On the encounter of it, Supernova is a highway movie that can take us past the peaks and huge meres of the Lake District. But it’s also a film that navigates its way via a landscape of love, reduction and the emotional effects of a person of the most severe health and fitness difficulties of our time. It stars Colin Firth (Satisfaction & Prejudice, 1917) as Sam, a classical pianist, and Stanley Tucci (Major Night, The Satan Wears Prada) as Tusker, a novelist who has been diagnosed with youthful-onset dementia. The few have been jointly for many years, are dealing with a seismic shift in their marriage, and have resolved to embark on one particular past journey alongside one another. Accompanied by their dog, Ruby, they head out in their camper van (a Fiat Autotrail Cheyenne) to revisit outdated haunts and satisfy up with buddies and household, culminating in a comeback recital for Sam.
‘They’re on a significant, emotional journey, and it appeared acceptable to mirror that with a literal journey,’ suggests Harry Macqueen, Supernova’s author and director, who invested a few years functioning carefully with dementia sufferers and their carers. ‘I was actually fascinated in road films in any case, and in somewhat perverting that style. But it felt attention-grabbing to explain to what is, fundamentally, a domestic drama in a a little more one of a kind way.’
THE LAKE DISTRICT
For Supernova, the generation crew ended up based up in north Cumbria at the disused Cumberland pencil manufacturing unit in Keswick, constructed in 1916 with a striking Art Deco façade, and which applied the nearby graphite mines for its uncooked products. It was below that the established for the couple’s camper van inside was crafted. People can pencil in a few of hrs at the Derwent Pencil Museum below and marvel at the 26ft-lengthy yellow pencil on show – the museum by itself appeared in Ben Wheatley’s 2012 comedy-horror Sightseers. An early stop for Tusker and Sam on their journey is Cafe Sixty Six – named for the A66 – in Appleby, and the historic city of Sedbergh, which is essentially in the Yorkshire Dales Countrywide Park but close to the eastern Lakes and dwarfed by the Howgill Fells – which hiking pioneer and author Alfred Wainwright explained as hunting like ‘a herd of sleeping elephants’. For Tusker and Sam, nevertheless, it’s the additional prosaic sight of the Spar supermarket – in whose vehicle park they spend the night – that grabs their consideration.
Lots of of the landscape shots were being filmed around Bassenthwaite Lake, and some of the most extraordinary driving pictures had been at Honister Move – the famous, snaking street that connects Buttermere with the Borrowdale valley and rises up to 1,167 toes to a previous slate mine that can be frequented by way of a Countrywide Trust vehicle park. (Sir Christopher Wren used Honister slate in his designs for Kensington Palace.) The 4-mile-very long Bassenthwaite Lake is famously the only human body of water formally termed a ‘lake’ in the Lake District, with its shallow waters drawing wild swimmers, The Lakes Distillery attracting other people, and the fish in the lake bringing in uncommon wild ospreys, which ended up re-launched here in 2001.
For the duration of their journey, the pair park their Fiat camper van for a handful of days in close proximity to Lorton, south of Cockermouth, for a bash with Sam’s sister Lilly (Pippa Haywood) at a private loved ones house called Substantial Rogerscale. Nearby is the small Sandybeck Meadow Countrywide Nature Reserve, which is scented by wildflowers in the summer season. The closing scenes of the film were being shot at a secluded holiday getaway cottage called The Sprint, around Bassenthwaite – a family members-owned farmhouse sleeping eight, which can be rented out for a staycation just a brief stroll from the Whitewater Dash waterfall and mighty Skiddaw mountain.
‘It was an almighty nightmare filming in the Lake District,’ claims co-producer Tristan Goligher. ‘I truly observed it surprisingly complicated at situations, offered the terrain and the sizing of the roadways. British nation roads do not lend themselves to moving a movie device close to, and though we were being rather small, we weren’t that modest. We experienced autos sliding off roads and having trapped in mud, and we had to construct a unique monitor to get the products out to some of the areas.’ The climate for which the Lake District is identified was a recurring ingredient in the course of filming. Supernova’s renowned cinematographer, Dick Pope (a Mike Leigh standard, who has worked on Vera Drake, Secrets and techniques & Lies and Mr Turner, between some others), recalls a defining instant though filming. ‘It experienced been raining so tough and so frequently, and still this just one early morning – and we have been up there seriously early to seize it – the climate was wonderful, certainly wonderful. I’d never seen the fuss about the Lake District until eventually the revelation of seeing this camper heading down to the lakeside on this joyous autumnal morning.’
THE LAKE DISTRICT IN Film
Cumbria has a particular put in the UK’s collective psyche. We feel of it as a wild spot for untrammelled adventures and lyrical liberty, impressed in aspect by a nostalgia curated by Edwardian classics these kinds of as the books of Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome. (In actuality, substantially of it has been formed, and its wilderness eroded, by sheep farming.) Of course, its landscape also belongs to Wordsworth, who was born in Cockermouth and whose daffodils ended up spied on the banking institutions of Ullswater, and to fellwalking champion Alfred Wainwright, who mapped out 214 peaks and whose tips that ‘there’s no such matter as undesirable climate, only unsuitable clothing’ rings as correct now as in the 1950s.
In cinema it appeared, predictably, in the 2018 Peter Rabbit film and its sequel – both equally a combine of stay motion and CGI – and in Overlook Potter, the 2006 biopic of Peter’s creator, starring Renée Zellweger and shot in Loughrigg Terrace and Loughrigg Tarn, Grasmere and Coniston’s Yew Tree Farm, which belonged to the author in the 1930s. And it was the purely natural environment for each the 1974 and 2016 versions of Swallows and Amazons, which had been filmed about Coniston. On Tv, the six-aspect Deep Drinking water, starring Anna Friel and based mostly on the novels of Paula Daly, played out its tempestuous domestic dramas from the watery backdrop of Windermere, when David Lean’s marginally far more restrained Short Come across (1945) was partly filmed on a bridge in Ambleside (although its popular coach-station scene was shot additional south at Carnforth in Lancashire).
A different good British highway-motion picture-of-kinds, Withnail and I, whose two protagonists ‘go on getaway by mistake’, was partly filmed at Crow Crag, or else known as Sleddale Hall in Cumbria, and Haweswater Reservoir. And while the Lakes are forged versus type in Star Wars VII: The Power Awakens, standing in for the planet Takodana, it is however the glorious surroundings that bewitches – as the Millennium Falcon flies around a conjoined Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, Rey (Daisy Ridley) states, ‘I didn’t know there was so much eco-friendly in the whole galaxy!’
‘Supernova’ was unveiled in British isles cinemas on Friday 25 June 2021
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