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This programme contains strong Hello and welcome to Film 2012. We
are live. If you want the get in touch the defails are on the screen.
Coming up on tonight's show: it's life on Mars for Taylor Kitchen,
John Carter. Good God, I'm on Mars. John Cusack enters the dark world
of Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven. And Robert Pattinson has a lust for
power in Bel Ami. Do you want to be the man who put down a Government?
Plus, Danny takes a look at the enduring influence of David Lynch's
masterpiece, Blue Velvet. First tonight, Disney's science
fiction epic, John Carter. Let them be crushed. This is a story based
on The Princess Of Mars, written by Edgar Rice-Burroughs. You killed
him with one blow. When I saw you I believed it was something new, can
come into this world. And he also had this extra ordinary ability
where he could kind of leap. It wasn't much more than that, but it
was just enough that you just felt like he was an extra special person.
Good God. I'm on Mars! He's lost his family. Through these events he
gets transported to Mars. On Mars he has another chance of love and
at finding that cause within himself. What happened to this
place? A new power threatens to destroy our city. That doesn't look
like a fair fight. The race is on, the med man race and the green man
race. They are at war with each. -- with each other. Tars Tarkis.
find a nomadic tribe with four arms. Captain John Carter, Virginia. And
you have the princess of Mars. You have to leave it to the women to
shine that light on himself again. He finds that motivation, if he
finds that, he finds love. You are John Carter of Earth?
mam. Author author is -- Dejah Thoris,
it is only through their journey together that she is vulnerable
enough to see him as a man. There is a lot going on on Mars.
Danny Leigh of Earth. One of us has got to be. What did you think of
it? One of the curses of Hollywood is film making by committee, where
everything you see has been passed through dozens of executives
working incredibly hard to make sure you don't see anything
remotely unpredictable or weird. This is not film making by
committee. It is very much the vision of one man. We saw Andrew
Stanton there. He's come up through Pixar. He's wanted to make this
film since he was a child. If you talk a precocious 8-year-old in the
1970s and gave them $250 million, which is what this film cost, they
would make something like this. The dialogue is terrible, the acting is
even worse. The good guy, he can jump high. The villain's super-
weapon is an electric blue death ray pointy finger. Despite or
possibly because of that I found it enjoyable. It is a $250 million B
movie with a streak of lunacy running through it. Will it be
compared to Avatar but it couldn't be more different. I think if
Avatar is a machine, this is a contraption. In 30 years people
will still be talking about John Carter. I have no idea what they
will be saying but they will be talking about it. How do you feel?
I can't say anything mean about Andrew Stanton, because he's
created some of my favourite films, and we'll be talking about his film
Wall-E later. Seeing Kieran in a Togo and lots of great actors
including Dominic West, in the sn The Wire, but this reminded me of
Flash Gordon. I see that. And a bit of Wonderwoman. I see that less.
love the babies. They were much more attractive but the whole thing
is hotchpotchy. Anybody who has seen The Phantom Menace like di
would prefer this for its bonkersness. We have to be honest
about this and say there are passages which are very dull here.
Visually it is set in an arid featureless landscape. That gets
tiring quickly. Between the lumpy storytelling and the scenery, it is
a test of your short term memory. Why does he have to go to the
sacred gates? That's a bit lame, but at the same time you have
scenes where John Carter is captured by the ten foot tall green
people. And he is half naked and they are having Martian talcum
powder. This is the most awesomely bizarre thing I've seen. That's
before we hear John Carter saying, "Good God I'm on Mars" as if he's
overslept on the train and is? Stoke. It is a deranged vision. We
don't have enough of those in cinema. Next, Bel Ami, starring
Robert Pattinson as a social- climbing lothario in 19th century
Paris. It also stars Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina
Let me buy you a drink. Paris is filthy with money. Why don't you
come to dinner, come and meet my wife. It's about this cut throat
young man who is very beautiful and discovers he has one commodity to
sell. He basically seduces powerful women up the tree of French society.
What is interesting? Well, I like enjoying myself. What do you enjoy?
Well, I don't know. Everything. think the women as they are all
perceived as nothing really by they are husbands and the people around
them. They want to acknowledge his adoration and they can see
immediately that he thinks they are more special than anyone else
thinks they are. And it works really well for him. He mansion to
persuade them to do things they wouldn't necessarily do otherwise.
I have something very important to tell you, something for your
advantage. It is about my husband. They are very political animals and
romance is a tool in this story. you want to be the man who put down
a Government? Or do you want to be a fool?
