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Welcome to Film 2018,
I'm Clive Anderson.
So I'm Clive and we're live
and tonight, in addition to looking
at three new releases,
we'll be looking back
at the work of Nora Ephron -
writer, director and queen
of the rom-com.
What's your favourite
We'd love to hear from you,
so I hope you will get in touch.
But I had you at hello, didn't I?
Details of how to tweet
are on the screen now.
But enough of the foreplay,
coming up tonight:
Carrots, capers and countryside.
Peter Rabbit gets the big screen
treatment starring James Corden,
Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson.
This there is something about Mary.
I'll be with you.
Rooney Mara and
Joaquin Phoenix star in biblical
epic, Mary Magdalene. We'll have
what she's having.
the wit and work of Nora Ephron. 25
years on from Sleepless in Seattle.
Men never get this movie.
Plus, we'll take a look at art
world satire, The Square.
It's very much a case
of When Ellen Met Jason
on the Film Show sofa tonight,
as I'm joined by the ill-matched,
or as it may turn out in the end,
very well-matched film buffs
Ellen E Jones and Jason Solomons.
I hope you are bopping on the sofa?
Thank you for the setup, Clive.
Right, let's get started.
After Paddington 1 and Paddington 2,
the next children's classic
we all want to see is obviously,
well, Paddington 3.
But until that arrives,
we have Peter Rabbit.
Beatrix Potter's naughty,
here the centre of a combined live
action/animated feature with Peter's
voice, and perhaps character,
provided by James Corden -
the British actor turned US talk
show host, who has the daunting
challenge of reinventing a much
loved classic for today's world.
So is it a hit or a myxomatosis?
Let's have a look.
All right, talk to me, Benjamin.
He's mowed half the lawn which maybe
gives us enough time. Look at him
Here is a crazy thought.
What if we don't go in. Last time we
almost got caught.
Peter Rabbit is
based on the Beatrix Potter short
Take it all in because we
are about to take it all in.
about a quest to try and get back
the land that he feels is rightfully
You all know the drill. I'm not
going to pretend what we are about
to do suspect reckless, foolhardy or
It was the first story I
was read as a child that was
remotely naughty. Your mum and dad
going, he was told not to do it and
he did. You go, he is amazing.
admire Peter he is the big brother.
In a sort of anthropomorphic seeing
the dynamic is sweet.
mention my character at any point.
I'm really trying to give the
main plot points of the film. I
This guy is faster than the
Domhnall Gleeson plays
Thomas McMcGregor's, old McGregor's
nephew who moves into his house.
you know what we do with rats in
this city. We find them and
Going to work
erday with the express aim of doing
something that will make kids laugh
is sort of, that's very, very
joyious. That's a great reason to go
to work in the morning.
It's like the imagination
Olympics. You really have to train
for it and just sort of go for it.
can read lips.
The elephants are
The elephants around here
captured characteristics of us.
OK. I' got 11 more ribs.
realised that people's memories of
being read Peter Rabbit is what they
are trying to protect, not
necessarily Peter Rabbit. We are not
doing anything to your memories, we
are giving a new take on this.
Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. Stop.
guarantee you that Beatrix Potter
will not be ruined for you if you
watch this movie.
Oh. Look away.
What do you reckon, James Corden,
was it a good casting, a naughty
character and pushes it to the
It's the case of bad casting.
Interesting case of bad casting. It
shows how one bad decision can cast
a nasty shadow over the whole film.
My problem with James Corden, much
respect to him, great at what he
does, hard-working and all of that.
He is too much of a comfortable
family man to pull off off the
naughty cheeky chappieness you need.
Smithy he was naughty.
He's a big
talk show host in America. It is not
working. What is wrong with the film
is a problem in a lot of kids films.
The soundtrack of pop music that is
ano-oning. The tone is too high for
kids or low for their parents. It
would be right if only there was a
central character that wasn't quite
What do you think. Are
you a big Peter Rabbit fan, brought
up on it at all
Not all. I didn't
know what was going on with animals
in the countryside.
