Interviews

Aftersun Interview: Frankie Corio – ‘Paul is now my very, very best friend’.

Scottish drama Aftersun by writer and director Charlotte Wells has been knocking audiences for six on the film festival circuit. The plot follows dad Calum, played by Normal People star Paul Mescal, and his daughter Sophie on an all-inclusive week in the sun. Beautifully told through the memories of an older Sophie as she reflects on the holiday years later, the film explores how our perception of our parents can change over time. I was fortunate enough to sit down with 12-year-old Frankie Corio who plays the young Sophie in the film. Already shortlisted for various awards, this is just the beginning for this rising star!

There are elements of Aftersun that are incredibly dark and melancholic but, at the same time, it’s all shot in the summer sun. Did you have fun on the shoot and what was your favourite part of the experience?

All of it! Filming was really fun and most of the stuff I was doing didn’t really feel like work. It was great and it was so hot, so I loved all of it but mainly the nice hot weather!

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cinema · Interviews · LFF22

Klokkenluider Interview: Neil Maskell – ‘I’m angry, so it’s a way of expressing frustration with my own apathy’.

After an acting career that has spanned almost thirty years, Neil Maskell is finally pursuing his long-time passion to write and direct. His debut feature is black comedy thriller Klokkenluider and centres around a government whistleblower and his wife. Ready to tell their story to the press, they are joined by a pair of eccentric bodyguards to protect from any potential threat. I was fortunate enough to chat with the filmmaker ahead of the film’s premiere at the London Film Festival…

You’ve got a wealth of experience in acting, but this is your first time behind the camera. Have you had the desire to direct for a while, or was there something in particular about this film that meant you needed to give it a go?

Definitely the former. I’ve been really quite desperate to be directing something for a long, long time. I’ve been writing for the last 15 years, trying to get either a TV project or film made. Klokkenluider was actually something I didn’t think would really come to fruition. It’s so fucking weird, you know!? The allusion I keep drawing on is that it was like the car in the garage with an old fella sort of tinkering with it, you know, you never get that thing started again! I really enjoyed working on Klokkenluider so even when I was on another project as an actor or a writer, I was always going back to it because I enjoyed being with the characters. I’d get ideas for it when I was in the supermarket after having not written for weeks and I felt I was always slowly getting somewhere with it. It’s kind of amazing that it ended up being the first thing I’ve directed because it wasn’t what I expected it to be, but I’m really glad that it did end up being that because I’m very proud of the script and felt very close to it as a piece.

Continue reading “Klokkenluider Interview: Neil Maskell – ‘I’m angry, so it’s a way of expressing frustration with my own apathy’.”
EIFF22 · Interviews

It is in Us All Interview: Antonia Campbell-Hughes – ‘It was like a one-man-show, like theatre. It was extraordinary’.

I have been fascinated by the work of actor Cosmo Jarvis for the past few years, and always take a keen interest in what he’s working on and who he’s working with. His latest performance is in Irish drama It is in Us All where he plays Hamish, a Londoner who takes a trip to Donegal to visit a house left to him by his late aunt. On his way, he’s involved in a brutal car crash, which forces him to confront his past and leads to an unorthodox new friendship. I was very fortunate to sit down with writer and director Antonia Campbell-Hughes to chat about the film…

In the Q&A after last night’s screening, I found it very interesting that you described the film as sci-fi, as it does have an otherworldly quality to it. I saw it as a Western in the way in which Hamish arrives in a strange town at the beginning, and how people sort of know who he is but there’s still that air of mystery to his presence. I know you might not want your film to be defined by its genre, but can you speak a little on how you approached that…

I love what you just said about it feeling like a Western, because in the beginning, all the people he encounters are like the townsfolk. People asked whether or not I changed it for pandemic, but it was always written that way. There are these very individual encounters where people almost deliver a message, and I used to reference Deliverance in that sense because everyone he meets is slightly off. I think there is a world between the Western and science fiction elements. It’s not either, but it is ‘the weird and the eerie’, and those were films that I find curious and interesting.

