An excerpt from the booklet essay by Nick Bradshaw.
Someday My Prince Will Come follows ten-year-old serial monogamist Laura-Anne through a year of haphazard relationships with sundry local boys from her windswept locale of Siddick, on the Cumbrian coast, as they verge on the pressures of adolescence; Philip and His Seven Wives shacks up with an erstwhile rabbi turned horse rearer, secondhand-furniture magnate and polygamist in Hove as he attempts to chivvy all seven women towards his vision of the divine. But both approach their subjects without condescension or sensation, and indeed consider their struggles within frameworks of fanciful precociousness (Laura-Anne’s scripted courtly rhyming couplets; Philip’s God-revealed identity as a Scriptural king) that allow Isaacs to combine their subjectivity with deadpan irony.
Playing out against the backdrop of Siddick’s big, beckoning seascapes and its budding rows of busy wind turbines, Laura-Anne’s romantic rondo serves as both a thumbnail rehearsal of the never-smooth course of love and a prism on life in a deindustrialised northern village. The child’s-eye entry point to adult affairs is a common enough trope, but Isaacs never uses Laura-Anne to wink at the audience: an early doorstop conversation she has with Isaacs about kissing (“Err… tingly”) establishes that she’s no naïf, and her voiceover’s encapsulation of her quest for a prince “to keep her warm, and light up her heart” reminds us that she’s as entitled to her needs and dreams as any full-throated Disney princess.
Nor does Isaacs suffice to wring his hands at the poverty he finds in Siddick – plain as it is to see in the edges of his frame. Laura-Anne’s cousin / neighbour / sometime beau Stephen isn’t a case study but a strange, formidable and vulnerable pre-teen whose mother says is now in a stage where he needs the influence of his (imprisoned) father. The image of this pint-sized Wild One shambling home across the village green with his school bag barely holding in place his half-buttoned shirt is a wonder of motivational mystery – is this a pose, or genuine delinquency? A later conquest of Laura-Anne’s, Jamie from “over the sea” (i.e. neighbouring Seaton), is more prematurely wizened – “Dad always used to hit us but it just made us harder,” he says impassively, before stepping outside to suck on a cigarette and rehearse his smoke rings. We don’t see the beating he claims he’s just administered Ben, another of Laura-Anne’s exes; for Isaacs’ character led films, self-presentation is action. Over Jamie’s shoulder, Laura-Anne holds her counsel: at least he’s here with her now, unlike the inconstant Ben, busy growing into a “true Siddick man” of the sea, a budding fisherman with his eye on the prospects beyond the shore.
Will Laura-Anne, too, have to cast her net wider? The wind blows, the turbines turn, the seasons roll ‘round. The sun once more hangs long and low on the water.
Nick Bradshaw's complete essay, from which this excerpt is taken, appears in the booklet which accompanies the DVD release.
(i) This Much is True - an Interview With Marc Isaacs by James Quinn
(ii) The Times of Israel interview with Philip
(iii) Laura Rascaroli: A Discussion on the films of Marc Isaacs
(iv) What is documentary?
(vi) Marc Isaacs' latest work - Men Who Sleep in Trucks
UK, 2005 / 2006
Length / Someday My Prince Will Come: 49 minutes
Length / Philip and His Seven Wives: 69 minutes
Special features: 31 minutes
Original Stereo (restored)
Original aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Release Date: 23 Jan 2017 Second Run DVD 114