Tag Archives: British film

The Werewolves of the British Isles

The Company of Wolves 2
The Company of Wolves

There are good reasons why Britain is the home of the wolf.

In 1281 King Edward ordered the extermination of all wolves from his kingdom. Organised hunts had been going on for years and bounties had been offered by monarchs in the past for wolf pelts, but this was a full on attempt to wipe the creatures out. From this point on, any reference to wolves are vanishingly rare in the British Isles and any attempt to spot the last wolf or pinpoint the date is silly. A throat was cut, an animal trapped, or a lonely sick old thing died in the depths of the forest and they were gone. But things that we destroy entirely have a tendency to haunt us in our imaginations. Hollywood shoots its Indians throughout the early days of cinema and right into the 70s as a tacit admission of the genocide. They have to be the threat. They have to be an existential threat. After all, there’s no point killing a whole population so entirely if you’re not going to do them the honour of dancing on their graves and pretending they constituted some kind of threat. Like muscle memory we are forced to kill what we have already killed over and over again.

And so the howling of wolves has a peculiar place in the British imagination, wrapped up with guilt and the prevailing westerly wind blowing through the ghosts of forests long since chopped and burnt. It is an atavistic fear, for once upon a time we were torn apart by those teeth, felt those eyes watching us from the dark, detected the movement of the pack out there where the flickering light from the camp fire wouldn’t reach.

The two earliest Universal adaptations of the ‘wolf man’ are both set in the British Isles. Interestingly the first less successful version, Werewolf of London (1935), has the threat come from foreign parts as a kind of revenge of Empire narrative. Wilfred Glendon (Henry Hull) is a botanist hunting an exotic plant in far-flung Tibet when he is bitten by a creature. On returning to England, he is warned by a mysterious stranger that he has been bitten by a werewolf and will ‘attack the thing he loves most’, clumsily tying lycanthropy up as the animal lust that stands in opposition to romantic love. Although the first werewolf in the cinema feels very much like a vampire/Jekyll and Hyde mash-up and was probably influenced by Guy Endore’s novel The Werewolf of Paris, it firmly establishes the werewolf on British soil and will leave a clawed paw print on Warren Zevon’s hit song ‘Werewolves of London’ and John Landis’s 1981 comedy horror An American Werewolf in London.

Watch the trailer to The Wolf Man (1941):

The breakthrough came with Lon Chaney Jr.’s more famous follow-up The Wolf Man (1941). Set this time in Wales, the film sees a distinctly burly Larry Talbot (Chaney Jr.) return to his ancestral home to reconcile with his father, Sir John Talbot (Claude Rains). Larry becomes romantically interested in a local girl named Gwen Conliffe (Evelyn Ankers), but following a wolf attack Larry begins to change. The change itself became a moment of cinematic magic as the man transformed before our very eyes and a highpoint in all the subsequent sequels and spin-offs. Unlike Dracula and Frankenstein, the Universal wolf man had no literary precedent – if not the animalistic Mr Hyde or perhaps a hint of the demon dog from The Hound of the Baskervilles. This meant that screenwriters such as Curt Siodmak were free to invent and manipulate the lore as they wished. A popular character, the wolf man would reappear in early mash-ups like Frankenstein Vs The Wolfman, and with She-Wolf of London even get a female make-over in 1946, re-establishing the English location.

Unfortunately, the quintessentially English Hammer production The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), introducing Oliver Reed to cinema audiences for the first time, was set in Spain, somewhat oddly as it was based on Endore’s The Werewolf of Paris mentioned earlier. But An American Werewolf in London (1981) quickly recognised the home of the wolf. Sure, there was The Howling and Albert Finney in Wolfen, all released that same year, but wolfs in the backwoods of California or prowling New York City seem silly and will always seem silly compared to a foggy night on the Yorkshire moors, interrupted only by a brief respite in The Slaughtered Lamb. The Americans are natural innocents abroad, similar to Henry James’s heroines. And it isn’t only in the damp of the English evening that they find the horror, but also in the grimier reaches of Soho.

