Salford to Saltburn: NFI

Baldwin, Jon (2024) Salford to Saltburn: NFI. Culture Matters, 2024.


Nobody Loves You and You Don’t deserve to Exist (dir. Brett Gregory, 2022) and Saltburn (dir. Emerald Fennell 2023) were released within a year of each other. Both, in their own way, offer a gothic twist on contemporary matters of British class and economic relations. They are refreshing and innovative, lyrical and sumptuous. Both are from under-represented film-directors, e.g. neither is an affluent white man. Both directors extract remarkable scenes from their actors, in particular a ten-minute single take of Reuben Clark by Gregory. Both have the classic locations found in British cinema, the gritty streets (of Salford) or the sprawling manor house (of Saltburn). But the journey to screen and subsequent destination of these films could hardly be more different. I make a comparison here, not to denigrate one (or other) of the filmmakers, but to try to shed light on class, privilege, and the screen industries.

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