I just posted my interview with Attack the Block writer/director Joe Cornish and star John Boyega in which we talk, among other things, about the South London slang used in the film. The language was actually cause of some debate when the film first premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this year when it was rumored subtitles would be included when the film played in the States. Thankfully, Screen Gems hasn’t sullied the film with what would’ve been a stupid decision, but seeing how I’m sure the language is something detractors will use to bully it, I thought I would go on the offensive.
When the conversation turned to the slang used in the film, Joe said the following, which is what got me to thinking about doing this in the first place. This statement speaks not only to how Joe approached the language in the film, but what it actually means in relation to the underlying subtext at the core of the feature:
So check out the cheat sheet below, in which I breakdown the following words and phrases as they are used in the film: “allow it,” “bangers,” “bare,” “believe,” “block,” “bruv,” “fam,” “innit,” “merked,” “peak,” and “shiv”. I included the word “block” as one of the eleven words since it’s a word not specifically used here in the States in the same way and considering it’s in the title I wanted absolutely no confusion whatsoever. Oh, and thanks to the Urban Dictionary I didn’t have to come up with these definitions myself.
In other Attack the Block news, you can read my full interview with Joe and John here and my theatrical review here. The film hits limited theaters in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Chicago tomorrow, July 29.
If you’d like a larger, printable version, I’ve got you covered, just click here.