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This programme contains some strong language
The Culture Show is at the Pleasure Gardens in Olympic East London,
where they're racing to turn this industrial wasteland
into a brand-new arts destination
complete with sculpture, performance and installation.
They've certainly got their work cut out.
In the meanwhile, we've got a host of other pleasures in store for you.
Actor Willem Dafoe,
author Nicola Barker,
starchitect Renzo Piano,
and street dance from Tomorrow's Men.
But to kick off tonight's show,
I'm in East Ham to meet a man who's been capturing this corner of our capital for over 50 years -
the legendary photographer David Bailey.
A true East End boy,
Bailey's photographs of post-war London defined an era.
Edgy, hip and brutal.
He was raised just a stone's throw away from here,
so this truly is Bailey's manor.
In fact his new exhibition is called David Bailey's East End,
so I thought I'd best let him decide where we should meet.
Tell me first of all why here. Why did you want to meet here?
We've got to meet somewhere
and Chan's is such a part of my early life.
This was the first place I came to, the first restaurant I ever went to.
-It's been in the same family all these years.
I love it. It's charming. They should make a chain.
Even at 74, Bailey's constantly working. A true photoholic.
Many of the pictures in his new show have never been seen before,
rediscovered in his hoard of old contact sheets.
-Why do you think you've kept coming back to the East End?
You're a bit like a migrating bird, really, aren't you? You sort of wander back.
Did you take your first pictures here?
Yeah, in my mum's garden.
I love that picture, look. I call that Cartoon Door.
Can I just finish my coffee? Hang on.
Hang on a minute. That's my sister.
They used it in a paper the other day like it was a work of art.
It was just a snap I did of my sister. Did you get it?
There's my mates.
That's my Jewish mate Charlie.
That's my Irish mate Donny O'Connor.
That's my best mate. That's me.
I knew what I was doing when I was 16 by instinct.
I knew how to take pictures.
I knew about shapes and the way people fill spaces.
It was all instinctive. It was just luck. I was a lucky guy.
When you look at these pictures, does it bring back smells and sounds?
No, it brings back broken glass.
From the age of three and a half, all I remember is walking on glass.
The sound of broken glass underfoot was the sound I knew most.
It was my blackbird singing in the background! That's all.
-Any chance... Oi! Any chance of a coffee, mate?
That's good. That's good.
-Out of focus at the moment.
-That's the only way I'll look good.
For the new show you found a lot...
Well, not the pictures that you were taking in your mum's garden.
They weren't lost. They just hadn't been printed.
-You know, the contacts were so bad. Shall I show you one?
Look, this gives you a good example.
Look there. Over your shoulder.
-These are the contact sheets...
-They might not be the ones...
-But it's this kind of contact sheet?
-The kind of thing. They're too dark.
I remember this. Until we blew it up...
This is wonderful. Totally surreal. I blew it up and I thought,
"Shit. I put the neg in the wrong way. The lettering's all the wrong way round."
But it's a reflection of... Double reflection, you see.
Then when we blew it up I found me in there as well.
-So it was a double bonus.
-What do you like about that picture?
-Yeah, I like the reality of the unreality, really.
You mock art photography and you're talking like an art photographer.
-I don't knock art photography. I knock the name!
You don't say art sculpture or art painting, do you?
I'm an art painter! THEY CHUCKLE
The word art photography has always sounded so silly to me.
'You don't interview Bailey, you witness his stream of consciousness.
'But while he's a bit chaotic,
'his new show is tightly focused on just three decades.'
Why did you pick the '60s, the '80s and the thousands?
They picked me, really. It was a time that I knew I'd been intense, do you understand?
They were three decades when you felt particularly intensely interested?
Yeah. Not for any reason other than...
The '80s, I can only tell you,
is because they were pulling down Camden Town and Silvertown
and I thought it was a good idea to record it before they pulled it down.
I only got there in time to save that gate!
Look at the difference, you see. This is all super-expensive lenses.
This is just a soft, non-coated lens.
So that's you in the '60s taking a picture and that's you in the '80s?
