Antonia Quirke, Ellen E Jones and Chris Hewitt review You Were Never Really Here, and Susan Sarandon talks about her new documentary on 1940s actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.
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Hello there, this is Film 2018,
and I'm Antonia Quirke.
We are live, so tweet us.
Tonight we're talking about stardom
and the golden age of Hollywood.
Who do you think personifies
the classic Hollywood star - Gable?
Details on the screen, now. Coming
up tonight... Director Lynne Ramsay
returns with the harrowing three
like You Were Never Really Here
starring Joaquin Phoenix. One thing
we are never short of these days is
a new Nicolas Cage movie, only this
time he is more cagey than ever in
horror thriller Mom and Dad. And we
chat to one Hollywood legend, Susan
Sarandon about another the Golden
age superstar Hedy Lamarr.
a prerequisite in Hollywood to be
Plus we take a look at
British wrestling comedy Walk Like a
Panther. You can't say it's not an
I'm joined by the
brilliant Ellen E Jones
and the ferociously well informed
Empire Magazine's top man,
Chris Hewitt to make sense of it
Award season is over, hurray!
Is it over? Am I hallucinating?
Let's start the new film year with a
First up is the new film
never boring British director,
Her follow up to 2011's
We Need to Talk About Kevin
is You Were never Really Here -
an equally dark tale
starring Joaquin Phoenix.
He's Joe, a military veteran
teetering on the brink,
in a role that won him
Best Actor at Cannes.
Let's take a look...
I'm going to ask you some questions.
How many are they?
One guy's at the
front door. Second lie on the top
It's a new joke
Why am I here?
his daughter has been missing the
He's an enforcer.
you are brutal.
I can be.
that it's something much more. I
think it's about a man having a kind
of midlife crisis, in a way.
have kids, John?
I've heard of
these places. If she's there, I will
It is based on a novella. I
loved it had those elements, moved
fast and I didn't know what to
expect. I said to John, I'm going to
do it in my own direction, do it my
way, because I've never done that
sort of collaboration. He said, I
just want it keeps that kind of
momentum I had. That was something I
wanted to do.
The heart of it was this really
interesting character. Joaquin came
late into the frame, but when he did
he was like a member of the crew. He
said he understood less than 50% of
what I said. There was a kind of
exciting energy and set because so
compelling to watch another does the
same thing twice that gives you so
many options in an edit create this
character with many dimensions.
He's not the knight in shining
armour, a fallible man. He's not the
six-pack. He's kind of going to seed
and bringing all these things in to
make him rich were really to me and
him. I grew up on Hitchcock. My mum
and my dad were film buffs. My mum
watched classic movies all the time,
thrillers. Yeah, who knows, I
suppose everything is a remix.
Three... Two... One...
Not an easy film.
No, but a great
one. I kind of expected, because
it's Lynne Ramsay unconventional
form but a very conventional
thriller storyline in a way. I found
myself initially at least wanting a
bit more detail from the plot,
wanted to know more about this guy's
back story. It only slowly came to
me this is what Lynne Ramsay is all
about and the scarcity of the detail
is what makes what is there so
incredibly evocative. Jelly beans,
hammers, wallpaper... These are
random word to people that haven't
seen the film but I know you guys
know. What she does by depriving you
of repeated details of things that
make things too obvious to make sure
you are right inside this guy Joe's
head. You can't get up in the
quality of the event, you have to be
there in his psyche.
transcendence are the keynotes?
Absolutely. Joe is a guy at the end
of his tether, he's looking at more
from life. When you meet him on his
suicidal, on the verge of ending it
all when he wants something more. He
want something more from the
grimness of darkness. Lynne Ramsay
is great at those bass notes. Action
sequences in another movie, this
movie is so close on the surface to
being taken for John Wick chapter
three, and I am for those movies, I
love those movies but she is not
interested in that. She's looking at
diving below the surface and finding
something new about this guy. Debbie
had a really style speech... I don't
know who you are, I don't know what
you want but I will find you you,
you wouldn't understand a word he
says. It's a very different
performance, a different kind of
quote unquote action hero in this.
Phoenix is 43 now and in the absence
of the late great Philip Seymour
Hoffman, James Gamble Feeney and
Daniel Day Lewis apparently now
retired, the mantle of our greatest
screen actor is out there to be
grabbed. It might well be Phoenix
and on this evidence it might be
Certainly with Lynne Ramsay's
helps. One of the things I love
about this film is how it reverses
that traditional direct use gender
role, the way is the other way round
here. He's brilliant in it. It's a
great physical performance. He has
this saltiness which also seems
natural and vulnerable at the same
time. You can see the flashes of the
little boy he once was. At the same
time he has this murderous rage.
