A drama-documentary presented by Alan Yentob, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Van Gogh.
Every word spoken by the actors in this film is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and the people around him. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, cultured and yet tormented man. The programme includes scenes of Ramsgate, where Van Gogh once stayed.
Written and directed by Jan Dunn (The Calling, Gypo), Ruby Blue stars Bob Hoskins (Hook, Enemy at the Gates), Josiane Balasko (My Life is Hell, French Fried Vacation), Jody Lathum (Shameless, EastEnders), Jessica Stewart (Genie in the House) and Josef Altin (Game of Thrones,Les Miserables).
The film is set in Ramsgateand several locations feature as themselves such as The Falstaff Inn, Ellington Park, The Granville, Ramsgate Port, and the High Street. Ramsgateis England’s only Royal Harbour, boasting of a rich history and has high speed rail links to London. Also Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, which can be seen in the film, is visible from the coastline on a clear day. Ramsgatehas since welcomed further media productions such as Big Bad World (2013), True Love(2012) and The Calling(2009).
Barnsole Vineyard in Canterbury is used as the location of Rosie’s (Angelica O’Reilly) place of work in the film. The same Vineyard also features in The Calling (2009).
Ruby Blue was first released in cinemas in 2007 and is now available to buy on DVD.
A one off drama starring Ken Stott as Hancock (Rebus) and Maxine Peake (Shameless), Hancock and Joan charts the affair between Hancock and his best friend’s wife, Joan Le Mesurier.
Not long wedded to their current spouses, Joan and Tony embarked on a passionate love affair that lasted nearly two years. But Tony, despite his adoration for Joan, was plagued with depression and alcoholism, which proved to be a constant drain on their relationship.
When Tony is offered a chance to revive his career with a new series in Australia, Joan gives him an ultimatum to give up alcohol and in return for her leaving John and marrying him. Agreeing Tony embarked to Australia. Unfortunately, the failure of his series and a misunderstanding about Joan’s loyalty for him prompted him to take his life.
Paul Hicks and his car. Copyright: Kent Film Office
On set of Hancock and Joan. Copyright: Kent Film Office
The programme is based on John Le Mesurier’s autobiography ‘Lady Don’t Fall Backwards’ and Edward Joffe’s ‘Hancock’s Last Stand’ and was filmed in the Le Mesurier’s home town of Ramsgate.
Set in 1967, the challenge to find period locations for the piece were providentially solved. Both Ramsgate itself and it’s close neighbour Broadstairs provided some untouched gems such as Morellli’s cafe, one of the only remaining 50’s style cafes in Britain and the house that doubled as John and Joan’s family home. Vintage cars where bought in from around the county to dress the streets, which proved to be a task in itself as despite glorious November sunshine temperatures were brisk and the cars had to be well looked after due to their fragile nature.
Gypo is a 2005 feature length film follows the breakup of a working class family when their teenage daughter befriends a Romany Czech refugee. Gypo told in three revelatory narratives, each from a particular character’s point of view, reveals how the disintegration of an ordinary working class family finally comes to a head when unexpected emotions are unleashed. An innovative, gripping and engaging journey into the heart of a dysfunctional British family on the Kent coast, Gypo reveals how suburban fears and tabloid sensationalism have come to perpetuate the myths surrounding refugees.
Jan Dunn (The Calling, Ruby Blue) directs and writes the screenplay to her debut feature length film. Pauline Mclynn (Father Ted, Eastenders, Angela’s Ashes) stars as Helen with a supporting cast including, Chloe Sirene (United 93, The Calling, Ruby Blue), Paul McGann (Alien 3, Withnail & I, Queen and the Damned).
Since their success with GYPO, Elaine Wickham and Jan Dunn, the team behind Medb Films have made a second feature set in East Kent, RUBY BLUE starring Bob Hoskins, as well as a short, MY MOTHER, both currently in post-production.
The film was released in November 2005 and is now available for DVD release.
With thanks to Jan Dunn and Elaine Wickham from Medb Films for the photos
The Big Sleep is a film adaption of Raymond Chandler‘s 1939 novel of the same name. Set in 1970’s London, private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is asked by a retired general (James Stewart) to investigate who is blackmailing his family.
The detective mystery film is directed and written by Michael Winner (Death Wish, The Sentinel, The Mechanic) and stars an array of acting talent including Sarah Miles (Blow-Up, Hope and Glory, The Servant), John Mills (Gandhi, Bean, Great Expectations), Oliver Reed (Gladiator, Oliver!, Tommy), Edward Fox (The Day of the Jackal, Never Say Never Again, The Bounty), James Stewart (Rear Window, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo) and Joan Collins (Benidorm, Dynasty, The Bravados).
The production visited The Royal Harbourin Ramsgate to film the scenes where General Sternwood’s chauffeur (Martin Potter) drives his car into the sea.
Ramsgate is a historic coastal town with England’s only Royal Harbour, stunning Victorian architecture, a sandy beach, amusements, arcades as well as shops and eateries. Ramsgate has previously been used as a film location in Big Bad World(2013), True Love(2012) and Gypo(2006).
The Big Sleep was released in 1978 and is now available on DVD.
À nous les petites Anglaises is a French coming-of-age film set in England in the summer of 1959. Two French boys Alain (Remi Laurent) and Jean-Pierre (Stephanie Hillel) who have failed their English exams are sent to the South of England, in the hope to improve their English. However, the boys find it is easier to flirt with the other French schoolgirls.
The film is directed by Michel Lang (Bankers Also Have Souls, Softwar) and stars Rémi Laurent (La Cage aux Folles, Les Plouffe). Stéphane Hillel (Austern mit Senf, Summer Night Fever) and Véronique Delbourg (Quand flambait le bocage, Peau d’ange).
The film was filmed mainly in Ramsgate, the arcades, the Foy Boat, Royal Harbour and the main sands feature throughout the film. King George VI park in Ramsgateis used for the scenes where the boys take their dates to the park. Botany Bay and Kingsgate Bay features as the beach where the students and their dates have parties and go swimming. ThePort of Doveris the place of arrival at the start of the film when Alain and Jean-Pierre arrive in the UK.
Set in early World War II, Contraband is about a Danish sea captain, delayed in a British port when a blackout occurs. The darkness brings chaos with smugglers and spies wanting to take advantage and the captain is forced to participate in a game of cat and mouse through the dark streets of London looking for important papers that belong to the ship. However, he discovers something a lot bigger than a few thieves trying to make a quick profit.
Directed by Michael Powell (Black Narcissus, A Matter of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp), the film stars Conrad Veidt (Nazi Agent, Casablanca, Above Suspicion), Valerie Hobson (The Voice of Merrill, Background, Knave of Hearts) and Hay Petrie (Noose, The Monkey’s Paw, The Queen of Spades).
Ramsgate, particularly the harbour and railway station doubled as the fictional town Eastgate-on-Sea in the film.