17/06/2011 The Review Show


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Tonight on The Review Show, a sneak Tonight on The Review Show, a sneak


peek at the best films to come out of the UK's two biggest


This week, the curtain closed on the This week, the curtain closed on the


nation's largest documentary festival and opened on its most


famous film festival, both giving an insider's view of the big hits of


the year, what they are likely to be. The Edinburgh Film Festival is


the grand dame. Now entering its 65th year it shows no sign


getting old. We sat our panel in front of a selection of three from a


programme of over 60 feature films. This year's Festival Gala Film is an


offbeat buddy comedy The Guard starring Brendan Gleeson and Don


Cheadle. Scottish director Mackenzie's offering is an


the world love story starring Ewan MacGregor and Eva Green. In his


first original screenplay for 20 years, Sir David Hare's


years, Sir David Hare's BBC2 Page Eight, a security services


thriller with a stellar including Bill Nighy, Rachel


and Michael Gambon. Though young compared to Edinburgh, the Sheffield


DocFest has been the hub of the British documentary industry for the


last 17 years. Last week film makers, distributors and buyers from


across the globe descended on the Yorkshire steel town to see the


films that will be hitting the big and small screens in the coming


year. The programme featured over 100 international docs, discussions


and masterclasses. From these our panel looked at the thrilling


Formula One archive documentary charting the life and death of motor


racing prodigy Ayrton Senna. Spurlock's take


Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold; a 1970s experiment gone wrong


in Project Nim and Terry Pratchett's moving insight into choosing to die.


Joining me are documentary maker Joining me are documentary maker


Molly Dineen, the activist, and film maker, Mark Thomas, Karen


Krizanovich and Andrea Calderwood. As always, we do like a good tweet


so if you would care to indulge the address is on the screen. First


up tonight, one of the big hitters from this week's Edinburgh Film


Festival, an unlikely buddy movie with two very unlikely buddies.


The film pairs Brendan Gleeson and The film pairs Brendan Gleeson and


Don Cheadle, who star as two mismatched law enforcers


trail of a gang of drug traffickers. A familiar story perhaps only this


time the setting isn't Brooklyn or Chicago, but rural Connemara. I


thought only black lads are drug dealers? And Mexicans. While


plays straight man as a diligent FBI agent, Gleeson's character is a


straight talker with both politically incorrect attitudes


a casual approach to crime fighting. I thought we might start by


canvassing the neighbourhood. You lost me at "we". It's my day off. I


guess he is one of those people who lulls you in to a false sense of


security by pretending to be a buffoon but he is obviously the most


intelligent person in the film really. Part crime thriller, part


buddy movie, the director was also influenced by the western. I looked


at a lot of John Ford's movies, he doesn't use many close-ups and he


has a sort of company of actors and everybody gets their moment in the


son. My other favourite is the screw balls, so those two, even though


they seem dissimilar, they are the same sort of vibe about them so it


was a conflation of the two really. I hate that miserablist strain of


British and Irish film making. It really annoys me, I don't want to


watch it anymore so when I got together with a costume


production designer and Larry Smith the main thing was this is going to


be intensely stylised, so that was deliberate that we decided on


from the start. The agency? No, my husband is missing. I will


slip into something a little less comfortable. So how does


Irish setting change a well-worn format and how do the


You certainly are an unconventional You certainly are an unconventional


police officer. Thank you. was not meant as a compliment.


Andrea, FBI meets Connemara. It is a totally different take on the buddy


movie. Did it work? I loved that it was in Connemara, I thought


fantastic and from the moment you see Brendan Gleeson at the


of the film, that dead pan reaction to the first crash, you


this is going to be a Brendan Gleeson is at


the movie, isn't he? Totally. He drives the movie completely forward.


All the other characters are two-dimensional, lots of fun, very


quirky, but without Gleeson the film couldn't stand. He is brilliant in


this and I really enjoyed it. I thought him and the one-liners


it. Well, Gleeson is this incredibly kind of interesting


character, very contradictory. There are times when we find his


pretty shocking and appalling. Is he the dumbest guy or the smartest


in the room? We are not quite sure, are we? I think we are very sure he


is the smartest in the room at all times. I think he is wonderful.