Yeah. Which is much colder and calculated,
whereas this was much more instinctive, in a way.
'You would, I suppose, use the Hasselblad'
in preference to the Instamatic for most of your work?
-Mm. It's more useful.
-I should think it is.
'Cameras have attitudes and you can use'
the attitude of a camera.
The ten-eight gives the attitude you're in a cathedral
whereas the 35mm and a Polaroid gives the attitude you're in a nightclub.
'Bailey spent a lot of time in nightclubs during the 1960s,
'rubbing shoulders with high society and the criminal underworld.'
This is '60s. This is one of the Krays' gambling casinos.
I think it's funny them having... Who are they? Who's his nibs called?
-The son of the Queen.
-Charlie. Is it Charlie?
Charlie and Anne, on the wall of a Kray gambling casino!
Yeah, which was firebombed ten minutes after I left.
People say how can you photograph Ron Kray?
I'd photograph Hitler, I'd photograph Stalin. I can't...
I have to take pictures. I'm not interested in...
I might think they're awful, but I can't make any judgement. If you're a photographer...
Sometimes editors say, "He's really arrogant, can you make him look arrogant?
"She's really stuck up, can..." I say no. I take the pictures of them as they are.
-I won't do a journalistic picture of somebody.
-What about now?
What about now? Now's hard.
Now's hard because I didn't want to go back and do...
I wanted to do kind of more street stuff.
That's Stepney Green now. Can you believe that?
That's where they built the Olympics.
That's in a kind of sweet little church in Upton Park.
I love the spirit of the balloon, the white balloon.
-"God bless you. Thanks for coming. please come again."
Nobody's ever said that to you?!
All right? Is it boring? You can see the rerun on television!
All this trouble and it will probably be two minutes!
THE CAFE STAFF LAUGH
-That's a great picture. Don't know what it means.
-It's like an angel.
-I like... I like normality.
I like when it's normal and you just go that way a little bit,
when it's slightly off normal.
Are these pictures THE East End or are they YOUR East End?
No, they're my East End. But I couldn't have taken them if the East End wasn't there.
You can't copy these. They're like my portraits. You can't copy my portraits
because I'm photographing my personality half the time with your personality.
With these you're taking something that's disappeared.
It's just a moment in time. This is real reality, not movies,
because movies are telling you about the past.
This is the actual moment that happened, isn't it?
This is everything, the moment that happens.
Nothing before, nothing afterwards. It's just that moment and then it's gone.
In a way, I've saved a little bit of moment for me
and maybe for you to get some pleasure out of it.
'He looks fantastic, doesn't he?'
You wouldn't want to bump into him on a dark night, would you?
-No! I'm harmless, harmless.
-You're harmless, are you?
And David Bailey's East End, part of CREATE London's summer programme,
opens at the Compressor House in Newham on Friday.
Now, from photos of London's city life to Tasmanian wildlife on film.
Mark Kermode caught up with Willem Dafoe,
an actor with more than 70 films on his idiosyncratic CV.
Willem Dafoe's career spans such diverse roles as Blockbuster villains,
arthouse weirdos, and intense leading men.
But look closely at some of his best work,
like Scorsese's controversial Last Temptation Of Christ,
or his collaborations with Paul Schrader,
and a recurring theme starts to emerge.
His strength is playing the wandering outsider,
a character at the margins of society,
who looks deep into the void.
The classic figure of the isolated existential antihero
through which filmmakers can discuss big issues
like life, death and the human condition,
is a role which all serious actors long to play,
but the fact is very few of them can pull it off.
Willem Dafoe is an exception.
In his latest film, The Hunter, Dafoe explores alienation
in one of the world's most insular environments,
the Tasmanian wilderness.
Sent by an anonymous biotech company,
he plays Martin David, a ruthless mercenary whose mission
is to track down what's rumoured to be the last Tasmanian tiger.
The character that you play in The Hunter,
at the beginning of it, he's a classic, isolated, hitman-like character
-who goes into the wilderness but during the course of the movie, that changes.
It's something that happens to him, not something that he wishes for,
but I think because he's at the end of his career,
he's in a reflective place. He sees the end coming
just by how in his dealings with the people in Tasmania he starts to be touched.