Weng people are sincere they tend to go wrong. It seems there is more
a system of arranged relationships in this story. Who is she?
Madeleine Forestier. You've chosen exactly the woman you need. It is
implyed in the movie that he really does love her but his ambition is
greater than his love, love is not enough for him. Everyone is baffled
by the fact he doesn't get his comeuppance, because in films these
days if someone does bad things they will be punished for it.
loved you. It is not enough to be loved. It is so clear to me. There
is no next life, and I am going to live.
Nice and pale coming out of a church. I think this story has been
told many times before. It is a brilliant story and a lovely tale
of somebody going in and social climbing and working their way,
using sex and all kinds of things. I don't think it totally works in
this. I don't think it works at all. He should be slightly more
interested in power. B, slightly more charming, and instead he is
petulant and not really smart enough. I don't know whether it is
his fault or the script's fault. I would say the women are brilliant.
Kristin Scott Thomas isn't in it a lot but when she is, she is
fantastic, and so is Christina Ricci. Anyone interested in set
design and clothes will love it. Part of the reason why Robert
Pattinson took this role was to shock the world and his Army of
fans. As soon as he comes on set and he's got greasy hair,
surrounded by 1890s good-time girls, it feels like a teenage boy
cranking up the music in his bedroom to irritate his mum. He has
to carry the whole movie. He's in pretty much every scene. And he is
trying to do something sut until a movie that's anything but the.
Whatever anyone thinks about Robert Pattinson there are other actors
struggling, the set design, and the cleavage, and Phillip Glenister's
whiskers. And this overfruity movie. I don't think you can blame Robert
Pattinson. No, but it will make you five minutes in go, wait, why
aren't I watching dangerous liaisons, watching this murky world
of closed doors and whispers. And he is just too spoilt I suppose. It
doesn't ring due. I will want to exempt Christina Ricci. She's had a
strange career since the glory years of Wednesday Adams. This is a
weird role and it reminds you of how good she can be - coquettish
and vulnerable. When she is good with Robert Pattinson, it comes to
life. Cinema history is littered with great movie stars who started
out as quite vapid teen heart- throbs. It has taken Brad Pitt 20
years to stop doing this all the time and become a measured calm
actor who has an Oscar nomination. Now it's time for the Top 5 and
this week Antonia counts down her favourite cinematic love rats.
We've all been one and we've all been in the clutches of one, but
who has tonne it best on screen? Here are my top five love rats. At
number five In The Company Of Men. A film about two guys taking their
revenge for their broken relationships by horribly
manipulating a young deaf woman. take a girl that time, just some
cord fed bitch who would practically mess her pants if you
sharpened a pencil for her. We both hit her, small talk, a dinner date,
flowers. And we just do it, youened me, upping the ante all the time.
Suddenly she's calling her mom and wearing make-up again. And we play,
on and on. One day out goes the rug and Jill, she just comes tumbling
after. In this scene Aaron Eckhart is forced to confess what he's been
up to. Are you playing a game with me? He later said he had to put on
three stone in order to disguise himself when the film came out to
stop women hurling abuse at him. can't keep a straight face, so,
lock it. Surprise! At number four, Body Heat. In this terrific sweaty
pastiche of a 1940s film noir two untrustry lovers do the dirty on
everyone else but how much are they love ratting each other. I want to
buy you a drink. I've told you, I've got a husband. I will buy him
one too. He's out of town. favourite kind. But Turner is
frightening. She's a hotted up love rat psychopath. I could never do
anything to hurt you. I love you. You've got to believe that. You are
experience, I can do anything. number three, Damage. Damage is
hands down one of my guilty pleasures. Jeremy Irons and Juliet
Binoche star as the greatest love rats of all time. She's engaged to
Jeremy Irons' son and yet they are hotly pursuing an affair which does
seem mysterious and meaningful and romantic until this tragic scene
demonstrates how revolting they are both being. Poor Rupert gaves, he
At number two, Reds, the true story of a radical American journalist
whose lover, played by Diane Keaton, has a brief affair with a
playwright played by Jack Nicholson. Are you keeping up? You're a lying
Polish whore. When she tells him she doesn't share his deep feelings
and in fact has gone off and married Warren Beattie, you can see
Nicholson curdling in front of you. What a heartbreaker you are.
sorry. Diane Keaton, love rat. At number one, Doctor Zhivago.