What about that dynamic between him and Cheadle Cheadle


course the buddy movie pivots around this central relationship. It


didn't feel like a buddy relationship to me but I thought it


was wonderful and the issue of race - you wouldn't go near it but he is


outrageous in this film. He gets away with saying some absolutely


outrageous things, and Don Cheadle's character is meant to somehow get


his way past that to them having this quite intimate connection


somehow. Did that work for you? Yes, it Dell did totally and what


also - yes, it did totally and saving his own life by shooting one


of the drug traffickers and as he a baddie and is dying, he stops


says to us: there were so many things I had left to do. It's an


extraordinary moment of sentimentality in a film which is


basically a cartoon, isn't it? is and it isn't because again you


get one of the other drug traffickers, Mark Strong, they are


sitting in a car discussing whether Bertram Russell was Welsh, talking


about Dostoevsky. It's ludicrous. was sitting with hardened critics


and I laughed all the way through. For a film, if it's a comedy and


makes me laugh it has done its The wonderful thing is they show up


if you are politically correct you are a bit thick really. If you can't


see through what's happening here, it's not racism, he wants to


you are going to respond. I it was brilliant writing. Let's go


back to that Brendan Gleeson performance because for me what it


said was that this is a film as we heard the director saying, that is


not about Irish sentimentality. is the west of Ireland but it's


meant to look like an ad, like a Roddy Dail adaptation, this is tough


and gritty, slightly frayed the edges, western Ireland. It is a


throwback to the dirty copse that kicked against it in the 70s, that


did everything wrong but still got the guy that they needed to get.


That's what I loved about this flawed character. Also there are


terrible things happening but he is the smartest and can see through the


smoke. It's actually quite hard to breathe life into the maverick


character. It's actually a well-worn route. Yes. And Gleeson


brilliant at it, I think he is really exciting. The film also


really plays around with cliches and Hollywood conventions. You know,


chucking a nod towards spaghetti westerns and playing around quoting


little bits. It's almost film which is one of the lovely


things about it, that the people who have made it obviously love film.


It is a geek's film with guns. it doesn't get better than that. We


are going to move on because we a lot to get through. If CSI:


Connemara takes your fancy, it will be on general release


August. Next up, two of the ticket films from Edinburgh, one


from Sir David Hare and another reuniting Trainspotting pals Ewen


Although he is still prolific as a Although he is still prolific as a


playwright, it's 20 years since Sir playwright, it's 20 years since Sir


Although he is David Hare penned a screenplay. Now


for BBC2 he has returned to the screen with Page Eight,


contemporary political thriller set among the spooks of MI5. Bill Nighy


is long-serving operative Johnny Worricker, whose personal life and


career take a dramatic turn is handed a top secret dossier by


his oldest friend and head of MI5 Benedict Baron, played by Michael


Gambon. I want to share a source and before we go any further, God's very


excited. Why? I suppose like all home secretaries, God can't resist a


file marked top secret. You going to read this and you


to think hold on, the Americans meant to be our allies. I've never


suffered from that delusion. The revelations on page 8 of this


document risk destabilising the whole of the political establishment


and Johnny faces a dilemma. I like faith jobs, I don't like


anything to do with faith. The sun will rise in the morning, I'm going


to have a drink at 6.00. Starring alongside Bill Nighy and Michael


Gambon are Ralph Fiennes as British Prime Minister and Rachel Weisz as


Johnny's beguiling neighbour.


Perfect Sense directed by Film Festival stalwart sees Ewan


MacGregor's character falling for Susan, a scientist struggling to


escape a history of bad relationships. I'm Michael, I


in the restaurant there. All right, sailor. I'm a chef. Good for you.


Their emerging love affair develops Their emerging love affair develops


against the backdrop of an inexplicable global pandemic whose


sufferers experience an outpouring of emotion just before losing


underof their five senses. Do not stand so close. They say it's not


contagious. They don't know. Look, would you like me to take you back


to your home? The heart of this thing is a love story but it's a


film that has some science and has some fiction and it has some romance


and it has, I guess, a kind of thrillery thing to it and


it's in some way a story for our times.


The film also reunites Ewan The film also reunites Ewan


MacGregor with Trainspotting partner in crime Ewen Bremner. We've in a


way sort of grown up together professionally. I think as an actor


he really just gets stronger and stronger. He is a great


working with and to be playing with and he has a great sense of humour.


Blending contemporary romance with apocalyptic sci-fi, the film


explores love and attraction in the face of mutual destruction.