Watch the trailer to She-Wolf of London:

Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber (1983) took on the grisly adult themes of fairy tales, bringing the sexual, erotic and violent subtexts to the surface. Unfortunately, this idea has curdled into a lumpy mess of origin stories such as Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and Maleficent (2014), but Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Carter’s story The Company of Wolves (1984) is an imaginative and at times genuinely disturbing take on the wolves that plague the English mind. Beginning in present day, the film frames everything as the nightmare of a pubescent girl, Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson). Her dream begins with the ‘nightmare’ of her sister being hunted and devoured by a pack of wolves, signalling immediately that nightmares – as Freud taught – are nothing more than fantasies we don’t want to admit to ourselves. A series of tales told by her Grandmother (Angela Lansbury) all warn of the wolf as a male threat to a young girl, a husband who might respond to a call of nature at night and come back changed, a travelling man whose eyebrows meet in the middle, an aristocrat with frivolous interest in destroying a girl. Set in the woods of Shepperton Studio, Jordan complained about having to film the same 12 trees on an obvious sound stage, but the sunless dreariness of the woods, the claustrophobia – we are after all in a young girl’s head – all lend themselves to a growing sense of entrapment. In fact, there are animals throughout the film waiting to burst out, under the skin, in dinner parties, eyes shining in the night. And so it is with a dreadful inevitability that, as the film draws to a close, the line between waking and sleeping is also breached and the wolves crash through the windows of our cottages hungry for their ultimate revenge.

John Bleasdale

Emma Jane Unsworth is Tina in Sightseers


Emma Jane Unsworth was born in Prestwich and lives in Manchester. She has a tattoo of one of the big metal lions that resides outside Heaton Park on her arm and a Betty Trask award for her debut novel Hungry, the Stars and Everything. Her second novel, the visceral and vulnerable Animals (the title comes from a Frank O’Hara poem) has been described as ‘Withnail with girls’. It heads out on the town with hedonistic Laura and Tyler as they riotously down shots, take drugs, ponder poetry and physics, art and religion and do their level best to defy the strictures of polite society. It is therefore maybe not entirely surprising that Emma should choose the murderous Tina from Sightseers as her filmic alter ego. Eithne Farry

Gawky, ginger, immature, sadistic… Really there was no competition when it came to selecting my cinematic alter ago. It had to be Tina from Sightseers. Released in 2012, Ben Wheatley’s dark British comedy sees Steve Oram playing Chris, a caravan fan, who takes his new girlfriend, Tina (Alice Lowe), on a road trip round Northern England to showcase his favourite tourist spots. It’s no walk in the park. The holiday quickly escalates into a bloody rampage, provoked initially by Chris’s fury at a man dropping a Cornetto wrapper on the floor in a tram museum. Oh come on, we all know what it’s like – sometimes the smallest things can tip you over the edge. Besides, it’s important to respect your heritage and the environment. People have to learn…

Pot pourri fetishist Tina is, it would seem, overwhelmed by the world even before she hits the road with Chris. Aged 34, she lives at home with her mother, a megalomaniacal whinger grieving the loss of the family pet terrier, Poppy. For Tina, the caravan holiday with Chris signifies both an escape from depressing daughterly responsibility, and tardily won sexual liberty. The landscape they traverse – the rolling hills, the winding roads, the wide open sky – is the proverbial wilderness, fraught with possibility and peril. Especially when Tina gets out her crotchless knitted underwear. Very Viz. But before long the playful observational comedy becomes an ominous counterpoint to brutality. We enter a nightmarish moral hinterland as the couple indulge (Tina albeit reluctantly) in a full-blown killing spree and find themselves on the run. Like a less sexy Bonnie and Clyde. In a caravan.

There’s a timelessness as well as a lawlessness to Sightseers. It could easily be set in the 60s, 70s or 80s without changing a frame. Tina is no everywoman, though. She is a constant, excruciating surprise. I love this film because it’s absurd, and dark, and funny. Also because I’m interested in social disobedience; in people operating on the outskirts of what’s considered acceptable, and the animalistic urges within human nature that can leave you out on a limb. Also because I’m obsessed with campervans and have set my third novel in one. Caravans and campervans offer a strange mix of adventure and domesticity. I mean, really, what kind of maniac wants to live in what is essentially a Wendy House on wheels? Well, this kind of maniac. And Tina. It beats being at home with her mother.

Animals is out now with Canongate (£12.99). More information on Emma Jane Unsworth can be found on emmajaneunsworth.com.