Something's reawakened in him. His humanity is reawakened.
You can't come with me.
You know these are extinct? They're gone.
I don't know what your father told you, but he couldn't have seen one.
This movie very much deals with the possibility of redemption
and that's also echoed somewhat in the whole thing about the tiger,
because the tiger is a piece of history that's been lost.
You know, the deep sadness of losing this beautiful thing.
Is there a possibility to go back or make it right?
That's why there's sightings of the Tasmanian tiger all the time.
People want badly for it to be...rediscovered.
When I look back across your back catalogue,
for personal reasons the films that stand out for me are the Schraders,
The Last Temptation Of Christ, the Lars von Trier.
This seems very much to sit in that particular thread.
I think the one through line has to do with directors.
I'm attracted to visionaries, mavericks, you know, auteurs.
People that aren't studio-hired guns, for example.
So that's a through line, I think pretty consistently.
But you have become a muse for filmmakers. You say auteurs and I understand that,
but filmmakers dealing with big questions.
-The meaning of life, God...
-You must be aware of that.
-I think I got a good answer for you.
I think my interest in movies, besides kind of the adventure
and the kind of plying my craft or whatever that is,
or just making things for pleasure, is I like movies that inspire.
On some level, on some level I'm just show trash,
but on another level I'm an artist and I get the opportunity to make things.
It's an invitation to rethink what your life could be like,
or who you could be, and I think that always stays with you.
News just in. A woman has fallen to her death.
Police are withholding identification pending notification of next of kin.
'You work with Schrader.
'There is a similarity there in Schrader's recurrent character of God's lonely man.'
-Man alone, yes.
-I thought of that when I was watching The Hunter.
Does that ring a bell for you?
I think I'm interested in that character, that idea of
the world would be a better place if man could learn how to be alone in their room.
I think we are alone.
I think it's an interesting character that feels that loneliness
and reflects on what his relationship is to other people.
-What do you mean when you say I think we are alone?
-I think that's true.
I have some deep feeling for you're born alone, you die alone, you know?
Are you fraught, like, on a personal level?
You play characters that have this extraordinary inner tension
but actually meeting you now, you seem very calm.
Do you go home and worry about things?
I don't worry so much as, you know...
When I'm performing I do believe it is important to have
a certain kind of tension and a certain kind...
I don't like slack, natural, relaxed performances.
-In life... I've got a good life. I can't complain.
My wife always, "Says don't spit on your luck."
I must complain sometimes otherwise she wouldn't say that!
But you're kind of asking whether I'm an angst, troubled person, right?
I'm asking whether any of those things that I see again and again
in the key characters that you play are part of you.
Yeah, I think so. For some reason... And who knows why?
Maybe I got dropped on my head when I was a kid or something!
But I'm able to contact a certain kind of profound anger
and a profound, um, disappointment.
If you hadn't been an actor, what would have happened to those things?
They'd probably be repressed and I might be happier!
This way I get to exorcise them.
There's a scene in The Hunter where there is a sense of a man going out
and looking into the void and seeing himself look back out of it.
If I was to describe the film, that's what I'd say it was about
but then no one would go and see it. How would you describe it?
Tell them it's a fun action-adventure!
Just get 'em there and once they get there, I think they'll enjoy it.
-Thank you very much.
And The Hunter is out next Friday.
It's actually more comfortable than it looks.
Now to a new sporting novel by acclaimed comic writer Nicola Barker.
Sarfraz Manzoor travelled back to Luton, the setting for her new book,
to delve into the mischievous mind of the author.
When you think of Luton,
a gritty, multicultural town once voted the crappiest in Britain,
and the place where I happened to grow up,
you don't usually associate it with the bourgeois status-obsessed world of golf.
But together they form the backdrop
for Nicola Barker's latest eccentric adventure, The Yips.
And you don't need to come from the town or love the sport
to be lured into the world of grotesque northern golf pro Stuart Ransom
who heads a cast list of outsiders and oddballs
whose lives intertwine in a Luton drinking hole.
