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The American Dreams

The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon form The American Dreams, two cult classics written and directed by Philip Ridley.

Ridley's debut feature The Reflecting Skin caused a sensation at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival and went on to win eleven international awards. Set in the Idaho farmlands of the 1950s, the film follows eight-year-old Seth through a mythical summer where reality is heightened to the level of a hallucinogenic, quasi-fantasy.

"A frighteningly assured directorial debut ... the film is a haunting, visionary tour de force. This tale of a child's blinkered view of adult dreads has an eerie, haunted radiance and hypnotic tug that may not come close to being rivaled."-Cinefantastique

The Passion of Darkly Noon is a modern fable; echoing the surrealist style of Ridley's dazzling and innovative debut film. A young man roaming the American countryside, the victim of a savage attack on his religious cult, is rescued by Callie, for whom he develops a dangerous obsession...

"Provocative, shocking and disturbing, a true original ... a masterpiece."-What's On

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About the Author

Playwright Philip Ridley was born in the East End of London, where he still lives and works. He is a contemporary artist, poet, novelist, film-maker and one of the country's most celebrated living playwrights, winning Time Out and Critics Circle awards for his plays; and he is the only person ever to have won the Evening Standard Award for both Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising playwright. His play The Fastest Clock In The Universe has just been revived by the Hampstead Theatre and Leicester Curve as part of the Hampstead's 50 year celebrations, and his new film Heartless, starring Timothy Spall and Luke Treadaway, is due for release in February 2010. Ridley has been described as 'probably a genius' (Time Out), 'a visionary' (Rolling Stone), 'the master of modern myth' (Guardian) and 'the best British playwright of the last 20 years' (Aleks Sierz, author of In-Yer-Face Theatre).


Philip Ridley is a singular writer, a prolific polymath, probably a genius, and the creator of some of the most peculiar, grotesque and compelling British plays (and films) of the last several years "Time Out"" "Philip Ridley is a singular writer, a prolific polymath, probably a genius, and the creator of some of the most peculiar, grotesque and compelling British plays (and films) of the last several years" --Time Out

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