Emma Jane Unsworth


OXV The Manual
OXV: The Manual


24 April – 4 May 2014

London, UK

SFL website

Out of synch numerically with each year it’s been in operation, this year SCI-FI-LONDON skipped (unlucky) no.13 and used November 2012’s first Stratford-based autumn festival to make up the numbers so that SCI-FI-LONDON 14 could take place in 2014. Taking place at Stratford East Picturehouse and BFI Southbank, and with notable events in other venues, the festival offered a rich array of films, taking on a wide range of topics from Star Wars to alien asteroid collision and subjugating frequencies.

Lost Time (Christian Sesma, 2014)
The opener to this year’s festival wasn’t a strong start. A mishmash of the last 30 years of genre clichés, from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) to The X-Files (1993-2002) with a healthy dose of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) thrown in, this half-baked smorgasbord of mysticism, alien abduction, parallel worlds and incarcerated lunatics would have been watchable if the script writers had chosen a couple of those themes rather than muddling through all of them. Stolid performances by B-movie actors Robert Davi and Luke Goss seem to be the project’s raison d’&#234tre. While the film opens well with an intriguing and disturbing juxtaposition of a cancer sufferer with her dreams of alien abduction and disembowelment, the following hour or so indeed feels like lost time for members of the audience waiting for the plot to successfully develop.

Watch the trailer for Lost Time:

Bunker 6 (Greg Jackson, 2013)
Luckily the second day of the festival saw not only the premiere of a terrific new Canadian sci-fi film but also the festival’s first use of an amazing, atmospheric screening location. Bunker 6 imagines an alternative 1970s where the increasingly claustrophobic survivors of an alternative Cuban Missile Crisis where the nukes flew are bickering over dwindling supplies in their subterranean fallout bunker. A tight, excellent cast and a real-life location – that apparently needed little kitting out to convince viewers of its period setting – combine to make a taut, intelligent thriller that deserves a larger audience. The screening at SCI-FI-LONDON took place in a genuine World War II bunker beneath the streets of Dalston and at times made the audience feel like a hole had been cut in the wall to reveal a drama beyond. One hopes the festival can programme more esoteric events like this in the future.

Watch the trailer for Bunker 6:

Beyond (Tom Large and Joseph Baker, 2014)
The third premiere of the festival apparently almost didn’t make it into the programme as there were doubts as to whether the film qualifies as science fiction (it depends on how you interpret the scenes set in the present). In any case, Beyond is a great new Scottish genre movie, set in two time periods – one before an extinction level asteroid is en route to the Earth and the other after aliens have depopulated the planet to a minority of survivors who successfully hid during the first cull. Cutting back and forth between the two, the plot follows the travails of a pair of engaging leads played by Richard J. Danum and Gillian MacGregor as the scenarios take their toll on the pair’s relationship. With a backdrop of impressive special effects and a sense of impending doom, the film often comes across as a sci-fi response to Once (2006), albeit one with aliens instead of singing, and that’s no bad thing at all.

Watch the trailer for Beyond:

Struggled Reagans (Gregg Golding, 2013)
If I described Struggled Reagans as a punk-trash porno tongue-in-cheek underground take on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-present) then no matter how much I may explain how wretched a film-watching experience it is, it’s safe to say that it’d be bound to glean an audience of ironic hipster / student fans of gonzo filmmaking, or B-movie fanatics with a drink in their hands. For about half its running time Struggled Reagans is amusing or quirky enough to justify its existence, with the filmmakers channelling the style of early John Waters or Troma films reasonably well, but it is a struggle to persevere with the 85-minute runtime and the story would have been better received if delivered in shorter instalments like its TV forebear.

Watch the trailer for Struggled Reagans:

SOS: Save Our Skins (Kent Sobey, 2014)
Weirdly, SCI-FI-LONDON 14 had no fewer than three pairs of movies whose plots mirrored each other. SOS, like Beyond, is a British film that tells the tale of a giant rock about to hit the Earth, which presages an alien invasion (see below for reviews of another pair – OXV: The Manual and LFO), but here the story is told for comedic rather than tragic effect. In SOS, a duo of hapless geeks staying in New York to attend a sci-fi convention find a deserted city, with the only signs of life an elderly cannibal, an escaped female lunatic and a blue monster dogging their steps. The cast is filled with stalwarts from British TV comedy and the low budget is extremely well used, with shots of empty streets in Manhattan as effective and unnerving as anything from an American blockbuster. Films that juggle sci-fi, comedy and horror often struggle not to be uneven, but this is an amiable and accomplished piece that leaves the viewer wanting more.

