Set Shot From Chris Morris' Four Lions/Boilerhouse


(UPDATE- Guardian readers, feel free to enjoy other BleedingCool articles such as a more recent piece on Boilerhouse/Four Lions, the weekly column by Warren Ellis, Thursday in comics, Vertigo comics in Playboy, the fun of Swipe File or the ins and outs of contract negotiations in Marvelman – The Other Bid. We now return you to your regular article)

This is an amateur shot from the filming of the new Chris Morris movie, Boilerhouse (and/or) Four Lions, in Sheffield. Described as a "comedy of terror", it's the story of four North England young Islamic extremists and their attempts to create a terrorist atrocity, focusing on the errors, mistakes, clashes and diversion common to any project that, well, involves people.

Chris Morris was one of the defining controversial voices in British comedy in the nineties with On The Hour, The Day Today, Blue Jam and Brass Eye. His work this decade has been less prolific with Jam, Brass Eye Special, Nathan Barley, My Wrongs and brief appearances in The IT Crowd.

The movie is funded by Warp Films and Film 4 and produced by Mark Herbert (Donkey Punch.)

Kevin Eldon is clearly identified in the shot, as an armed policeman. A prolific and much admired character actor/comedian, Eldon has appeared in the likes of Dead Set, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Spaced, Big Train, Brass Eye, Fist Of Fun, Robin Hood, Hyperdrive, MI High, Law And Order and so much more.

The other may be Darren Boyd, from Hippies, Los Dos Bros, Smack The Pony, The Jane Show, Green Wing, LIttle Dorrit and Saxondale.

A year ago, I received the following email, describing the then-proposed film;

In three years of research, Chris Morris has spoken to terrorism experts, imams, police, secret services and hundreds of Muslims. Even those who have trained and fought jihad report the frequency of farce. At training camps young jihadis argue about honey, cry for their mums, shoot each other's feet off, chase snakes and get thrown out for smoking. A minute into his martyrdom video, a would-be bomber looks puzzled and says "what was the question again?" On millennium eve, five jihadis set out to ram a US warship. They slipped their boat into the water and carefully stacked it with explosives. It sank.

Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five a side football teams. There is conflict, friendship, misunderstanding and rivalry. Terrorism is about ideology, but it's also about berks.

Four Lions is a funny, thrilling fictional story that illuminates modern British jihad with an insight beyond anything else in our culture. It plunges us beyond seeing these young men as unfathomably alien. It undermines the folly of just wishing them away or alienating the entire culture from which they emerge. It understands how terrorism relates to testosterone. It understands jihadis as human beings. And it understands human beings as innately ridiculous. As Spinal Tap understood heavy metal and Dr Strangelove the Cold War, Four Lions understands modern British jihadis.

I really want to see this film. Photo courtesy of GarthMaul and his FlickR feed.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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