Mark, it's Sir David Hare's first TV Mark, it's Sir David Hare's first TV


drama for 20 years. Was it worth waiting for? No. No, there's a


reason that he hasn't directed in years and it's because he can't.


There are three things wrong this film, which is for a


it's not thrilling. He has to be suspenseful. The script


like writing by numbers; and cannot direct. He points the camera


at actors and hopes they will get in the way. That's harsh. Can you say


that about Sir David Hare, that he can't write or direct? No, I didn't


say he can't write. He is obviously a brilliant writer, but I said he


writes by numbers. He puts: let's put the next bit of the story at the


risk of losing anything to do with suspense, he just throws it all


away. Are these characters living and breathing for you, Molly? I


thought that was slightly harsh. No, they don't live and breathe. I


passionately like Bill Nighy as an actor, he is wonderful, and Michael


Gambon, but something about it was plodding. It's again why you love


documentary, because it's real people doing real things. This


seemed to me a wonderful situation but it seemed terribly artificial. I


didn't believe in the characters what they were doing or saying.


There is one critical relationship between Bill Nighy's


Johnny Worricker, and Nancy, who is played by Rachel Weisz, and they are


meant to have this sort of love affair, sort of not love affair, but


there's this magnetic between the two of them. Did


ring true for you? Well, you didn't see that coming at all. Beautiful


woman next to Bill Nighy. No, that wouldn't happen. He does tend to


get the cute girl, doesn't he? Every film. The thing about this


I was reading before I saw it Sir David Hare was accusing the BBC


of lacking innovation, and I this is going to be really


innovative. Don't throw stones, you know, really don't, because there


are some wonderful actors in there but there's no innovation that I can


see. It does feel very much - this discussion between is it a film, is


it a piece of television? know. I'm not sure. Television,


think. But what struck me about it was the number of companies getting


involved makes it like a film and TV can do really topical immediate


drama, thinking about John Mackenzie who sadly died this week, as long as


the Long Good Friday and he used to make these really immediate powerful


dramas about life today and we all talk about it at school and


all the lines, and it was just very quick, very strong turn-around


television. If you have to I don't know exactly -


different companies, a star-studded cast who are all fantastic, no


wonder it can't be topical, urgent television. Is this a point then,


that it perhaps compromises David Hare, a man who works very


much in the theatre, that kind of creative compromise and the slowness


of the decision-making process perhaps hampers these kind of films


for people in theatre, or is it a different problem for you? I


there is a different problem. think you are write because


take time to get these projects together and actually the issue of


UK government involvement in accusations of knowledge of torture


and Guantanamo and all these failures in the intelligence


like 7/7 are all important debates but actually they have


happened by and large, in theatre and in film elsewhere, and then


David Hare rolls up which isn't topical, therefore it needs to be


dramatic; and it isn't. OK, we are going to move on to things of great


importance such as the end world and loss of our senses. In


films before we've had robotic uprisings, giant tidal waves, now


it's the moment where all our senses evaporate in Perfect Sense. Karen,


how did you feel about this movie? Did it sweep you off your feet? No,


it reminded me of a lot of other films. Blindness is the film it


brings up the most. I was looking forward to this because it


uses Glasgow as a setting. I love Glasgow, I think it's a


place, more films should be made here. In fact Johnny Depp was just


up the road two days ago, telling you now. Trend


thank you. It was important. Thank you. But I found that this really


had technical problems, I think. Plinky music didn't help,


over it didn't help, a hovering feel throughout didn't really throw up


any tension or sense of pace or jeopardy really. I never


to see a man eating mustard big spoon ever again. Yes, it's


worth explaining that there are these scenes of rampaging hunger


that one of the things that happens before you lose a sense is you have


this violent emotion, whether it's guilt, hunger - You eat flowers.


You eat lipsticks, flowers, so unpleasant scenes of mass eating


going on. Also what they do in this film is interpolate the drama with


these stock shots of global stuff, so you see shots from around the


world of people violently suddenly stricken by grief. Did that use of


montage work for you in way it was cut into the film? There


was some lovely footage there but for me what didn't work was there


wasn't a sense of the couple. The couple are more


interested in their relationship than the imminent end of the world


going on around them. Maybe if Eva Green's character hadn't been an


epidemiologist then it been more effective because you


she should have been out there saving the world rather than saving


their relationship, but the thing about it was their


relationship. The two Euans were so good together. There was a fantastic


characterisation in the middle of but it didn't seem to connect to the


end of the world that was going somewhere else. Particularly


because she was meant to be an epidemiologist. She wasn't that


interested in tracking down where this thing came from. The


was talking about how there was little science and a little fiction.