Watch the trailer for SOS: Save Our Skins:

Saving Star Wars (Gary Wood, 2004)
A bittersweet comedy-drama that follows a Star Wars fan to a sci-fi convention with the hope of meeting George Lucas. Saving Star Wars has inevitably an early Kevin Smith vibe complete with longueurs and scenes that stay beyond their welcome. However, this is a hard film to dislike, made with love, obvious familiarity with the subject matter and contemporaneous genre films, and a lovely turn by Dave Prowse – the actor who wore the Darth Vader suit in the original Star Wars trilogy – playing himself. The director’s cut shown at SCI-FI-LONDON was apparently a little shorter than the original version, which the festival showed 10 years earlier, but could have been tightened further; perhaps another 10 minutes shorn off the length could have turned a likeable farce into a cult movie. As with early Smith, some of the performances are pretty good, some are fairly dire, but the script generally saves even the most leaden scenes, and for fans of George Lucas (who in this film, ironically, is played by the most wooden actor in the cast) the movie is worth watching for Prowse’s extended cameo alone.

Watch the trailer for Saving Star Wars:

Senn (Josh Feldman, 2013)
The artist Moebius (Jean Giraud) has been a great inspiration both directly and indirectly for SF cinema over the last five decades. Although only one film directly based on his comic book work – Blueberry (2004) – was made during his lifetime, this is possibly the thematically closest movie to his oeuvre since Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element in 1997. Senn features a couple who work on tedious production lines on a human-settled alien planet, making incomprehensible objets d’arts to be shipped off to other worlds. Their blue-collar existence seems prescribed until the day they die. But when lead character Senn finds a glowing sentience in his locker, which is soon followed by the arrival of a massive alien vessel, he and his girlfriend will be taken across the galaxy on an ark-like ship to uncover an ancient mystery. Senn looks terrific, with alien languages designed by a master of the medium (cinematic Star Trek’s Britton Watkins). The languid plot, devoid of the laser beams, space battles and ugly aliens which have cursed science fiction to casual onlookers, is refreshing to say the least. Let down only by perhaps too few plot incidents to fill the running time – which feels longer than its 84 minutes – Senn is a gem that will hopefully accrue the cult following it deserves.

Watch the trailer for Senn:

Who’s Changing? An Adventure in Time with Fans (Cameron McEwan, 2014)
A crowd-funded British documentary about the history and current face of Doctor Who fandom, Who’s Changing? is a brisk and enjoyable documentary by Who expert Cameron K. McEwan who has also written a coffee table book on the programme and runs a website devoted to it. Various actors associated with the TV show’s past – Sophie Aldred, Louise Jameson – and present – Neve McIntosh, Dan Starkey – are interviewed along with comic book writers, producers and fans of the programme and its spin-offs. All the interviews are professionally conducted and filmed, many in the environs of SF conventions and festivals, and contrast Doctor Who fandom in the early years – when Whovians were somewhat ridiculed by society – and the present day – where there is more diversity in the gender and age of fans. McEwan touches on interesting aspects of all the above, but perhaps not with enough depth or the insight that an anthropologist or sociologist might bring to the project. Ultimately a documentary for the fans and by the fans, Who’s Changing? is worth watching for anyone with a casual interest in one of the BBC’s most loved programmes, but rarely rises above the quality of a Doctor Who DVD extra, when it could have been a lot more.

Watch the trailer for Who’s Changing?:

LFO: The Movie (Antonio Tublén, 2013)
The first of another pair of similarly themed and named movies (see below for OXV), LFO is a tight Scandinavian drama that is presented like a sitcom – based around the relationship between a loner, the ghost of his dead wife and the couple who live opposite him – but contrasts its comedic moments with increasingly dark themes. Picked by festival curator Louis Savy as the best film of the 2014 line-up (I’d disagree and give it to OXV) the plot depicts an unstable sociopath who discovers a low frequency tone that when played can hypnotise and subjugate others to his will. There are touches of both ever-so-hip Scandi-noir and Berberian Sound Studio (2012) as lead actor Patrik Karlson (a bit part actor in Wallander and The Bridge) becomes increasingly obsessed with manipulating the world around him, just as the soundtrack begins to suggest he may not be an entirely reliable narrator. Disturbing, intriguing, amusing and thought-provoking in turn, LFO shows that a great science-fiction idea can be convincingly presented on a small number of sets with a tiny budget, and if nothing less, is a masterclass in low-budget filmmaking.

