Those who have heard of Simon Rumley in America are likely to be familiar with his work in horror anthologies above all else. Though his psychological thriller Red, White and Blue was met with acclaim, we have only seen installments among many other directors since then. The last portion of Little Deaths was Rumley's, and one of the most tasteless sequences of The ABCs of Death also belongs to this British filmmaker. These films were my first impression of Rumley as a filmmaker, which is a shame.
I would have gone ahead thinking that he was just another tasteless horror director had I not been introduced to these three independent British films. He has fallen a great deal as an artist with the increase of a budget and international acclaim, which is apparent by the fact that these three lower-than-low budget films are far more engaging. These films are dialogue heavy and solidly acted, while his latest additions to cinema have been less thought-provoking and more visceral. These three films set in 1990s London are inspired by Richard Linklater's first three films, Slacker, Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise, though I found there to be aspects of Mike Leigh's Naked and some of John Cassavetes' classics.
The Truth Game (2001) is a foray into more traditional independent cinema, though it contains the same type of dialogue-heavy scenes as Strong Language. This time they are dialogues instead of monologues, and the random ignorant statements which are spoken by certain characters can now be reprimanded. Three couples in their 30s gather for a dinner party in London, discussing a variety of topics with bold honesty while also retaining certain lies from those they are meant to care about the most. There are many revelations throughout the evening, involving adultery, illness and drugs. Other secrets go unspoken. This film shows strength for dialogue in Rumley's work, matched by a great cast of actors (Paul Blackthorne, Tania Emery, Thomas Fisher, Selina Giles, Stuart Laing and Wendy Wason). The DVD for The Truth Game includes a director's commentary a premiere featurette.
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