Continue reading “It is in Us All Interview: Antonia Campbell-Hughes – ‘It was like a one-man-show, like theatre. It was extraordinary’.”
Interviews

Wolf Interview: Nathalie Biancheri – ‘People will love it or hate it, but should take George Mackay seriously’.

Writer and director Nathalie Biancheri released her debut Nocturnal in 2019, which caught my attention and marked her as one of the directors I’d love to talk to about their craft. Her second effort Wolf explores the dark and unusual subject of species dysphoria, as the protagonist, played by George Mackay, believes he is a wolf stuck inside a boy’s body. I was fortunate enough to chat to the filmmaker about this piece…

As Wolf is your second feature film, was there anything in particular that you’d brought forward into it from the learning experience that came with directing your debut?

Wolf was such a crazy, demanding, and very insane film from a performance and directing actors’ point of view, so I think it was really reassuring was to have made a first film before going into it. I think what was what was amazing was to have had that first feature even though it was very small. Knowing that it was possible somehow, and not having this unknown of making a feature film and the absolute fear that comes with that was great.

Continue reading “Wolf Interview: Nathalie Biancheri – ‘People will love it or hate it, but should take George Mackay seriously’.”
Interviews

A Violent Man Interview: Craig Fairbrass – ‘It was very visceral and quick. I’d say most of the time in life, that’s how violence is’.

On the big screen, actor Craig Fairbrass is perhaps best known for his integral part within the Rise of the Footsoldier franchise. In recent years though, he has tackled even more brutal, complex portrayals that transcend his hard man persona. I was lucky enough to chat with him about his latest film A Violent Man, a prison drama written and directed by Ross McCall…

In A Violent Man, there are long sequences where the director Ross McCall ramps up tension without any dialogue. As an actor, how do you go about contributing to the tone and atmosphere with a very minimalist script?

Well, you obviously have an overall perception of the story. I’m quite intuitive when it comes to things like that. I knew what the mood of the scenes were, I knew what we were trying to portray, and how to move the story forward but to still make it interesting. With a look, you can say 1000 lines, so it was that type of thing. I think the energy of the opening sets up Steve Mackelson as the type of man he is. He’s not a man of a lot of words. As the film moves on and things are irritating him, he has to get his point across.

Continue reading “A Violent Man Interview: Craig Fairbrass – ‘It was very visceral and quick. I’d say most of the time in life, that’s how violence is’.”
Interviews · LFF21

Boiling Point Interview: Philip Barantini – ‘I wanted to make the audience the voyeur, and it added an extra layer of tension’.

Filmmaker Philip Barantini combined his experience working in busy kitchens with his time as an actor to craft his latest feature Boiling Point. It’s all shot in one continuous take and centres around a head chef played by Stephen Graham during a hectic evening at a high-end London restaurant. I was fortunate enough to chat with the director about the process of making this ambitious film…

I’m sure this is what everyone is asking about but as if getting a film made wasn’t hard enough in the current climate, you decide to do it in one take. Where did the decision behind this come from and are there any other one-take films that influenced this style choice?

Well, we did a short in the back end of 2018, and we did that all in one take. That was just 20 minutes. I’ve seen Victoria, Russian Ark, and movies like that so I knew it could be done. For me, the reason we did it in one take I think is because I wanted to throw the audience into that perspective of being in a busy restaurant, over that period of time and almost like making the audience the voyeur, and it added that extra layer of tension. I wanted the audience to maybe forget halfway through that it was a one take and be like ‘Oh my god!’ when they realise. Someone said to me the other day, which is the best comment I could ever get, that they hadn’t realised it was one take and that they’d need to watch it again! 

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DVD & Digital · Interviews

Settlers Interview: Wyatt Rockefeller – ‘Film is an emotional medium. Audiences don’t see something unless they feel it’.

Set on an evolving Martian frontier in an unknown future, sci-fi drama Settlers centres around a family’s battle for survival. As parents Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) try to build a life for their daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince), their home is threatened by mysterious stranger Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova) who is looking for answers. I took the opportunity to sit down with the writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller to chat about his striking debut…

You’ve had quite the journey to finally making your first feature, after lots of shorts, commercials, and docs and a break for politics too. What was it about Settlers that made you take the plunge?

 Well, when I first had the idea for Settlers, I was actually working on another feature to come off the heels of one of my shorts. I had the spark of an idea and then it all came really quickly. It hit me at a gut level which is a good sign! I mentioned it to a few producers including my wife who’s actually one of the producers on this, and the story really told itself. Within 15 minutes, I had the plot in my head right up until Jerry puts the gun on the table.

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GFF21 · Interviews

Creation Stories Interview: Dean Cavanagh – ‘McGee gave us carte blanche to do with it as we pleased and we certainly did!’

Flying the flag for bands such as Primal Scream, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Oasis, record label Creation Records was founded by the iconic music exec Alan McGee. His amazing, drug-fuelled tale has been immortalised by director Nick Moran, with a script penned by Dean Cavanagh and Irvine Welsh.

I seized the opportunity to ask screenwriter Cavanagh some questions about the making of this madcap biopic…

Creation Stories is a celebration of not only Alan McGee himself but also of Creation Records and it feels very passionate about that period of time. What do you think was so special about that beloved ‘Britpop’ era both musically and personally for you?

I was in a band during that period and spent a lot of time in London knocking about with people who were classed as ‘britpop’ artists. I knew a lot of the movers and shakers but I wasn’t really a fan of the music. I was more into underground clubbing but the paths often crossed and it was hard to ignore all the success and excess if you know what I mean.

Me and Irvine were both part of the scene but kept managing to avoid each other.  My mate Paolo Hewitt was writing a book on Oasis so I got invited to a lot of the shindigs and was privy to it all. I loved Oasis’ first album. It really made a statement and put that indie spirit back in the charts. I knew Britpop was just a lazy media term so never really took it seriously.

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GFF21 · Interviews

The Toll Interview: Ryan Andrew Hooper – ‘Smiley’s timing equates as well to drama as it does to comedy’.

The directorial debut of Ryan Andrew Hooper has its premiere at Glasgow Film Festival. A comedy Western set in Pembrokeshire, The Toll tells the story of an unnamed toll booth operator played by Michael Smiley, and about what happens when his dark past catches up with him. I was fortunate enough to chat with Ryan about the film ahead of its release…

I see you have directed The Toll previously as a short film titled Ambition. How closely linked are the two and were there any major changes to the story for the feature-length version?

In terms of that, it was actually written as a feature before it was a short. We came up with the idea and the writer (Matt Redd) and I had this strategy around a short film scheme in Wales called The Beacons. We decided to make the short in order to apply to Cinematic for funding to make the feature! We ended up making a short that was nothing like The Toll. We had different actors, a different toll booth, and there was some magic realism in it.

Continue reading “The Toll Interview: Ryan Andrew Hooper – ‘Smiley’s timing equates as well to drama as it does to comedy’.”
Interviews

Lost at Christmas Interview: Kenny Boyle – ‘I don’t want to be the next David Tennant; I want to be the first Kenny Boyle!’

 

Taking place against the snowy vistas of the Scottish Highlands, Lost at Christmas is the second feature film from writer and director Ryan Hendrick. After both suffering personal setbacks and missing the last train back to Glasgow, Rob and Jen find themselves isolated together for a Christmas adventure. I was lucky enough to chat with lead actor Kenny Boyle about this festive, feel-good film…

Continue reading “Lost at Christmas Interview: Kenny Boyle – ‘I don’t want to be the next David Tennant; I want to be the first Kenny Boyle!’”