I fucking idolised Seve as a kid.
I wanted to be his double.
Seve were my hero, my role model.
I wanted to be an artist exactly like Seve was,
because Seve was the real deal.
He was the big cheese. He were the golfing Gorgonzola
and I wanted to play exactly like he did.
You know, all that amazing spunk and fire and recklessness.
I dreamed about painting on the greens with me putter, the way Seve could.
Ransom's boorish behaviour continues Barker's fascination
with the marginalised and misunderstood of little England.
By setting The Yips in 2006,
when Luton's reputation was being tainted by extremism,
she's chosen a provocative location for her parochial protagonists.
-Hi, Nicola. Good to meet you.
-Tell me, what are the yips?
The yips is a nervous condition that golfers and sportsmen suffer from,
golfers especially, on their short game or when they're putting.
Their hands start to shake uncontrollably.
It normally signals the end of a professional career when it happens. It's catastrophic.
-Do novelists get the yips?
-I think everybody gets them, but in different ways.
The book is about mental strength and mental weakness,
and I suppose the yips is a condition that is sort of universal.
Why did you choose this particular town to be the setting for the book?
It's culturally interesting and it's surrounded by golf courses.
The book's set a year after the 7/7 bombers left from here.
In the public imagination,
the town is either a bit of a joke or considered to be a bit dangerous.
-You don't go down either of those roads.
That's not really my approach at all.
I suppose it's just a base for this sort of story to take place.
When I initially came here there definitely wasn't the atmosphere of the place.
I'm excited by how it's changed and how it's developed.
It's fascinating for me.
I tend to write a book, focus on the place,
really engage with it intensely, and then kind of cut off and recreate it.
You're probably accidentally slightly challenging people's impressions of Luton as well.
Um, I don't know. That's quite a grand thing to try and do.
I don't think there's anything wrong with Luton.
I think Luton should be proud of itself.
I just mean in the sense that this was a town I grew up in,
but you show a side of it that I didn't even know existed.
Maybe now this fascination with golf is going to develop.
-Or maybe not!
It's personal with me.
Always has been. A pride thing.
I need to be the big dog, the biggest dog, win or lose.
And if I'm going to lose, I'll piss all over the fairways.
I'll leave divots a foot fucking deep.
I'll give the groundsmen a fucking coronary.
I'll be filthy. I'll lose like a fucking pig.
I'll lose worse than anyone's ever lost before. I'll make an art of it.
I'll hit balls through the clubhouse window.
I'll play five shots from the car park, because I'm a wildcard.
Better to burn out than fade away. That's always been my motto.
'One of the interesting things about book
'is that although the characters are not necessarily pleasant,'
-you don't really patronise them.
-I suppose what I exist to do as a writer
is to make the unlovable lovable. That's my mission.
So I want people who are quite conventional to encounter these characters,
to be a little bit alarmed by them,
and then to develop a great affection for them.
That's kind of improving the social good. That's a positive thing to do.
Stuart Ransom seems like the kind of person who might at a stretch
end up in Celebrity Big Brother or something like that,
very much on the downward trajectory of his fame.
That sort of world of the celebrity netherland,
-does it appeal to you and why?
It's just there's something kind of sad but dignified about that.
-People have to continue...
-Sure there's any dignity in it?
People have to continue existing after their moment in the sun.
It makes me think, say, of Tiger Woods.
Such a hero and then all of this notoriety about his private life.
I love him even more now
because there's something heroic about the way he's come back.
-I love that. I don't see that...
-You like the comeback story?
Well, I do, but I think it takes a huge amount of strength,
great inner reserves.
I like that, that sort of nobility.
I'm a sportsman. I'm an artist.
Not some grinny little monkey who'll just dance around to order.
When you hire Stuart Ransom, you hire a master spirit, yeah?
A social lion, a legend, a tiny piece of folklore.
You can't housetrain Stuart Ransom.
He's not tamed and neutered,
jumping around to order like some cuddly little spaniel.
He's a savage frigging beast, yeah?
A big, fat, black grizzly tearing through your trash.
Tell me a little bit about the different accents that are employed.
