HOW IT GOT MADE
Why it's important
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was originally written by Nottingham born Alan Sillitoe, and published in 1958. Just two years later, the film adaptation made by Woodfall Films was released, welcoming the late Albert Finney to the silver screen in his unforgettable role as Arthur Seaton; a hard drinking, hard fighting factory worker who treads on thin ice when he has an affair with a married woman.
Shocking audiences at the time, the film has gone on to be revered for its believable depiction of the working class, which stood in stark contrast to the whimsical melodramas of the upper class being portrayed in a lot of films at the time. Considered a pillar of the British New Wave of cinema, the environment, themes and characters found in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning are still as relevant as ever.
Directed by Luke Radford
I saw Saturday Night and Sunday Morning a few years ago and immediately read the book it's based on. It’s over 60 years since it was first released and the environment, themes and characters still resonate. I took themes and key elements of the original narrative and placed them in a contemporary setting with Arthur Seaton now working in telesales rather than the Raleigh factory.
The characters, setting, themes and dialect felt close to home. It sparked an interest in working-class identity, my own identity and became an anchor point for a lot of the photography, music and film I’m interested in. Characters and themes felt familiar and I wanted to explore how they would exist in a contemporary setting. The film/book felt real, honest and refreshing but also full of anger and alienation, with Arthur fighting the anticipation of settling down and turning into his parents. I’ve shown it to a lot of friends who normally wouldn’t be interested in watching a black and white film, and they enjoyed it because it still resonates. Almost everything about the story and its characters is still relatable and recognisable in 2019.