Actually there was no science and barely any fiction. But a lot of


great sex. I think that's open to interpretation. LAUGHTER.


OK, Molly is allowed to like the sex. That's fine. I thought it was


intensely romantic going on between them but quite bizarre that they


bothered to cast her as having that job when she was clearly not on the


job. She was supposed to be stopping the end of the world


instead of which she was having great sex and eating soap. Who can


object to that? If you have the perfect sense to go and see either


of those Page Eight will be on BBC2 in early autumn and Perfect Sense is


on general release from the end October. Now to


Documentary Festival and our pick of the best beginning with two films, a


new departure for one of the starriest names in the documentary


world and another film dealing Formula One's most enduring legend.


Only one word describes Ayrton's Only one word describes Ayrton's


style and that is "fast". Ayrton Senna exploded onto the Formula One


stage in the mid-1980s, dominating the Grand Prix circuit for the next


decade. Idolised in his native Brazil, his high profile rivalry


with team mate Alain Prost generated unprecedented interest in the sport.


I think it's going to get more and more exciting, the championship. Is


it possible to be cool? No, can only be one winner. The doctor


director traces the story of Senna's career out of archive footage both


in and out of the McLaren car. My biggest worry was how do I make this


film cinematic, how do I make it a movie, emotional for people who are


not Formula One fans? For me it became clear early on that we don't


need contemporary interviews. There is an amazing drama and tension


inherently in the original footage. If anyone was going to narrate the


film it had to be Senna. I wanted him to have the first and last


in the film and if we need to explain to fill


couple of scenes it should be Senna. REPORTER: Can you tell us


happened in the first lap. Unfortunately we touched in the


first corner when fighting for the lead and both went off.


think that's because the pole position is on the wrong side of


track here? You wanted to that. Absolutely. You fight, you


break your BLEEP to be on pole then they put you on the wrong


of the circuit. How do you feel about being world champion? It's


Spurlock, having already taken on Spurlock, having already taken on


McDonald's and Osama Bin Laden turns his gaze onto product sponsorship


his new documentary. What I want to do is make a film about product


placement, marketing and advertising where the entire film is funded


product placement, marketing and advertising, so the movie will be


called the Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Product placement is everywhere in


today's film industry but Spurlock was first incensed by his personal


life. A couple of things. One, the pervasiveness of advertising. You


can't go anywhere without somebody trying to sell you something. I'm


a cab there's an advert, you are pumping gas to put in your car and


there's a have screen. You go to the bathroom, the one place that I


thought was my sacred - my time, you go there and right in front of


you is a big poster. With sponsorship in place and the film


made, Spurlock is eager to the big questions and get


discussion started. I think that when people leave this movie or


people see this film, I think things that we should really be talking


about is where do we draw the line approximate how much is too much?


