England in the late seventies. Chris, thirty-something, lives with Marion and their baby daughter in “Metroland”, the dreary suburb where he grew up. Toni, his best friend from his teenage years, suddenly reappears in his life. Inevitably, they reminisce about their twenties and the way they lived then ... wanting to be artists, yearning for girls, Paris and its myths ... Inevitably, Chris thinks back on his intense love affair with a French girl, Annick, who opened up new vistas for him...
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I remember reading Julian Barnes’s book “Metroland” when it first came out in 1980. The whole concept was very much a part of my youth and I felt a real affinity with it, but never really thought about it as a film. At the time, I actually thought it was rather unfilmable. Adrian Hodges’ screenplay concentrates more on 1977, the later years in Barnes’s book. This gives more scope to the boys in their thirties. Having gone their separate ways in their youth they meet up many years later, discovering the same affection for each other, but strongly disagreeing over moral and sexual behaviour. This excited me as a film-maker as I have known many people who have found themselves in a similar situation. We had a wonderful response to the subject matter from all the people we approached. We were knocked out that so many of them were as drawn to the script as we had been. Despite the fact that we were thrown into it so quickly, I never doubted that it would work. I have to say that Andrew Bendel, the producer, must be made of steel, he has tremendous tenacity, dealing with so many producers. Full marks to him for being so strong-willed and pulling it all together. (Philip Saville)