TV broadcasts emphasised the dark visuals of this much-acclaimed series of adaptations of David Peace’s scarifying Yorkshire-set crime novels; the DVD issues render detail far more clear and accessible. Scripted by Tony Grisoni and directed by Julian Jarrold, James Marsh and Anand Tucker, Red Riding is a grim but utterly compelling trilogy of films built around the six-year police investigation of the Yorkshire Ripper, folded in with other fictitious crimes. The re-working of the novels by David Pearce (1974, 1980 and 1983) are handled with immense assurance, though this is deeply uncomfortable viewing. It’s perhaps a legitimate point to make that the treatment of the West Yorkshire Police – while consummately acted and directed — has something in common with Mel Gibson’s treatment of the British in such movies as The Patriot: they are presented as brutal Nazi storm troopers, utterly corrupt and beyond any law. But there is no gainsaying the skilfulness of the realisation here. The powerful, resolutely unconsoling dramas are bolstered with remarkable performances from a stellar cast including Sean Bean, Andrew Garfield, Paddy Considine, Warren Clarke, Peter Mullan, David Morrissey, Maxine Peake, Rebecca Hall and Mark Addy.

RED RIDING TRILOGY

Various directors/Optimum

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