Red Carpet Chats at The 63rd BFI London Film Festival

November 4, 2019

Credit: Andriani Scordellis 

 

Over the past few weeks we had the pleasure of chatting to some of our favourite creatives on the Red Carpet of the 63rd BFI London Film Festival. The festivals programme spans from heartbreaking dramas such as Marriage Story to comedic thrillers like Knives out. Everyone had something interesting to say, from fun times on set to the female gaze, have a little read for an insight into this years film festival!

 

 

Rian Johnson, Knives Out, Writer-Director

 

How did you go about writing such a complex film?

 

“I had the idea for this movie about 10 years ago, so I’ve spent a lot of time chewing on it and figuring it out. Hopefully the end product of that is it feels very easy for audiences to watch and digest, you’re trying to take something very complex and make it simple, that’s the challenge”

 

What was the casting process like?

 

“I wrote the script just writing the characters, and then we got Daniel Craig, he was the first person who signed up, and he wanted to play the detective and he had a window before he shot Bond that we had to shoot in, so we're like, okay, we’re making a movie and we have to start shooting in 6 weeks. So all these actors started signing up, people wanted to work with Daniel and it snowballed. Once Michael Shannon is signed up everyone wants to work with him and then Jamie Lee Curtis, and so it was like a boulder rolling down a hill at some points”

 

You've got such an amazing cast, what was it like working with the actors?

 

“Oh, they were a blast, they all checked their egos, they showed up ready to play and have fun. I think you can see it on screen, you can see everybody is having fun in this movie”

 

 

Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Writer-Director

 

What inspired you to write the script?

 

“The desire to make a love story, and a movie dedicated to love, you see love being born, in a very slow burn way, and in the meantime you also reflect about lost love, the memory of a love story – a movie dedicated to love was basically the desire”

 

How do you think the film is relevant to a modern audience?

 

“A story that hasn’t been told belongs to the present, women artists in the 18th century, lesbian love stories in the 18th century, they haven’t been told, and so it’s a matter of creating memories, and the movie is definitely something that could be set in 2019, it belongs to the present”

 

What do you think the importance of the female gaze is in cinema?

 

“Female gaze is important as it is a new creation, it’s departing from convention, it’s not only stopping to objectify women, I mean it’s not that hard to stop objectifying women, you’re not like ‘oh how am I going to do that?’ but yes it’s really important if you want to renew cinema and also if you want to change culture. To me, to be an activist of cinema, is to be an activist of multiple gaze, not only the female gaze”

 

Do you have any advice for budding filmmakers?

 

“If you want to be a director learn also a technical skill in cinema like editing or photography or scriptwriting, whatever, it’s a hard job and you can’t always rely on your own desire. If you want to be part of this industry, you better work, and you learn a lot about directing in every technical and creative aspect of cinema”

 

Credit: Andriani Scordellis 

 

Joel Edgerton, The King, Writer, Producer & Star 

 

How did the creation of the film come about?

 

“Well, the whole reason we’re here is sort of my fault, because, I did the plays, Henry IV when I was 24/25 years old, and they’ve been swirling around in my brain and in my heart for such a long time. Then as I grew up and I started to get opportunities, and I’m very forward in trying to get my own things out there, and tell my own story, I wondered what it would be like to make a movie of Henry IV, and that’s when the conversation started with David [director]”

 

Why do you think audiences are still interested in the era of Henry IV?

 

“I think there’s a fascination with period movies in general, there’s something about the battle of Agincourt that is like an against all odds thing, but it’s very complicated politically because you’re talking about England invading France, which back then was the way to be a king but now it’s like a way to maintain your borders. But there’s something complicated about what happened in that period. There was also something so interesting in there about the fact that Henry was 26 when he became king, he probably wasn’t even 26 yet – when I was 26 I could hardly make my own breakfast, let alone run a country. So that idea of an ideological young mind coming into a seat of power saying ‘I’m going to do things differently’, I can presume that changed the system and systems don’t get changed really easily. That’s a reflection on a lot of modern politics too, today you get a lot of younger people aiming to make a change and run companies but on a political scale that hasn’t quite happened yet. There’s always been this sense that younger people learn wisdom from older people, but I think it’s important to understand that young people have as much to teach older people and if that happens on a political scale that would be great”

 

 

Credit: Andriani Scordellis 

 

Ruby Stokes, Rocks, Star 

 

What was your relationship like with the cast and crew on set?

 

“We all clicked straight away, like best friends and it’s so exciting to see lots of different cultures represented, it’s not something often you see in film, and also our voices as young people being heard, that’s something Sarah, the director, really encouraged. With it being a 75 percent all female crew as well, it was amazing, super empowering”

 

What advice would you give to young actors?

 

“If you have a passion for it, don’t give up, keep going… go with your heart”

 

 

Shaneigha-Monik Greyson, Rocks, Star 

 

How has your relationship with London changed since starring in Rocks?

 

“Before this film, I never had a chance to come to London, the first time I ever came to London for an audition I was so happy. I’ve been all around London now for filming, it’s been amazing, without this film I’d never have had the chance to come to London, this has changed my life in so many ways, I cannot put into words how happy I am to be here now, it’s just crazy”

 

What advice would you give to young actors?

 

“Go for it, every audition, take it, take the opportunity, you never know where you might be, you never know what role something may lead you to. No matter how big or small it is, it’s going to get you somewhere, it’s going to give you new opportunities, whether it’s something for ITV or a 'small' film”

 

You can also watch us cover more of the London Film Festival's Red Carpet below! 

 

 

Marriage Story with Noah Baumbach, Ray Liotta and David Heyman

 

Jojo Rabbit with Thomasin Mckenzie, Roman Griffin Davis, Archie Yates, and Sam Haygarth

 

A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood with Marielle Heller 

 

The Lighthouse with Willem Dafoe and Robert Eggers 

 

 

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