Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Ilkley, the movie

Readership of this blog has fallen to an all time low (and many thanks to both of you for persevering) which may be why no one has asked any questions about the film entitled 'Ilkley' that is being made in Ilkley and is apparently about, amongst other things, Ilkley.

Reading the programme for the upcoming Ilkley Literature Festival (no surprises that there is a session on J.B. Priestley or that I intend to go) reminded me that the film is supposedly set at the event and made me wonder if they would be shooting at any of the sessions. It turns out that they shot it in February and March and that it is currently in post-production. One can only assume that they are using CGI to add in the vast crowds who will soon flock to the Kings Hall, the Clarke-Foley centre, the Ilkley Playhouse etc etc and who weren't there earlier in the year. In fact if the dates I've seen for location shooting are correct viewers will leave the cinema with impression that there is always several feet of snow in Ilkley in late September.

As well as starring Sir Derek Jacobi, as mentioned in my previous post on the subject, it also features Roger Allam and Anna Maxwell Martin. She at least actually comes from Yorkshire; we shall have to reserve judgement on the others' accents until we hear them.

Still no news of toy soldier content, but it's not looking very promising.


  1. My toy soldier content is at an all time low too. Too busy, to tired etc etc.

  2. Presumably features a mild-mannered professor with a sideline in 17th Century wargaming whose homelife is wrecked by the intrusion of a dashing, charming, but spiritually barren colleague. Cuckolded and weak, the professor retreats into his books, there happening upon a Wells-era spell that will supposedly bring toy soldiers to life. He puts this aside as a curiosity, but after a particularly humiliating encounter with his love rival at the Ilkley White Boy Blues festival, he takes to his cups. Some way through a bottle of moderately cheap port he pulls out his 40mm hand-cast New Model Army (cue close ups). Suddenly full of self-loathing he throws it to the ground, damaging it badly. Shocked at what he has done, he remembers the spell, and in a moment of despair, impulsively utters the fateful words "Eye of newt and blood of toad, Oliver Cromwell go go go!" Of course, nothing happens. He dumps the bent and mutilated soldiers outside a secondhand shop, moves away and devotes the remainder of his life to learning the ukelele.

    Yet unbeknownst to him, the love rival, having tired of the professor's partner, develops an unhealthily consuming obsession with ECW period tactics. Finding a 40mm hand-cast Oliver Cromwell figure in a secondhand shop, he is amused by it. He returns home without making a purchase, but cannot sleep. The next afternoon, drawn back to the shop, he buys the figure. It is fascinating - it almost seems alive! That night he places Ollie on his bedside table by a glass of water. Cue close up: through the water we see the figure wriggle, flex his sword, and wink at the camera.

    The bedroom light goes out.

    Cue long shot of Ilkley at night: the camera pulls away; the screen turns black; a stonkingly good White Boy Blues intro commences; the credits roll.

    1. Now there's a film that I'd pay to go and see. I'm not sure who else would, but you can definitely count me in.

      If you want some script editing advice, the second-hand shop should be a charity shop; see Mark Dudley's 'Ilkley Old School' blog for background colour. As for the charming chap interested in wargaming and the blues, and with a penchant for married women - implausible beyond belief.

  3. Can't follow that! but if Roger Allam is in the film, it can't be all bad - he's a real star. Saw him in The Way of the World at NT, 20+ years ago, with Fiona Shaw and Geraldine McEwan, just fantastic! And Anna M-M is no slouch either..

    1. He was very good in Tamara Drewe as well. I'm not sure what part he's playing. I believe that Jacobi is a priest and Maxwell Martin is a detective.

      I hope that it gives a more accurate portrayal of Ilkley than Calendar Girls did.