What are those what places should we keepsake red? I believe education


should be free from this advertising influence, I don't think we should


have advertising in schools. Molly, if you are not a film of Formula


One, why should you watch this film? I think it's a great story,


beautifully told. It's emotional. is fabulous. I don't know anything


about Formula One racing and I watched it with my husband - thank


God I did because you need to bit about it to understand the drama


between the two competing drivers and there are certain things about


the way it's all set up and apparent corruption within it, that


was quite an important context the film. I still think it survives


beautifully, even if any of that, I think it's a


story and beautifully told. I would have loved just being a bit anoraky,


I would have loved somebody to be part of it. Somehow I wanted


it to be brought to now, whether be to interview the French driver -


that's trying to remake somebody else's film but it was ever so


slightly too archival. It's archive. Yes, it's worth saying


there's nothing specially shot for this film so everything you see is -


No, it's telling us a story, it's telling us something that some


people knew about, my husband every single bit, I knew nothing. It


did make me think: why now? And did that incredible archival


research? The archive work is amazing. This is a triumph of


editing. I don't like Formula One, I don't even drive, so I am the person


who this should appeal to least of all in the world but I thought


was fantastic. It was an epic, incredible story about obsession and


rivalry but also about this driven man who just must win and win


win. And how that kind of towards his death. I thought it was


incredibly moving and beautifully done. Well, they are saying that


it's actually remaking the idea of the sports biopic now that


will have to do this kind of thing. Before I saw it critics were coming


out, going: out, going: Senna, oh wow, and you


never hear critics say that. I was saying what is that and they were


saying: we forgot he is dead. It is so vivid. It made me think it would


make a wonderful fiction film. slightly wondered why they did it


that way. Because - a documentary maker. But it would also have made


really great film. I disagree with you, you don't


understand an awful lot about him, what motivated him, why he didn't


have a wife or apparent girlfriends. I would love to ask him, when he


says "I felt the presence of and he said it with a helmet with


Marlborough all over it. Explain that. In some ways you think you


shouldn't like this man, he is rich boy who grows up go-karting,


but then he talks about finding extra dimension when he is driving


where he forgets the car and circuit, he just is intuitive. There


are some very beautiful thought from him. That's what


surprised me. You would think Formula One, all about money and


speed and that really annoying wasp noise that goes on - LAUGHTER. But


actually inside that one car at least there is this thoughtful human


being. He wants to achieve what he is going to achieve and get on


the rest of his life but he doesn't. They have not only picked Alain


Prost, this bitter rivalry, but there is almost - He is absolutely


cast as the villain, when he his belief in God endangers other


drivers and all this stuff. But was he the villain? I have no idea. I


mean it's a documentary. Did he really cut the bloke off?


You see him as one of the pallbearers of the coffin - Well,


that's guilt. That's why I'm saying it almost needed to be told as a


fiction story based on reality because you are re-telling history


using that footage. Well, I like to move on to another very much


personality-driven film although of a very different kind. Morgan


Spurlock's film is trying to investigate product placement


through the nifty trick of product placement. Did that


off? For me it didn't. I love Morgan Spurlock, I think he is very


perky - Perky? That's abusive. I'm a yankee, I can say that. I think


it's an interesting idea. Can I make a movie using product placement? I


felt it was a one trick pony really. Once you discover what he is


to do then we have fun with the same thing over and over again. I think


that it's interesting for anybody that's trying to make a film and is


finding funding a problem. I think that this, in a way he is almost


making this for people that have been stuck in this funding


I didn't really feel it was made particularly for a non-film making


audience. Mark, one of the things that this film provokes you into


thinking about is how the tension in Morgan Spurlock comes


the idea of him wanting to be a creative film maker who makes the


documentary he wants to make but then of course he is seeking money


and has to make promises that have commercial value. The thing


this film for me - I'm a Morgan Spurlock and I loved


Supersize Me, and it changed McDonald's, it really did, and


that's incredible. And turned over 26 million. Which again is


26 million. Which again is incredible for a documentary. But I


started out thinking this was really good movie, I liked the idea,


and about 15 minutes in I suddenly thought: no, this is really bad,


this is crap, it isn't going anywhere, and it started repeating


itself. Then you become angry about it because the audience are the


people who have been had at the of it. This isn't a film about


product placement. It's product placement with a film about product


placement in the middle of it. It operates at one very clever met at


that level which is what are documentaries, how can we make this


film a huge success so the people sponsoring the film are making


money, there is an incredible circularity about it,


same time you feel that you are being commandeered. Did that bother


you? I went through and out other side. That's what's ironic. He


really is a very good advertising executive. It's great to see him


struggling, being a sort of travelling film salesperson myself,


as a producer that's what you do, you go out and sell your film, so


it's good to see somebody as as him getting the setbacks, going


to the deodorant company and that's how you feel when you are trying to


finance a film but for me the big problem was that it didn't have the


big message of Supersize Me was the challenge of the film. He


does it well but in the end it doesn't really matter. He had all


these opportunities. Sao Paulo, city that bans


advertising, what a fantastic thing, let's find out about that.


Neuromarketing, how we affect children's brains. Absolutely


brilliant. But he sips lightly it and in the end he said: all I can


do is show you this. I can nothing else. For a man who made


film that changed McDonald's, that's simply not good enough. We are


going to have to leave it there. If you fancy being driven round the


bend by Product Placement it's out at the end of September. Ayrton


Senna is on general release now. Now, looking at how life ends and


what it means to be human, or rather chimpanzee.