Sometimes you can't help but support someone in their love-
rattery. In Doctor Zhivago, Omar Sharief has the perfect, good, kind
wife who adores him and whom he adores back. Shall I get some tea?
Yes, do. And yet you still find yourself
hoping things are going to work out between him and his mistress Laura.
If only there were someone to look after you. Of course, if there were,
I'd be destroyed by jealousy. You simply forget that there is a
sweet, loyal, pregnant wife back at home - waiting.
A brilliant list. Uh-huh. Next, The Raven, a fictionalised account of
Edgar Allan Poe's last days. John Cusack stars as Po.
- Poe. Dear God. His murder was familiar to me, Edgar Allan Poe.
seems my writing has become the inspiration for an actual killer.
There had never been a film about Poe's life because it's very
depressing, so this gives you the best of both worlds. You get the
best stories and the highlights from Poe's life melded together in
this serial killer construct. challenge the brilliant mind of
Edgar Allan Poe a game of wits. I will kill again, and on that corpse
I will leave clues. Please!
We are in dire need of your unwholesome expertise.
Poe is this hyper-intellectual literal genius but who was also
writing these pulpy Saturday afternoon thrillers, you know, to
scare people, so it was this kind of great mixture of high-brow and
low brow, so I think we capture that in the movie. Are you up to
the task, Mr Poe? Four people are dead. The killer is taunting us.
Emily! No matter how this ends, I will kill him.
The reason I think he's iconic is he taps into this universal sense
of doom or despair or - but also mixed with an intense imagination,
so I think any actor would probably feel like they could play Poe or
want to play Poe. They may not do a good job at it, but he's almost
like a shadow figure. He's almost in your psyche. There is a part of
you that's drawn to self- destruction and drawn to doing the
wrong thing. Does any of this sound familiar to you, Mr Poe? But you're
talking about my story, a work of fiction.
I'm afraid I am not. Well, I think if you're going to
serve as Poe, you at least have to have one of the scenes that has a
decent amount of gore in it. His stories, if you read them, there's
lots of gore, whether it's murders in the room or the Pit and the
Pendulum. We went to Serbia, shooting at night in the winter.
That helped put you in the mood. It was pretty nasty.
Well, look, let's be honest - the reason this film exists is
somewhere in Hollywood about three years ago someone went to see
Sherlock Holmes then came in the next day and said, I know exactly
with a we should do - that with Edgar Allan Poe. That's fine. I get
that, and that should be a fun movie. The Raven is isn't funny.
It's actually one of the most miserable experiences I have ever
had in the cinema. One of the strength of Sherlock Holmes is this
seedy-eyed Victorian London. What you have here is this CGI 19th
century Baltimore which looks like the work experience kid did it up
in his lunch time hour and ever so often the director comes on with
his CGI bellows and constantly blows a bit of fog to make things
work better. It doesn't whatsoever. With Sherlock Holmes, you have
Sherlock host and Robert Downey Jr, this brilliant lunatic in this
incredible film. What you have in The Raven is Poe pushed to the ma
margins while they're trying to solve the world's most boring 19th
century murder case. He skullenings around with his beard and his
raccoon. This is a film which people think Edgar Allan Poe needs
to be made more interesting, and the way you do that is to give him
a raccoon. John Cusack is visibly depressed during this entire film.
I can see why - because it's not acceptable.
OK. Unacceptable - I hear. I have always quite liked Quincy. This is
not dissimilar with a bit of Dallas, bait of Patricia Cornwall, a lot of
heaving bosoms. I said after two minutes of Bel Ami to think, why
aren't I watching Dangerous Liaisons at home with a toasted
sandwich. You watch one minute of this and think, why aren't I
watching Silence of the Lambs. message is who this is for. If you
don't care about Edgar Allan Poe, what you have is a 19th century
pseudo, bad CSI. If you care about Edgar Allan Poe, you want to see
everyone involved in this film bricked up behind a wall. Let's
move on. Let's never speak of it again. We will move on. Blue Velvet
celebrates its anniversary this year. We take a look back at this
classic. There is, as you can imagine, some strong language.
# She wore blue velvet # A simple tale of young love in a
small town - what could possibly go wrong with that? You'll find the
answer in Blue Velvet, David Lynch's virtuoso story of a pair of
fresh-faced sweethearts, a torch singer and a psycho with a gas mask.