Where do you think this sits in
Lynne Ramsay's filmography? Would
say she is someone that would resist
the word career being applied to her
filmography. It's more a body of
work she is going for. It strikes me
she's the man who said I won't do
that all that but I will do that.
You never know what to expect but
there are so many -- Lynne Ramsay
characteristics. You find everything
you need to know about his mother in
a 42nd sequence which is absolutely
fantastic. We should also say Jonny
Greenwood's score is so good.
good. Like the last great Radiohead
album. It is a really great school.
I think it is up there with the best
of Lynne Ramsay's work. Weirdly
commercial and non-commercial at the
same time and she's not really
interested in conventional action
beats. There are sequences in this
movie that would be unconventional,
the corridor fight in Taken four or
something but Joaquin Phoenix takes
apart a guy with a hammer, very
brutal, but shot on CCTV cameras. I
love those little notes. She does
want to present things to do that
you've seen before.
You might think
you've seen before the taxi driver
element but it's bold how in
conversation with the taxi driver
the doing something different.
take on something like taxi driver
There is a real
tenderness to it, the early scenes
with his mother, without those
scenes it would be a very different
film. Real moments of beauty.
can I say, as a person of a certain
guys, great to see Joaquin Phoenix
walking the dad board.
seeing. From a film that had a seven
minute standing ovation to Cannes to
What are they?
Mom & Dad - a horror comedy
starring the one and only
Nicolas Cage with a performance
dialled down to 11 in this tale
of when the sacred bond of parental
love gets frayed...
Can I go to a movie with O'Reilly
tonight? With Riley? Your
grandparents are coming to dinner
Take my advice,
don't ever have kids!
rush today? It's like...
going on? Is that McKenna's ma'am?
Multiple reports are coming in as
parents owe murdering their own
Listen to me, you have to
get out of the house before ma'am
and before dad get home.
or not, I used to be young ones as
well and not all that long ago, by
the way. And I think about how
things were in my day. But now, the
world you kids are living in, the
things you see on the Internet.
Things I only saw in magazines.
And the expectations that must come
Oh yeah, you put your right foot in,
you take your right foot out, you do
the hokey Cokie...
Yes, mum's here.
You're going to open this door! This
was a really great idea, honey.
forgot, your parents.
Nicholas, Nicholas. Chris, we like
to be clear on this programme. Is
this a zombie movie or what?
not a zombie movie.
In what way is
Zombies are creatures that
are dead and rise from the grave.
These guys, they are just infected,
just a little bit sick, a little
under the weather. Same thing as 28
days later. Sorry, that is not a
You can imagine the
animated pitch for this, to fix...
It felt to me like a sequence, raw
action sequence after another.
are absolutely moments of six fun in
this which go to the movies for. But
yeah, the things it does well for
me, it's not a zombie film but also
not quite anything else. Doesn't
seem to define the rules within the
film. There is an issue with static
on the telly that seems to be
sending the parents crazy but no one
else crazy. They're not just killing
therein children but they seem to
want to kill everyone. I was
A pseudo- zombie movie?
Anything with anything like this
going on is satirising something.
I'm not sure what he was satirising.
Satirising parenthood, suburbia? Are
the young children hopeless, useless
consumers question at what's running
through the movie's veins?
think much, but I enjoyed it. The
director Brian Taylor, who
co-directed both cranks, action
classics I would bat for all day
long. He also directed Nicolas Cage
in ghost Rider. I wouldn't bat for
that one. Frenetic action sequences,
tries to undercut it nice and then
-- now and then with some music.
like the music.
It's fine, it's OK,
but ultimately I don't think he is
saying much. A nice spread in the
movie when some how next page gets
infected and they begin to repair
the marital discord about.
It doesn't go anywhere. The
director used to be a camera
operator. Quite visceral, in amongst
the fray and that is quite
appealing. But can we praise Nicolas
All day long, twice on Sunday.