Fresh from the Oscar-winning success of Man on Wire, this story is about


a chimp brought up as human for study of communication between man


and primate. The first of his into the human world when he


taken away from his mother at birth. He was dancing hard. He


struggle or try to get away. He just screamed. As much as he may be


screaming and protesting, he is clinging. He was attaching for


life. Nim enjoyed the freedom of a 1970s liberal upbringing. I


felt sexually engaged with him. There was a sensuality but Nim was a


pre-teen. Though passed from to post, home to lab, Nim found a


loyal friend in Bob. When you meet him, it's: wow, this chimpanzee has


a personality that's - he is the most charming being you could ever


meet. The actual footage is, you know, it speaks for itself. It


really does, and Nim, he is good at speaking for himself.


Chimps aren't humans. You have to Chimps aren't humans. You have to


Chimps aren't humans. You have to kind of understand chimps to be able


kind of understand chimps to be able kind of understand chimps to be able


Chimps aren't humans. to understand how to work with


How, in a fully working democracy, How, in a fully working democracy,


do you get from assisted death for those who have come asking for it


with good reason to throwing Granny into the furnace? That seems to


After premiering in Sheffield, Terry After premiering in Sheffield, Terry


Pratchett's film brought the debate firmly into the UK as living rooms


this week. The BBC followed his emotional journey to Dignitas in


Switzerland, where Pratchett witnessed an assisted death and


The person who wants to die must The person who wants to die must


make the last act in their life for himself or herself. Something


apparently nothing wrong with them deciding to die, I would not go to


the barricades, but if there is a clear and present reason such as a


debilitating problem, to me there is a fairly sound case.


21% of people receiving assisted 21% of people receiving assisted


dying in Dignitas do not have terminal or progressive illnesses


but rather a weariness of life. What do you do about someone who is


hellbent on wanting to die? Even if they appear to be fit and well? But


Who owns your life indeed. We are Who owns your life indeed. We are


going to start with Project Nim, very much a story about the


ownership of a life only this time it's a chimpanzee's life. This


story, I thought, was - this is truth is stranger than fiction. It's


the most fascinating story. I loved it. It was the most bizarre study of


70s sexual politics. Obviously the chimpanzee and the tragedy of Nim is


what it's about and this man with a bizarre comb-over. He is the


Professor who runs this what out to be


they find out whether he has access to language and find out after this


trauma to the chimpanzee: nothing. Which leaves us with a film


human behaviour really. It is, and it is a film about the failure


this group of people to allege - allegedly running a science project


- to actually run one. The first person who has the chimp is


essentially a Freudian psychoanalyst who has been given a chimp to look


after. No training in being a zoologist or vet or anything like


that, and it's just bizarre. keeps him at home and breast


him. And gives it dope. It's like: what on earth are you doing?


