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Sometimes Always Never is the debut feature film from Liverpool filmmaker, musician and designer Carl Hunter. It marks the latest stage in a collaboration with screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce and stars Bill Nighy, Sam Riley, Alice Lowe, Jenny Agutter and Tim McInerny.

The film was released digitally in March, following a successful festival run over the past couple of years, and tells the story of Nighy searching for his long missing son, with Riley as the brother left behind. It’s a moving story, beautifully told and as lockdown got underway, Neil talked with Carl about the film, his filmmaking process and that slippery question ‘what is British cinema?’.

Prior to their chat, Carl sent Neil some images - his scrapbook of ideas and some polaroids - that informed the filmmaking process. He has kindly agreed for us to post a couple here, including the one that sold Bill Nighy on the project as discussed on this episode.

The conversation is framed by Neil and Dario’s discussion of the film and how it engages with ideas of Britishness and masculinity, the subtleties that mark the film out from other similarly themed films and the thrill of finding work to champion that sits on the fringes of the mainstream glut.

Sometimes Always Never can be rented on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and pretty much anywhere you get your streaming rental fix.

Two of Carl and Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s previous collaborations, the brilliant Shakespeare inspired short A Winter’s Tale and the Beatles inspired short A Day In Life: Twenty Four Zero Hours can be found on YouTube here and here. They are superb shorts in their own right, but also provide a wonderful road map to their debut feature together.

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