It's a troubling film to take I think. It's a film that looks at
the dark side of life. There is something troubling about David
Lynch which puts the film a cut above. The film's setting was
inspired by David Lynch's childhood town - out in the woods lies a
strange discovery. Stumbled on by the innocent but
curious Geoffrey Beaumont, it leads first to sweet-natured sandy
Williams, but then to another world of crime, violence, voyeurism and
perversion. Isabella Rossolini is brilliant,
and from the start, she's just really interesting - all of the
things she does in it seem completely uncliched, when she
first opens the door and just looks terrified. Yes? What is it? Pest
control. I got to do your apartment. Mmm. Awaiting Geoffrey is Dorothy
Valuence, a nightclub singer with a secret life. To some extent he
trespasses into the other world, if you like, and I think he quite
enjoys it. Later, he returns, but this time
uninvited, and from inside Dorothy's closet comes his first
encounter with the infamous Frank Hello, baby. Shut up. It's daddy.
Where's my bourbon? That's the joy of the film is Hopper. He tears off
that gas mask and reveals this incredibly black heart. Baby wants
to -- don't you look at me! Dennis Hopper was newly sober after years
exiled in Hollywood reading Lynch's script. Calling the director, he
demanded, "I have to play Frank. I am frank". But if Frank became one
of the most unforgettable bad guys in cinema, the sickness was
everywhere in Blue Velvet. It was like every strange perverse impulse
that had been kept just out of sight in a Hitchcock movie had
suddenly been allowed to come bubbling to the surface. Geoffrey
is like Frank. He watched it and didn't intervene. Later Geoffrey
hilts her like Frank does. There is that terrifying scene when he turns
around and says, "You're like me." You're like me.
I think the film's just great on each character containing
competency - even Sandy, who is a virginal character, is also a
voyeur, also listening into her father's conversations.
For Lynch, Blue Velvet was an intensely personal film. McLachlan
modelled his whole performance on his director. While the film was
full of what would become significant David Lynch signatures
- dark forces run amock. As a child, Lynch had seen a naked woman near
Dorothy Vanence? For me what I found fascinating about the film is
how much people come out of darkness into the light. It happens
with Sandy. It happens with Dorothy. It happens with Geoffrey when he
goes down to the family into the front room. You get this sense of
darkness and light and people trying to move towards the light.
He put his disease in me. "He put his disease in me" - wow. "He put
his disease in me" she says again at the end just in case the mother
and daughter didn't hear. He put his disease in me. To me, it's like
memories of Lynch's childhood and his weird awakening and a kind of
sexual awakening things that happens. It's the two sides of
Lynch - I am assuming, sorry, David, if that's not true.
# A candy-coloured cloud sandman # Tiptoes through my room every
night # A sick wallow in sleaze, fumed one
of several outraged critics, while walk-outs in screenings were common.
If I was shocked by it, you're being pulled in so many ways and
become that person who is watching, not helping, but kind of enjoying
it, and that reflects quite badly on the viewer. It doesn't placate
anyone. It doesn't pretend that life is sweet, and it doesn't
really have any easy answers. you get the sense people are
thinking things up in order to shock you, it's just tedious or
depressing or kind of lonely feeling, but you kind of get the
sense of this is authentic, and that's a quite terrifying thing to
witness. # Blue velvet #
But maybe the truly shocking thing is as well as being a detective
story and a coming-of-age drama, Blue Velvet really is a film'll
about love. Dennis Hopper called Frank one of the great male leads
and the question one asks is deep down maybe he and Dorothy are meant
for each other. What David Lynch is good at is not having clear-cut
heroes and villains, that in a way Frank's love is completely all-
consuming. Blue Velvet's influence saw its vision of the dark side of
suburbia seep into countless movies and TV show, but maybe the biggest
tribute you can pay it is, 25 areas on it's still a film it's
impossible not to have an opinion about or still, just occasionally,
to see in your dreams. # Blue velvet
I just want to watch more of that - brilliant contributors! Anyway,
next, Michael Winterbottom's Trishna.
Eight or nine years ago I was doing a film called Colt 46, and when I
was there it struck me the kind of things that were happening there in
Indian society were quite similar to what was happening in the world
of Tess in Hardee's novel. How is it going? Good. Have you
tried listening to them? When we meet Jay, he's in a gap year with
friends travelling around India, then we understand he's going to
have to stay on and run a hotel for his father because his father has
bought some hotels in Rajasthan. It's at one of these he meets her.