you have to remember this is follow-on to a genuine study


was done properly on a chimp called Waschu and Nim was supposed to


replicate the signing that that chimp actually did so that's why


this was doubly heart-breaking for me because this was such


experiment when the other was so fascinating. It was almost like


Cheech and Chong get hold of science. Yes, it's worth saying lots


of people gave this chimp marijuana. I think it's absolutely about us and


animals and we plod along with our bizarre relationships with animals,


what you do about their environments, whether you stimulate


them or treat them as people. I - stylistically I needed my hand


holding at the beginning. means I am a bit dumb by I watched


it all the way through and was so lived for most of it. I was not sure


what I was watching, these people really abusing this animal, it was


distressing and I didn't get any reassuring signals until about


an hour in. When I watched it the second time, I loved it. You wanted


more moral guidance? If it's in the cinema, you have your audience, they


know what they are going in to see, they are in the dark, you have all


your attention and it's brilliant. If it's on television or people


don't know or are watching something blind, I think you need something to


help you know how to view that opening, so you know what's going


on, because he is just with the archive footage and you are


- he is just starting with this footage and you are introduced


nutters abusing an animal and I responded strongly right


beginning to just the chimp the baby taken away and living


a human as if that's a really idea. But I think she is right and


it's also about sexual politics of the 70s. Yes, but - You think it's


about us and animals. They treat Nim as a human for the purposes of the


experiment and as soon as the experiment is over he is back to


being a chimp again and goes to an animal testing lab. The story gets


incredibly unpleasant when you realise the scientist has no


connection with that. But he is sitting there now and not being


challenged at all. He telling us about it. But I don't


think you need to challenge him because the film shows us it


clearly about his self-glorification, it was


about the chimp or signing, it was about his status within that little


world of academia that he was in. Moving on to a film that has had an


awful lot of press this week, Terry Pratchett's film Choosing to Die and


we know well the subject matter assisted suicide but moving on to


the actual circumstances of the film, the way it's made, approach


film making, was it film for you? I thought it was


very successful film. We have remember it's 60 minutes as a film


and it was shown on television, also was shown at the festival, and


think it's very spare. It's very focused and I think you have to


really pay attention to this film because it's so


very delicately and subtly made about something that's


powerful. I found that very moving and deft and emotionally you are


engaged immediately, even if don't really know who Terry


Pratchett is. You are immediately emotionally engaged. It reminded


a little of a documentary made in 2008 about somebody going over to


Dignitas, but that was a Canadian documentary. Strange that nobody


really seems to connect those this one is framed slightly


differently because we do get intro and an outro. There was a


discussion on the Newsnight debate earlier which is available on the


iPlayer. The key to this was Terry Pratchett and his engagement with


the camera. There's some very, very tight, intimate work of Terry


talking to the camera very directly. But he is doing the job often the


film maker has to do. He is turning round, when Peter Smedley has taken


- they are about to actually - he about to die and he is commenting to


us, saying: it's just like a tea party. Normally as the film maker,


you would be filming that, you wouldn't have Terry in between. So


there's something actually very reassuring about him holding


hand throughout it. I thought it was a wonderful film but I did have a


problem with the amount and volume of music. I didn't need the


manipulation. I was already deeply moved by all of it and particularly


when the younger man is dying, they are sitting together with the


laptop, and they have gone his choice of music. And they


choose Elgar, I think. Yes, I they had gone with Pink Floyd and


then left the actual music, because the problem with Elgar and then


dubbing it is that you are lifted into an emotional peak but I


was so profoundly with it already. I think there's a really interesting


thing with Terry Pratchett, as a of his books and I have to hold


hands up and say I have read all of the Discworld novels, that actually


he does what he does in the books. It's really familiar territory


you know the books. This is a journey of himself glimpsing at his


future self, which is incredibly moving and he has this old master


with his young apprentice which is classic fantasy stuff in his weird


hat and cloak setting off to load of characters who wouldn't


out of place in his books. who are proper but not prim, not


usual suspects, the Smedleys being this well to do family, tradition


but very pragmatic and they are characters out of his book


That's fascinating. But this is quest without a resolution. Terry


Pratchett goes out to try to find an answer to the terrible question he


will inevitably have to face and the end he leaves that door open.


That's what is so moving about it and there has been this


balance but actually the balance for me came from within Terry Pratchett.


He in principle thinks people should be able to choose the moment


their death in that circumstance but you can see how difficult that


decision is going to be for because it's never an easy decision.


It's like the People talk about if it's


on demand people would do it without thinking but no one would ever


that decision lightly and no one would ever take the decision that


you can see Terry wrestling with. very provocative film and we


going to have to leave it there. Project Nim will be in cinemas


1st August and Choosing to Die along with that Newsnight debate on the


issue is available now on the BBC iPlayer. That's just about it for


tonight. My thanks to Molly Dineen and Karen Krizanovich, to called


called and Mark Thomas. Remember, you can find out about all of


tonight's items and send us your thoughts please on Twitter. We


just about recovered from the tweets last week about Martha's


Next week we step aside for slightly less rocking show than


ours, Glastonbury, but the week afterwards Martha is back featuring


interviews with David Broth but for now here is Julian Velard with his


album, Sentimental. Mr Saturday Night. A very Good Friday night to


# Time has never been in love # Time has never been in love


# He's just a no good hustler in club


# To takes you home # Telling lies like any other guy


# Tells you want you want to # He says if you get ahead in your


career # I'm never here


# My broken heart # And I should hate myself because


I'm just # Sentimental fool in love


# Can't get to sleep # 'Cos I'm thinking about us


# Makes no difference if it's wrong or it's right


# I'll stay awake just in case you come home tonight


# come home to


# I should leave you in the past # I should leave you in the past


# Take the train or the plane # Something that goes really fast


# And fly it to a place on the right track


# I should be selling stocks and selling bonds


# I should be making deals, creating jobs for the poor


# Doing good for mankind # Instead of being stuck way back


time # I'm just a sentimental fool in


love # Can't get to sleep 'cos I'm


thinking about us # Makes no difference if it's wrong


or it's right # I stay awake just in case you come


home #


# And I hate myself because # And I hate myself because


# And I hate myself because # I'm just a sentimental fool


love # Can't get to sleep 'cos I'm


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