The 400 Blows meets Straight Time. Based on the popular novel by Edward Bunker
“A character full of anger and tenderness, like a rare bird trapped in a cheap cage.”
“Little Boy Blue” is a poignant picaresque crime drama based on the novel by convicted felon turned writer Edward Bunker, adapted to contemporary UK. It follows the exploits of Alex, a boy with unique potential who, due to adverse life circumstances and a difficult temperament, enters a life of crime.
South Coast of England, early 2000s.Though extraordinarily intelligent for his age, 12 year-old Alex is also a loose cannon, wild at heart and with a natural talent for wreaking havoc everywhere he goes. Rebellious since his parents split up and his mother disappeared, he’s constantly running away from children’s homes and institutions, yearning to be with his beloved father Clem, a broken man who can’t provide him with the home he needs.
After Clem suddenly dies in a car crash and he accidentally shoots a man, Alex is sent to a Secure Children’s Home, a secure unit for children aged 12 to 17. As well as dealing with the loss of his father, he’s now locked up, charged with a serious crime and has nobody waiting for him outside. With his love for reading as his only escape, he clashes with a system that requires submission and acceptance of the rules, leading him into continuous conflict with authority figures and bullying peers. Alex can’t think of anything but running away and eventually manages to escape with his friend Kareem. During this brief interlude of freedom he unleashes himself, running at life full speed and taking us on a series of exhilarating, reckless and colourful adventures that cross over into crime. But Alex is not allowed to live on his own terms and soon he is caught again and sent to a Secure Training Centre, an even tougher institution for young offenders.
Alex is given a lifeline when an unknown aunt, Alice, suddenly shows up. This is his chance to have a family and a normal life and he works hard for it, until he’s finally allowed to leave the institution and move in with Alice and her husband Ray. But as Ray gradually reveals himself to be mean and domineering, Alex realises that, despite the lack of walls and fences he’s still trapped. Given the option to either submit to a dull authority or, once again, rely on his own strength, he decides to leave, even if it means breaking the law and irreversibly giving up his bond with society.
NOTE ON THE AUTHOR
Edward Bunker had a troubled start in life and began a criminal career at a very young age, finding himself incarcerated numerous times. His many convictions include forgery, drug dealing, extortion and armed robbery. He was still in prison when, at 40 years old he managed to publish his first novel “No Beast So Fierce”, which changed his fortunes. Paroled eighteen months later he left his criminal life behind and focused on writing, becoming one of the greatest crime authors of all time.Bunker’s novels have sold nearly 3 million copies in over 60 languages. Most have been adapted into successful films, such as “Straight Time”, “Animal Factory” and “Dog Eat Dog”. He was also the screenwriter for Oscar nominated “Runaway Train”, and has appeared in several films, most notably his legendary role as Mr Blue in Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”.
His novel “Little Boy Blue” is loosely inspired by his youth.
Tommaso is a film and theatre writer/director and an alumnus of the National Film and Television School. Previously, he graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Modern Literature from the University of Milan and in Theatre Directing from the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Arts.
He started his career in theatre, writing and directing award-winning plays for some of Italy’s most prestigious theatres, including “The Cheese and The Worms”, “Interviews With Hideous Men” (Teatro Stabile delle Marche, winner of the national competition Nuove Sensibilità), “De Falco’s Wedding” (Teatro Stabile di Napoli, Girulà Award for Best Playwriting) and “Orphans” (Teatro Elfo Puccini of Milan, Franco Enriquez National Awards for Best Performances and Best Production).
His short films “How I Didn’t Become A Piano Player” and “All The Pain In The World” have screened at more than 100 international film festivals and won many awards, including the Royal Television Society Award for Best Postgraduate Drama, the Premier Award at the British Universities Film & Video Council Awards, the Audience Award at Aspen Shortsfest, Best Comedy at Aesthetica, Best Director at Rhode Island and the Special Award of the Jury at Molodist.
Tommaso is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents and a member of the Italian Directors’ Guild. He is represented at Sayle Screen by Matthew Bates (Yorgos Lanthimos, Gaëlle Denis). His current slate includes “Little Boy Blue”, original dark comedy “Jazz Suite for a Dysfunctional Family”, adaptation “Mini & Me” and Italian documentary “Gigi Riva and Sardinia: A Love Story.