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Pet Shop Boys 'Loneliness' by Alasdair McLellan

David Knight - 22nd Feb 2024

Alasdair McLellan revisits Sheffield in the early 90s for his video for the Pet Shop Boys' Loneliness - from the duo's forthcoming album Nonetheless - a coming of age story set among a group of young friends and lovers. 

It's something to behold. McLellan brings the unmistakeable tenor of his fashion photography into the space of classic British narrative drama. He asks the viewer to buy into a different way of absorbing a story and characters we might expect from the likes of Shane Meadows - or from an earlier era, the British new wave of the 60s - and does so with complete conviction.

None of the bright blue skies for which he's renowned here, but McLellan presents all the other beauty that South Yorkshire has to offer - with the help of a team including DoP Lex Kembery, casting director Hannah Ward Ashby at Lane Casting, editor Alexandros Pissourios and colourist Jamie Noble at Studio RM.

It works because at its core, it's a compelling story of a young man carving his way in the face of the societal norms of his class, culture and the times. He is a closeted queer boy in a straight world, engaged in a double existence. It leads him into unsettling level of deception, of an adoring girlfriend and possibly himself, but McLellan does not shy away from the excitement of his sexual encounters.

As a video for this lovely new Pet Shop Boys track - and the legendary duo make a surprising appearance towards the end of the film - the overall effect is poignant, nostalgic and romantic. But it may draw out a whole variety of emotions from anyone watching it, and although it may not be everyone's cup of (Yorkshire) tea, that makes it a very good thing indeed.

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David Knight - 22nd Feb 2024


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Alasdair McLellan
Cara Gillies
Production Company
Partner Films
Executive Producer
Kimberly Arms


Director of Photography
Lex Kembery
Film Lab
2nd Assistant
Simon Mackinlay
3rd Assistant
Jessica Pearson


Alice Goddard
Laurence Walker
Phoebe Taylor
Make-up (Artist)
Jackie Tyson


Casting director
Hannah Ashby Ward
Brennan Aldred
Will Woodward
Connor Newall
Elikem Agbesi
Giselle Norman
James Bayes
Kyrae Patterson
Mimi Morley Iszatt
Paddy Byfield
Pet Shop Boys
Rashad Serhan
Sohaib Akram
Stella Jones
Xavier Thomas


Alexandros Pissourios


Jamie Noble
Colour grade company


Post Producer
Tom Katter


Director's Representation
Art Partner


Imran Malik
Talent Management
Angela Becker, Charlie Coletta

Other credits

Intimacy Coordinator

Haley Muraleedharan

David Knight - 22nd Feb 2024

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