ACHILLES PRODUCTIONS LTD: FEATURE FILM
PROJECTS

FEATURE FILMS IN DEVELOPMENT:


  1. 1.ANGELS STILL FALLING based on the “superlative play...utterly compelling” (TIME OUT CRITICS CHOICE) about Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and the Beat Generation: “The story of two men who changed the world to the extent they could no longer live in it.”  COMPARISON: WALK THE LINE, RAY

  2. 2.SOME KIND OF DARKNESS - a road movie thriller about a group of Oxford students on their way to perform MACBETH at the Edinburgh Festival who get involved with a disillusioned ex - Special Forces operative, a real life MACBETH, during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq. “Some kind of darkness has escaped from the War on Terror and now stalks the land.”  COMPARISON:  THE DEER HUNTER, SHALLOW GRAVE

  3. 3.WAYLAND SMITH - Wayland is one of a tribe of aliens shot out of the sky by their fascistic enemies the vile Org who became the Norse gods - and carry on the titanic struggle even in the present day, as the vile Org continually tweak human history to bring about the world they want.  COMPARISON: BLADE RUNNER

  4. 4.CONRAD’S HEART OF DARKNESS  Orson Welles’s favourite unfinished project: the story of a colonial adventure gone wrong - a dark tale for our times.  A group of men on a nightbound yacht on the Thames wait for the tide to turn as they gaze at the “brooding gloom” of London.  The aging MARLOW recounts his youthful voyage up the Congo to meet Mr. Kurtz - an experience that shows civilisation to be but a thin veneer over savagery - “the horror, the horror.”  COMPARISON: APOCALYPSE NOW

  5. 5.THE KINGDOM BY THE SEA: The true story of Edgar Allen Poe - a study in wild genius, diseased beauty, and doomed love. (see below)

  6. 6.WALTER: A SECRET LIFE  The amazing erotic double life of Victorian gentleman, at a “respectable” time when one in four women were forced to become prostitutes to survive at some time in their lives, and the Strand, so innocuous now, was thronged with thousands of prostitutes at midnight.  Walter’s story peels back the smooth, flowery surface of the sunlit Victorian lawn to reveal the dark secret soil beneath


We have just completed a new short film, THE WEB, which should demonstrate the level of skills we have at telling a story on film.  It features PORKPIE, aka DESMOND’S star RAMJOHN HOLDER, and a great cast, and is shot by CHRISTOPHER HUGHES  - who shot films for Derek Jarman among others.  THE WEB is a dark parable about the Credit Crunch, in the guise of a mysterious story about a bond salesman afflicted by the financial crash (JOHNNY HANSLER) who is picked up on the tube by a glamorous and nameless woman at the end of a drunken night.  The PREACHER MAN (as played by RAMJOHN) and the VIOLENT MAN (WILL FINDLEY’S embittered unemployed yob) try to prevent him from giving in to temptation in their various ways, but the mysterious lady (CHARLOTTE RADFORD) is too beautiful, and he surrenders to her charms.  But as we know from Ramjohn’s Preacher Man, adulterers and fornicators shall burn in hellfire...


Previous shorts as writer-director include PROPERTY, FREEZING IN MEXICO (a film about Neal Cassady’s final walk on Earth, along the railroad tracks in Mexico - shown at BAFTA and CANNES) and (as screenwriter) THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, a high budget 35mm version of Edgar Allen Poe’s haunting Renaissance tale of a murderous friendship (see IMDB).


Feature films in development include SOME KIND OF DARKNESS (script available - press for link) - a road movie thriller with a background in the War on Terror (script completed), and the screen version of the critically acclaimed play ANGELS STILL FALLING.  ANGELS STILL FALLING (script available - press for link) is based on the play of the same name about the rise and tragic fall of JACK KEROUAC.  This play was CRITICS CHOICE in TIME OUT and garnered a host of RAVE REVIEWS  (press for link.)  We have an epic saga, set in the ancient Norse world and also in the present day, reflecting the titanic struggle of the gods, represented by WAYLAND SMITH, against the vile Org - who have been tweaking human history since it began.  Which is why Hitler failed to get into art school, with the results we know.... We also have a version of that seminal tale of the fragile basis of modern civilisation, CONRAD’S HEART OF DARKNESS (press for link).  WALTER: A SECRET LIFE (press for link), about the amazing erotic double life of a Victorian gentleman - in a hypocritical age when one woman in three was forced by poverty to be a prostitute at some time in their lives. Walter’s story peels back the smooth, flowery surface of the sunlit Victorian lawn to reveal the dark secret soil beneath. Finally THE KINGDOM BY THE SEA (press for link) will tap again into one of our favourite enduring myths: the tormented genius, in this case the dying EDGAR ALLEN POE, dreaming drunken opium dreams of his life in exquisite colours.  A host of fantastic Poe images have been wrought over the centuries by Edmund Dulac, Aubrey Beardsley, Manet, Heath Robinson etc. - a treasure trove of erotic, hypnotic images which we will employ freely in the dream aspects of our film, as Edgar, fading away in the gutters of Baltimore, looks back over his life - a study in wild eccentric genius, diseased beauty, and love.  “O Baltimore, man it’s hard just to live” as Randy Newman puts it in his haunting song.