Like the young
Mr McGregor, coming up from London a
Invading my garden.
you think about the tone? It's dark
every now and then. Ol Mr McGregor
is killed off in almost a bullying
way, wasn't it?
No easy time to
learn about death. The sooner they
get over this the better. I don't
have a problem with the film. It has
an uncertain tone, Beatrix Potter
has that innocence and eternal
charm. This has a sort of knowing
quick-fire commercialism to it. They
are very different universes they
are going for. I thought Corden did
fine. Children won't know who James
Corden is. Theyle might see him as a
likeable character. They are excited
by the energy in the animation.
don't just, the animation is fun.
They don't just take the odd carrot
they they take over the whole garden
and the house and everything.
has been a mini scandal about
bullying which we kind of ridiculed.
That is the least of it. There is a
lot of really bullying behaviour,
dangerous stuff. Although it seems
ridiculous to disapprove, it is the
movie that turns you into that
disapproving mum, I am afraid.
have to get rid of Ol Mr McGregor to
bring young Mr McGregor from London
who meets Rose Byrne. I don't want
to spoil it for anyone. What might
happen. Do you think that worked?
like the two human leads, shall I
say. What disturbed me there was a
suggestion that Peter Rabbit, who is
a rabbit, let us emphasise, might be
a love rival for Domhnall Gleeson.
This is the child of a mother,
mother figure he is coming in and
being the step-father.
I'm not imagining it there is
a sub-text there.
What about the
mechanics of it, the animation, the
look of it? We see little glimpses
of Beatrix Potter's drawings. This
girl, Rose Byrne, is a bad artist
except when she draws animals. Of
course the animation is completely
different. It was effective?
character is called Bea. The Bea in
Potter. Does this abstract work that
doesn't work the a all and charming
illustrations. We are in different
times. I think to update something
is a very careful, you can't even
call it Beatrix Potter because
children will think, what has it to
do with Harry Potter and confused
No Cumbrian or Lake
Australian actors who aren't doing
their natural instincts. We have
Margot Robbie and Sia.
McGregor is Irish rather than
I don't know if
that is a vital thing. You are not
coming over too strongly.
children would have liked a football
match in it.
So from the ridiculous
to the sublime.
Peter Rabbit is a much loved
character in a childrens book.
Mary Magdalene, on the other hand,
is a much misunderstood
character in the Bible.
So it is argued in Mary Magdalene,
the movie, starring Rooney Mara
as Mary and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus
Director Garth Davis' film positions
Mary Magdalene as Christ's
most important apostle.
So do we believe in
Mary and the movie?
Let's take a look.
Mary. You brought shame on our
There's something unnatural
Your family say you
craple with the demon.
If there's a
demon in me, it's always been there.
There are no demons here. Mary of
She defies her family
and leaves home and becomes dissiebl
Jesus she witnesses his death and
resurrection and unearths a great
spiritual We must prepare truth.
We must wash away the stains of your
corruption. And be born anew.
story that has never been told, the
Mary Magdalene that we all know in
popular culture as a prostitute, an
inpension vention by a Pope in 591.
This is the first time her story has
been told in this way.
What shall I
Are we so different from men
that you must teach us different
things? We are women. Our lives are
not our own.
To see this story that
people are so familiar with, but
seeing it through the eyes of a
woman I thought was really
interesting and powerful and
different. I think that she sees
something in him that perhaps maybe
she hasn't herself. I think in that
first meeting they have, he is
probably the first person in her
life ever to really truly see her.
And I think it gives her the
strength to follow that thing.
I wanted to avoid all the Life of
Brian moments and make it a very
believable story and very human. How
do you make a miracle feel
believable? They were my challenges.
I'll be with you to the end.
So, life of Brian or the greatest
story ever told?