There's a Jamaican and there's Yorkshire and there's French.
In terms of where you get that from and your sensitivity to it, where does that come from?
I suppose I'm just interested in difference,
interested in language and the rhythm of language.
I'm partially deaf so I sort of listen to things very intently
and I have to try that little bit harder
and so language and how people speak
and their little peculiarities fascinate me.
-Well, good luck with the book and very nice to have met you.
The Yips is published by Fourth Estate tomorrow.
Next we turn our attention skywards to the cloud-tipped peak of The Shard,
as Alan Yentob surveys the skyline, skyscrapers and spires of London town
with Genovese architect Renzo Piano.
# I'm singing in the rain... #
As a Londoner, I've grown accustomed to the skyline along the Thames,
especially in the rain.
And, like most Londoners, I have a special place in my heart
for the view of St Paul's Cathedral,
immortalised by the Italian painter Canaletto.
It still remains the most striking and visible landmark in the City.
But that could all be about to change.
Almost 350 years since St Paul's revolutionised our skyline,
the bad boy of architecture, Renzo Piano,
has arrived to challenge a much-loved view of our city.
There it is, Renzo.
For the last few weeks I've been seeing the building everywhere,
-you know, from every perspective.
-You can't miss.
'With his latest building, The Shard,
'a gleaming 300 metre high vertical city in the heart of central London,
'has Renzo broken off more than he can chew?'
This is not a shard of glass, it is a shard of wood,
but this idea that you do something like that, it's not that stupid.
As an architect, you have to be a builder for the first half an hour in the day
and then you become a poet.
Can I just see this, a second? Why should we is the question.
Because architects need trust.
When you try to do something like this, you need really trust.
What do you think about St Paul's and that view?
You know, I'm Italian.
Very little I can do about that. I'm in love with history.
I have a very deep respect and gratitude for the past.
By the way, everybody knows that St Paul's was contemporary at that time,
it became classic only later.
But, you know, you must be mad to think about something new to compete with St Paul's.
And, frankly, I mean, this building doesn't compete with St Paul's.
Much more modest. Nobody can think about that.
It's disappeared, The Shard.
It keeps changing, it keeps changing.
The Shard is a mirror of London and London is never the same.
It keeps changing.
The rain, clouds and then suddenly,
you know, sharp and brilliant and sun.
In some ways the Shard, because it's tilted, the glass is tilted,
and it's broken in pieces like that, it always reflects.
Otherwise the building becomes very arrogant, very aggressive,
Long before he was let loose on the streets of London,
Renzo and former partner in crime Richard Rogers were responsible for
one of the most radical designs in Europe - Paris's Centre Pompidou.
Since then, Renzo has brought to life dozens of buildings,
from museums to churches to airports,
throughout a career that resists categorisation.
In fact, the one constant appears to be
a rather vocal hatred of tall buildings.
Why have you resisted towers all these years?
Sometimes they don't tell a very interesting story.
It's just about money, power, a symbol, arrogance.
Architecture is one of the arts to tell a story, you know.
Then it depends. Is it a good story or a bad story?
I think this tower tells a good story.
Buildings are only loved if they are accessible,
but if they are mysterious and multi-present,
like sometimes towers are...
That's one of the reasons why towers don't have a good reputation,
because at 6pm they shut down
and life goes away and they have no dialogue with the city.
But this building will be full of people 24 hours a day.
Look, I've got here...
-There it is. That's St Paul's.
This view is a fantastic view.
Look at that.
If Canaletto was here now,
he probably would be pleased to draw something there.
This is the position where the Shard may be.
-Thank you so much.
Love it or loathe it, The Shard is inaugurated tomorrow
and it opens to the public in 2013.
That's just about it for tonight.
If you want more culture, visit The Space online at:
Next week, Miranda Sawyer turns to Plan B on the eve of his new album,
Eddie Izzard talks to Mark Kermode,
and Stonehenge is transformed into a fire garden.
But, to play us out, 100 young men from across East London performing at Canary Wharf,
one of the highlights of Big Dance, part of the London 2012 Festival. Good night.
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