When he is dialled up what is he
saying, I'm I realising everything,
enjoying me, and you can't help but
I love Nick Cage, con
air is my favourite movie from
Nicolas Cage. I kind of thing... I
know this will be unpopular, I never
realised it is possible for him to
be too over the top. In this film he
saw the start that full throttle and
accelerates from there. For the full
unleashed Nick Cage experience you
need him to be at least initially
We are always aware with
him as an actor that he has a movie
like the bad Lieutenant Colonel, he
can be more lyrical, he can dial it
down. That is within him. I think he
is like the modern-day... Amazing
films and then 80 forgettable ones.
He's coming up to 100 movies now.
This is true, most of which sadly
forgettable and most which recently
have gone straight to video. This is
great because if there is -- there
is a cinematic release for this one.
I love Nick Cage, and the wild ABCD
E guy. I thought for the most part
he had gone, recently he's been
phoning in with some performances
just moping around with his big moon
Real face? He'd be horrified
to hear that.
He's engaged, engage
In the 1940s, actress Hedy Lamarr
was marketed as the world's
most beautiful woman -
a title she'd come to despise.
Frustrated by the limits
of a Hollywood career, she did not,
like many other diversifying actors,
invent a line of perfumes
or publish a book of photographs.
Instead, she invented
the technology behind wifi.
Now another Hollywood immortal,
Susan Sarandon, has produced
a feature documentary
about the remarkable Lamarr's life.
I went to meet her...
Hedy Lamarr, screen goddess by day,
inventor by night. Quite a story. It
is one that has enthralled actress
Susan Sarandon. When did you first
become aware of her extraordinary
started the documentary, we were not
sure we would be able to prove that
she actually had invented.
was her hobby. She not only had a
complete inventing table set up in
her house, but Howard Hughes gave
her a small version of the set of
equipment that she had in the
trailer where she stayed in between
takes for her motion pictures.
are some people that just didn't
want to believe that someone that
beautiful, a woman that beautiful,
could have done that. It seems too
Not only was there the bias in the
scientific community, and the world
in general, a beautiful woman
contributing to science, but then
there was the problem of ageism in
Well, Hedy Lamarr, she was at her
most famous at a time when
Hollywood, the machine, they were
described as racehorses,
amphetamines to get them going
during the day, sleeping pills at
night, 18 hour days. The good old
days! Do you recognise that image of
Hollywood does that sound like hell
You exchange your personal
life for this protection of the
studio. People literally got away
with murder. What did they give in
exchange for that? The studio pretty
much controlled their life for the
duration of the contract. So much of
making someone into an icon has to
do with how they are packaged. They
had a better system of that, I
Thinking about Lamrr and the
beauty tag, and the sexy tag that
has been levelled at you, is that a
Well, I was never
called the most beautiful woman in
the world, I saw myself as a
character actor. There are two kinds
of actor, you have people like De
Niro, Sean Penn, I think of myself
as that. That is probably why I have
lasted, playing character parts, and
they don't have identifiable, really
strong personality that is packaged
and sold, like George Clooney. But
people will not accept George
Clooney playing a bad guy, probably.
In a career spanning almost 50
years, Sarandon herself has
defiantly escaped pigeonholing.
Roles in Thelma & Louise, The
Witches of Eastwick, Atlantic City
and Dead Man Walking, she has
remained very much her own person.
So many of the films you have been
involved in half the event films,
conversation goes on for about a
year. Are you ever aware in the
moment that it is going to be that,
or is it always a surprise?
didn't with Thelma & Louise. We were
doing a cowboy movie with women on
trucks instead of guys on horses.
don't think so.
Ridley Scott is a genius. It became
so iconic, I think, because he put
us in this landscape that John Wayne
had been part of.
You choose things that the director
feels passionate about because that
is really important. Bull Durham was
like that, I love Bull Durham.
another lifetime I was probably
Catherine the great Francis of
What was that character
like, the baseball fan who offers
her body and soul to one player. How
did that character read on the page?
Great. That is why I jumped through
hoops to get it. Nobody in the
studio, they didn't want it. She was
smart and funny, she was in charge
and did not have to die because of
it at the end. Kevin was so hot.
Sarandon may have enjoyed such a
variety of roles, but as the
documentary reveals, back in the
40s, things were not as easy for
Hedy Lamarr, who eventually died
alone and a recluse. Ultimately, do
you see her as an inspirational
figure or is it more of a cautionary
I think both. Mostly an
inspiration. I think it is
inspirational for young women to
understand that they don't have to
choose between being beautiful, sexy
and smart. Was it a cautionary tale?
Yeah, because ultimately I don't
think she had a very gentle last
act. There is a transition that
happens for everyone, if you are
lucky enough to live past 50, 60,
70. I'm going to be 72. It can be a
really interesting time. But for
Hedy it was the end of everything.
Yeah, I guess it is a cautionary
tale, although we are not against
what the most beautiful woman in the
world was up against.
Sarandon, thank you very much.
72? Impossible to believe! We asked
you on Twitter for your top star of
Hollywood's golden age. Thomas says
Mary Pickford, one of the most
powerful women in Hollywood scene to
this day and a trained trailblazing
producer. Another, John Wayne for
action, Laurel and Hardy for comedy.
There is a great story, John Wayne
was discovered carrying an armchair
over his head on the set of a movie,
the director said, part that man on
film! -- put that man.
Our last film is Walk Like
a Panther, a British comedy set
in the world of wrestling,
grunting, grit and lycra...
Nothing meant more than being in the
ring with the Panthers. My wrestling
family. The 1980s, an audience of
Now we are pulling pints, and I
wouldn't change a thing.
really, that this is to be my final
pint in here.
What is he talking
They are going to close.
can't be serious? If that pub
closes, we are left with nothing, so
we have to do the greatest show of
our lives. It's not going to be
easy, we have to turn the clock back
30 years. You look ridiculous!
What is that shortfall?
are you short for!?
It's going to go
Not me, I am clean as a
Now we've got the chance to
make this a fight that will never be
This is our moment.
Are they swollen?
think they are swollen, they are
still very little.
I've got my site back, that is a
Time to walk like the
Panthers that you are! I bloody love
I love you, son.
I love you, son.
have come a long way from Local
Hero. Full Monty, with wrestling?
When you set yourself that low a bar
and still don't reach it, David Webb
problem. Thing I find impressive is
how many aspects of it terrible. The
costumes are terrible and
distracting, the soundtrack is a
horrible litany of large rock that
nobody should have to listen to, and
yet we do. The editing is
yet we do. The editing is sub Lock
Stock, freeze frame. Don't get me
started on the script.
parts, 200 extras, that must be
Yes, more than Avengers.
60 speaking parts, just two jokes,
by my reckoning. A strange film. I
don't think it is so terrible as
some of the really low points of
British comedy, the likes of The Six
Lives Of The Potato Men, Mrs Brown's
Boys The Movie. It is not a bad
film. It desperately wants to be
likeable but it can't make up its
mind what it wants to be. Is it a
movie that is morning a lost Britain
that never existed, does it have a
social conscience, a father-son
story, or a comedy about wrestlers
that over the hill? It doesn't
Movies like this push
the pantomime tone to such a pitch,
even a lovely actor like Stephen
Graham, even an actor like that,
begins to not be able to pick up a
pint and drink it in a way that
seems human and normal. It almost
begins to feel like Kabuki.
what I find most unforgivable, it
makes good actors look really bad.
Stephen Tompkinson, who I usually
like is terrible, everybody is
terrible in it. It reflects badly on
their past careers. I am watching
Dave Johns and thinking, was Daniel
Blake as good as I remember it,
because he is terrible in this.
his second film, working with a very
improvisational technique, with a
script, he does have a very naive
quality. I'm not sure that works?
No, he seems to be in a slightly
different movie to everybody else.
Stephen Graham seems to be a
different movie to everybody else.
Different parts of Great Britain,
never mind movies!
some Geordie, some Scouse,
Doesn't come together.
The Full Monty was not my favourite
movie, but it had a beating heart,
it was sincere. The director of this
went to see Big Daddy wrestling when
he was 12 and it went in deep when
he read interviews. I'm not sure...
Film of the week? We are out of
The wonderful Clive Anderson
is here next week, but we'll leave
you with the Chilean winner
of Best Foreign Film
at this year's Oscars,
A Fantastic Woman.
Starring rising 28-year-old
trans actor Daniela Vega,
the film is the story of a singer,
Following her boyfriend's death,
she is forced to confront the family
that won't accept her
for what she is, which is -
like Hedy Lemarr,
Susan Sarandon and ...
Ellen E Jones - sorry Chris!
A fantastic woman.
DISTANT DANCE MUSIC
Antonia Quirke, Ellen E Jones and Chris Hewitt review psychological thriller You Were Never Really Here starring Joaquin Phoenix, and Susan Sarandon talks about Hollywood, stardom and her new documentary on 1940s actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.