I have not read
much of the Bible in my house when I
was a kid. And I think a lot of
people don't know Mary Magdalene's
story. The fact that she has been
depicted many times in culture and
in paintings has some people
confused with Mary, the mother.
were all called Mary and she has
been regarded as a prostitute, which
is completely wrong. So do you think
this is worth doing at from a
feminist point of view? She is
mentioned a lot in the Bible story,
but is overlooked.
There is a very
compelling and plausible argument
that she was just a woman who was
out of step with time. She didn't
want to play the traditional female
role, which was very narrow, and she
also had a connection with Jesus.
She is more Christ-like than Christ.
She almost became a of Yoko Ono
figure in that the men resented her
for that connection. So that is very
believable. The problem is that
despite his radical take, is still
manages to be a dull film!
looks nice. There is beautifully
If you like
death tones and sepia tablecloths.
Beige and more beige.
50 shades of
The award-winning designer
doesn't do much with the cloth is
here. It sort of argues that she
wasn't a prostitute, but doesn't
really posit what she was, she was
just someone who got up from the
dinner table and said, dad, I'm
going to follow that hippie guy that
you would like.
But all the
disciples did that.
disciples did that. And what about
Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ? It
is a difficult role. He's quite
rugged and windswept.
I can see what
they were going for with Joaquin and
Rooney Mara. There are both actors
we know for intense performances, so
it makes sense with them in the
role, but the script doesn't give
them the material to realise their
They have a platonic
relationship, not a sexual one. That
There is passion in
this Christ. To see Joaquin Phoenix
playing Jesus is interesting because
Jesus is like James Bond on the one
you like is the one you grow up
Who is your favourite?
Powell was the one I saw on telly,
or David Essex.
But do you think
this is for believers, Christians
looking at the story, or is it for
non-believers? Not much of a
decision is taken as far as Jesus is
concerned. He could be the son of
God or he could be a frustrated
That is one of the
interesting things about him, that
it brings out the secondary
characters in the story. Judas is
They give an
explanation as to why he betrayed
Jesus, which is not for the money,
but because he was impatient to get
on with things.
Which again seems
plausible. That is one of the better
It is interesting because I
don't know how feminist this reading
could be. Like most men, he thinks
he is God, but show does she. So I
don't see about the revisionism.
Well, you couldn't rewrite it
entirely and make her Christ.
-based films can make huge money at
the box office, and I'm not sure
this one has enough faith in itself
to carry it off.
Doesn't like you
have become believers in the movie.
The classic rom-com Sleepless
in Seattle may be 25
years old this year,
but it seems writer-director
Nora Ephron and her work continues
to inspire filmmakers old and new.
Theatre director Josie Rourke, whose
debut film Mary Queen of Scots,
starring Margot Robbie
and Saoirse Ronan, comes out
later this year, says Ephron
is her own personal cinematic hero
and with films like
When Harry Met Sally,
Heartburn and Julie and Julia
in Ephron's back catalogue,
it's easy to see why.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
There is no way we
are going on a plane to meet someone
who could be a crazy lunatic.
and women can't be friends because
the sex part always gets in the way.
I'll have what she's having.
Efron is such a hero of mine. From
before I was trying to make films, I
felt what was important in my
childhood was to find women who had
incredible, truthful and funny
I have a number of men
friends and there is no sex
No, you don't. You only
think you do.
I had seen a lot of
black and white films like the
Philadelphia story and the Tracy and
Hepburn movies, and I then went on a
search that I have probably been on
for the rest of my life creatively
for films that are romantic comedies
that have amazing parts for women.
don't mean to be rude.
And I don't
want to invade your privacy.
Sleepless In Seattle. I was just old
enough to see it at the cinema. The
way in which she manages to have you
feeling the great affair to remember
riff that sits in that movie, that
she and Tom Hanks are close all the
time. The way in which they are
inevitably drawn together, you know
it's going to happen. One of the
great pleasures of romantic comedy
is that it says to you very quietly,
don't worry, this is going to go OK.
It is holding you by the hand. In a
sense, the delight of what makes a
romantic comedy truly great is how a
writer and director can navigate the
space between two inevitable points.
You are only going from A to D, and
she does that with dexterity.
tell the truth, are you spying on
But within it, there is
the most brilliant part Meg Ryan.
The inch thinking about her is that
she clearly had these muses
throughout her career, Nora Efron,
understanding what it is to write
for a particular act and to direct a
particular actor more than once and
the nuance of that. You can see that
sometimes she has left her a huge
amount of space in which to fall
into a comic rhythm of her own.
was listening to him talk about how
much he loved his wife and suddenly
I was crying. It is like when I
watch those phone company adds a
guidance have to see the whole
One of the things I really
admire about her writing is how
brilliantly she writes about female
friendship. So I have just done this
movie that although it is a big
period drama, has many observations
about female friendship at the heart
of it and is powered by that. And to
see her write with such brilliance
around that, the kind of Rosie
O'Donnell Meg Ryan axis is
commercial, the 25-year-olds of
their grandfather's birthday? That
I love the scene where you
are in Tom Hanks' place in Seattle
and there are two guys and Rita
Wilson and Rita Wilson does this
rift where she talks about an affair
to remember and the classic thing
where he starts to tear up.
amazing when he comes to see her,
because he doesn't even notice that
she doesn't get up to say hello.
Under something amazing about the
dialogue of that. You have three
people talking over each other at
the same time, which happens in
theatre a lot. I have just made my
first film and I have perpetually
been told off by the sound guy for
having people talk over each other
all the time. So I now know how
technically hard that is to achieve.
It is easier to be killed by a
terrorist than to find a husband
That is untrue!
is this brilliant piece of mocking
where the guys start to talk about
the dirty dozen and tear up at the
same time. The idea that she is just
the most classy
the most classy mocker of people is
Winter must be cold for
those with no warm memories. We have
already missed the spring.
that in order to understand that you
can push forward as a woman and have
a career in film which is no small
thing, you need heroes and icons,
but you also need sisters. And I
think Nora Ephron was both.
Amazingly, in her portrayals of
female friendships in her movies and
her writing and in her long-standing
collaborations with actors in
particular who she worked with a lot
like Meg Ryan and Meryl Streep, she
was not only proving heroism, but
also solidarity, and that seems to
belong to this moment.
Men never get
Good to see Mary
Queen of Scots as a rom-com. You are
a romantic plot. I have some tweets
from Mark, who nominates an affair
to remember. It meant I consequently
proposed to my now ex-wife on top of
the Empire State Building. Next is
the winner of this year's Palme
D'Or, The Square.
It is the latest epic
from Ruben Ostland,
the Swedish Director of 2014
arthouse hit, Force Majeure.
The Square is not so much arthouse
as art world satire
in which pretensions are pricked,
the liberal elite is liberally
mocked and a monkey man runs amok
at a black tie banquet.
Lots of laughs and lots to think
about, but is it art?
What are the biggest challenges in
running a museum?
We are a museum of
modern Art, so we need to present
art that is the art of today,
cutting-edge, and the competition is
It's a satire on the art
world. But it's a very funny satire.
If you place an object in a museum,
does that make this object a piece
It's interesting when some
people in the art world get a little
bit hurt, but they are so silly.
They have to be to criticise
For instance, if we took
your bag and placed it here, would
that make it art?
that make it art?
As is the
case with a lot of his films, it
makes you feel incredibly
uncomfortable and squirmy.
when you are laughing a lot and then
you suddenly feel, was my reaction
loud? But I can tell you, you're
allowed to laugh.
allowed to laugh.
You do the first
four or five takes and then he goes
great, now we are going to turn the
camera on. There is a scene where
class, the lead actor, is going
through a garbage skip in the rain,
and a shot that 100 times.
three years to write the script. Why
should I accept that it only takes
30 days to shoot the film? It is a
visual expression we are dealing
with. We are trying to make a movie.
So it is an arty film about the arts
and here we are on a late-night
discussion talking about a danger of
disappearing up our own arts, but
did you enjoy this?
I did. It should
come with some warnings, though. It
is very long and disordered in a way
that you feel every minute of that
It is episodic, but I didn't
mind the length. But towards the
end, I was getting annoyed that he
wasn't tying in the various
To me, it felt like
walking around a contemporary art
exhibition that it is satirising. I
just want people to know what they
are getting themselves into.
sometimes that length is useful.
There is the scene with the monkey
man where this man comes in and
disrupts the party. It is supposed
to be a performance piece and you
watch this 11th minute scene and is
one of the great set pieces of
European cinema. You are willing it
never to start, and yet once you are
watching, you are don't want it to
And it goes on for perfectly
too long. It gets a bit weird,
because him smashing a few glasses
or thumping his chest is one thing,
but a near rape goes on and only
then do people react. Earlier in the
film, it is more like W 18, the
meetings and discussions.
something people should know as
well. It is not aggressively
anti-interpretation as we think of
art films as being, there are some
relatable moments with meetings
where people bring up the ice bucket
challenge and wonder how to recreate
Because it is set in Sweden,
even more than if it was in London
or New York, the contrast with the
clean lines of these luscious
people, and on the streets there are
Claes Bang was
There are moral
dilemmas like if you lost your
mobile phone, what would you do? And
you can imagine executives watching
the film and going, what would I do?
There is a great setup, because he
has an underling who comes up with a
solution and there is a difficult
thing to do. And there is a passive
aggression between the two of them
and it goes wrong in a way that was
slightly wrong. Everything falls
apart and he ends up in this rubbish
And there is a sexual affair
he has. What did you make of that?
don't quite get the result of that.
It fades into the background.
didn't mind. One thing this film is
good at which absolves it of all
sins is genuinely shocking you. So
many films promised to do that and
us jaded audience members don't
usually get that.
There is an odd
bit with a condom. I could never
work out what was going on. And
there is a film called red road that
explored a way of taking the context
of a condom and doing something with
it, but that doesn't happen, it is
just done for shock value.
opened up a strange sub of films
here. There is a tug-of-war over the
condom as well. The art world satire
is easy sometimes, and yet this one
does it rather smugly in a fairly
Swedish, clean way, and yet pulls
you in. And here we are, smugly
talking about it.
And there is a
press conference in somebody with to
rid syndrome is shouting out
obscenities and everybody is saying,
we will carry on with that, however
bad the criticism of the whole
thing. Anyway, we have now come to
the point where you have to say what
your film of the week it is.
hip to be square, so it is The
This is most
unfortunate. That would be my film.
No vote for Peter Rabbit? All right.
So we have made that decision.
So that's it.
Next week Al Murray, presumably not
in his Pub Landlord character,
will be sitting right
here and taking charge.
Playing us out tonight
is a clip from My Generation,
a new documentary about the '60s
cultural revolution in Britain,
narrated by Sir Michael Caine
who, as it happens, is 85 today.
Caine's screen career
was supercharged in the 1960s
when he was cast as Alfie
by Lewis Gilbert,
the prolific director who died
a couple of weeks ago.
So with a fond farewell
to Lewis and a happy
birthday to Sir Michael -
Growing up in London in the 1950s
was predictable and dull. My
direction demanded a new beginning.
It was the first time in the future
was shaped by young people.
was shaped by young people.
have got these rules about how to
live, and it's just not true any
You didn't hear modern speech,
but then you did.
And they never
shut me up.
Police raided Keith
This isn't the
first generation that has questioned
the moral values of the last
It was our time. The
best time of our lives.
The team take a look at Peter Rabbit, the new big-screen version of the Beatrix Potter classic starring James Corden as the titular bunny, Mary Magdalene, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, and Cannes Palme D'Or winner, the art world satire The Square. The programme also revels in the wit and wonder of Nora Ephron.