You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and
blow did. He obviously loves India and travelling around with his
mates, but now he's staying on in this busy, corporate role of
running hotels, I think it becomes even more important for him to
connect to something innocent, pure and authentic. I think the closest
See? Easy. The kind of conservative social setting of rural Rajasthan
means they can't have an open relationship. It is eggshells they
have to walk on. It is tricky for them to spend time alone together.
I can't stop thinking about you. That's why they try to escape that
by going to Bombay. The character of Trishna in the film is passive.
I don't want her to be passive just because she's a woman. It is part
of her character, and it is one of the frustrations of her character.
Why don't you want to be a dancer? Have you been telling tales on me.
You don't like Trishna's dancing? That's how we like it.
When you've got this extreme juxtaposition of modernity and
traditional elements in society, you've got these massive class
gulfs. Can you bring them? That's what Jay and Trishna are trying to
do. Can they find common ground? Can they find a meaningful
relationship? The Kama Sutra says there are three heroines that you
can make love to: a maid, a single lady and a courtesan. Which one are
you? I loved the idea of Tess of the D'Urbervilles shot and set in
modern-day India. India is beautiful, the rough and the smooth.
If soundtrack is fantastic. I think, I loved this film. The problem
comes when the character of Jay has to encapsulate two people, the good
and the bad if you like, Alec and Angel. It is his flip that for me
is the thing which jarred. I feel pretty much the same. Michael
Winterbottom is an unpredictable director. I don't think he's
capable of making a boring film. As a movie about India Trishna is the
best movie about India I've seen in a long time. To remake Tess of the
D'Urbervilles and relocate it over there works beautifully. Not
because he is very good at people's real lives and how harsh they can
be, but because he is good at both. It feel as million miles from a
tourist brochure. On that level it is great. I have the same problem
with it, that if you know Tess of the D'Urbervilles at all, it is a
classic love triangle. He's made a second big decision, to fold the
two male characters into one. That puts a huge weight on the actors.
The big decision about moving to India works like a charm. The
exemption about folding the two characters feels a little bit like
A-level course work but on a lavish scale. It is too much work to put
on an actor like Riz Ahmed, who is such a gifted boy.? Four Lions he
was someone who was intensely likeable and capable of bad things.
But this is a jump too far. Trishna is a great film but I'm going for
John Carter. How about you? Blue Velvet. Now it's time for
Director's Cut. This week Andrew I always loved this concept of some
old-fashioned music opening the movie against the stars. I was
literally scrolling through and I hit -- through iTunes and I hit on
Put On Your Sunday Clothes. The more I investigated the lyrics I
realised the kismet of it. It is about two guys that have never gone
outside of their small town and they want to know what it is like
to truly live life for one day and kiss a girl. That's parallel to
what this little guy wants and he doesn't even know it.
# A moment to be loved # I always pictured this little lost
janitor wandering amongst the detritus and the debris of who used
to occupy the place and not really knowing that history. I could not
drop the appeal of this character that I didn't really know yet. I
hadn't really met it and yet I already really cared for it. He
really is the ultimate sound designer. He literally explored for
months. I would come in and it was sort of
like an audio test. I would just go, that feels like
Wall-E. That feels like EVE. One of my most favourite sounds will
always be just the voice he discovered for EVE. It is this
weird alchemy of a human voice plus him plus sound effects and music
For a long time I had this singular eye kind of idea. But then I
thought it was too limiting. Like I needed a character that could carry
not a short but a whole movie, that would have a range of emosts and
issues. So I was at a baseball game and somebody lent me their
binoculars. I turned it around and made it go sad, mad and happy. I
thought, "Oh, my God, I did this all the time as a kid" and I
realise there had is the extra level of subtlety that I needed to
carry a whole movie. What happened was that we had made
a wrong turn right at the end of the second act, when they ended up
in this trash compactor area. I had made EVE be potentially destroyed.
He had to do everything he could to repair her. I had gotten it
kpwhreetly flipped. It was one of those -- completely flipped. It was
one of the those last-minute things where the story told us.
Wall-E? Come on. Wall-E spent all this time out of just being this
honest thing and has planted a seed in everything else and now it is
time for him to be disabled and for everyone to rise to the occasion
based on how he's touched them. That suddenly made a huge
difference on the whole movie. That's part of the thrill and the
scaryness of making movies. Evil? Why? You are not!
# And that is all that love's about That's all for tonight. In next
week's show we'll be reviewing Contraband, We Bought A Zoo, 21
Jump Street, and Once Upon A Time In Anatolia. Playing us out tonight,
Neighbourhood Watch. It's in cinemas this August. Thank you and
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds