wed 20/03/2019

Film Interviews

Q&A Special: Matthew Bourne and the making of Swan Lake 3D

ismene Brown

A boy alone in his vast white bedroom has a recurrent haunting dream, frightening yet somehow comforting - a swan invades his mind, simultaneously menacing him with its power and wildness, and yet wrapping its great wings around him to shield him, with some ambiguous kind of love.

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Interview: 10 Questions for Clotilde Hesme

Demetrios Matheou

Earlier this year Clotilde Hesme won the César, France’s equivalent to the Oscars, for “most promising actress” in the excellent, atypical love story Angel & Tony. One wonders if the voters have some kind of collective myopia, or simply don’t see enough good movies, because Hesme stopped being "promising" a long time ago.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Greta Gerwig

Demetrios Matheou

Greta Gerwig has been sneaking up on us for a while now, a star waiting to happen. If  this were the Seventies, it would have happened already, since that was a decade when Gerwig’s kind of effortlessly natural eccentricity was wholeheartedly embraced; it was when, indeed, the young Gerwig’s role model Diane Keaton came to prominence, as Woody Allen’s muse and onscreen foil. Gerwig, a writer and director as well as actress, certainly has the chops to be another Keaton.

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Interview: American Pie Cast Reunion

Veronica Lee

Who knew back in 1999 that a comedy about a bunch of teenage boys desperate to lose their virginity before they graduated from high school would be so popular? Adam Herz's script for American Pie, filmed by debutant directors Chris and Paul Weitz, was a huge box-office hit, and spawned two sequels; American Pie 2 (2001), American Wedding (2003), and now a third - American Pie: Reunion. There were also four spin-off straight-to-DVD films.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor-Director Karl Markovics

Jasper Rees

 It’s not so very rare for actors to be given a shot at directing their own film. It happens slightly less often that they find financial backing to work on their own script. What makes Breathing, which opened this week in the UK, such a collector’s item is that it is so very accomplished.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Film-maker Andrew Kötting

Graham Fuller

Fifteen years after I first saw Andrew Kötting’s Gallivant (1996), I’m still haunted by its depiction of the pilgrimage Kötting made around the coast of Britain with his 85-year-old grandmother Gladys and his seven-year-old daughter Eden (pictured together below right).

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The King's Speech: From Screen to Stage

David Seidler

George VI had been my hero since childhood because I was such a terrible stutterer. We had been evacuated from England to the US and during the war, particularly the latter stages, my parents would encourage me to listen to the King’s speeches on the wireless. “Listen, David,” they’d say, “he was a far worse stutterer than you, and listen to him now. He’s not perfect but he can give these magnificent stirring speeches that really work.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Michael Fassbender

Demetrios Matheou

The first time I saw Michael Fassbender (b 1977) in the flesh, it was in Venice, in 2011. I was heading home on the last day of the film festival, where Steve McQueen’s Shame – starring the Irishman as a New York sex addict – had enjoyed an enthusiastically received premiere a week before.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Ken Russell, 1927-2011

Jasper Rees

In 2006 the thatched house in Lymington on the Hampshire coast which had been the home of Ken Russell (b 1927) for 30 years burned down. All of the director’s original film scripts, including Women in Love, The Devils and Tommy, were destroyed. So was the bulk of the music collection which inspired him to make his groundbreaking films about composers in the 1960s.

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Q&A: Director Terence Davies on The Deep Blue Sea

Jasper Rees

The trajectory of Terence Rattigan’s standing finds two peaks separated by a deep trough. From the late Thirties to the mid Fifties, he gave a voice to a social class which liked to keep its feelings under lock and key. Then in 1956 Rattigan was occluded by the dazzling verbal incontinence of Jimmy Porter.

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Q&A Special: Director Mike Mills on Beginners

Jasper Rees

At Thanksgiving in 1999, a 75-year-old retired widowed museum director came out to his family. He had only recently been widowed after a marriage lasting more than four decades. One of the people to whom he broke the news was his son Mike Mills, then in his early thirties and not yet a film director.

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Interview: Errol Morris on making Tabloid

Nick Hasted

When the former Miss Wyoming, Joyce McKinney, walked towards UK Customs in 1977, she had a perfect tabloid story in her bag: handcuffs, a Smith and Wesson pistol, and a burning desire to rescue the love of her life from the Epsom Mormons.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon

David Nice

Those of us un-Zeitgeisty enough to miss the Royal Ballet’s first new full-length ballet in 20 years during its first run can now catch up. Opus Arte’s DVD release of the televised Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland tells a different story from the one any audience members other than front-of-stalls ticket holders would have caught. With more focus on the characters and less on the potentially overwhelming special effects, we probably get a better deal.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Paul Bettany

ASH Smyth

Since breaking onto the movie scene in 2001 with major roles in A Knight's Tale and A Beautiful Mind, London-born Paul Bettany (b 1971) has pretty much gone through the card.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director István Szabó

Jasper Rees

When I interviewed the great Hungarian film-maker István Szabó (b 1938) in his native Budapest, he took me on a tour of the city centre on the Pest side of the Danube. On the way we were distracted by a flashy café designed to lure tourists. It was called Mephisto – after the film by Szabó, presumably, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1981.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Writer/Director David Leland

Hilary Whitney David Leland: 'There was a lot of me in Trevor. I was getting rid of a lot of anger in my system about what I went through in terms of education - or lack of it'

David Leland (b 1947) has worked extensively both sides of the Atlantic but he is best known, both as a writer and a director, for his shrewd observations of ordinary people struggling against the constraints and hypocrisy of the accepted social mores of English life in films such as Mona Lisa (1986), Personal Services (1987) and Wish You Were Here (1987). However, it was Made in Britain (1982), a television play written by Leland for Channel 4 and...

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