At Cannes last week, IFC made a package deal for the adaptations of David Peace’s Red Riding novels. Produced by England’s Channel Four, who aired them as a miniseries in March, the three loosely interlocking films tell the story of the hunt for a Yorkshire serial killer in the 1970s and 80s.
Starring Sean Bean, Andrew Garfield and David Morrissey, the first film, 1974, is the story of an unhinged journalist (Garfield) attempting to solve a murder mystery the police want left alone. In Peace’s novel the reporter comes apart as his story falls into place, and the film is colored with the same dark palatte. The unblinking violence of the story should be a shock to anyone who considers CSI a thriller.
Peace is also the author of The Damned Utd, a retelling of the collapse of a Yorkshire football club that happened in the same gritty 1970s. That too has been adapted into a feature film, but has not yet found distribution stateside. Unlike soccer, murder is always marketable.