexpensive digital filmmaking revolution may inspire the next movement as Easy Rider found a niche that wasn't being filled in the late 60s. As an experiment - Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee is a success. It doesn't aspire to be anything more than what it is - a very slightly extended skit; a bunch of creative types having a laugh, and for the price of a ticket they invite us along for the ride.

That, and the opening credits are the most groovy hand-drawn efforts since Grease!

Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2009
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Improvised mockumentary about rock and roll - shot in five days.
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Director: Shane Meadows

Writer: Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine

Starring: Paddy Considine, Scor-Zay-Zee, Olivia Coleman, Richard Graham, Shane Meadows, Seamus O’Neil, The Arctic Monkeys

Year: 2009

Runtime: 71 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2009

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