Watch the trailer for LFO: The Movie:

OXV: The Manual (Darren Paul Fisher, 2013)
A companion piece to LFO (the third pair of films with similar plots at SCI-FI-LONDON 14 were Upside Down (2012) and Patema Inverted (2013), both about a boy falling in love with an upside down girl, neither of which I got a chance to see), OXV is a tremendous new film about a semi-dystopian Britain, where people’s lives are dictated by what ‘frequency’ their body emits. In a parallel to class, IQ or susceptibility to viruses (as explored in Michael Winterbottom’s Code 46 a decade before), low frequency people get few perks or opportunities in life, along with a constant risk of bad luck, while high frequency people receive advantages, opportunities and good luck. This conceit is first used in the plot as a charming rom-com device to pair up a mismatched couple of opposing frequencies from school to adulthood. But it is then combined with the notion of secret, semi-magical words that can disrupt a person’s frequency and also bend a person’s will to your commands. A terrific cast, plot structure and cinematic aesthetic not only make OXV the finest film of this year’s SCI-FI-LONDON, but also the best British sci-fi film in years. OXV has found an American distributor – under the more prosaic title Frequencies – and one hopes an intelligent distribution company will also see it released in its country of origin.

Watch a scene from OXV: The Manual:

Alex Fitch

The Deep Blue Sea: Interview with Terence Davies

The Deep Blue Sea

Format: Cinema

Date: 25 November 2011

Venue: Nationwide

Distributor: Artificial Eye

Director: Terence Davies

Writer: Terence Davies

Based on the play by Terence Rattigan

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale

USA/UK 2011

98 mins

A visually sumptuous adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s play, which offered a sustained assault on English middle-class values, Terence Davies’s The Deep Blue Sea consolidates the director’s triumphant return to filmmaking following his rapturously received tone poem Of Time and the City. Set in a post-war Britain suffering a crisis of identity and cultural and economic decline, the film continues the director’s interest in class, morality and the position of women in patriarchal society. Inspired by the melodramas much loved by the director, the film is powered by a tour de force performance from Rachel Weisz, and its sensory beauty is heightened by a characteristically adroit use of music.

Jason Wood talked to Terence Davies during the London Film Festival about British society in the 1950s, the value of restraint, true love and the nature of memory.

Jason Wood: How did you come to adapt Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea and did you have any hesitation in accepting the challenge of bringing the play to the screen?

Terence Davies: I had never adapted a play but Sean O’Connor, one of the producers, asked me if I would like to adapt a Rattigan work. I looked at the whole Rattigan canon and told Sean that I might be able to do something with The Deep Blue Sea. I was a bit worried because the way Rattigan works is to put all the exposition in Act 1. I personally don’t like that but I, of course, respect that this is Rattigan’s style. I did a very tentative first draft and Adam Brody of the Rattigan Trust to my complete amazement suggested that I be more radical with it.

I had always maintained that it had to be shot from Hester’s point of view, so most of the exposition had to go because if she is not privy to a conversation then we can’t have it. Once everyone agreed on that I thought, ‘Yes. I think I can do it’. The fact that there was so much talk was a real worry at first, and of course that is one of the major differences between theatre and film. With theatre you have to explain everything. With film you can just show it.

There are numerous parallels with your work: the notion of outsiders, the position of women in a repressed society and 1950s Britain. Why do these subjects hold such a fascination for you?

I grew up in the 50s so I know what it was like, and what it felt like. When you are growing up, and I think this is true of all children, you absorb a lot, and that includes the social mores. In the 50s you did as you were told. Everybody in authority was believed and obeyed without question. My mother was a great survivor and a woman of great love and tenderness. She was strong, not hard. I loved my brothers but with three sisters and their girlfriends I simply grew up with women. I also grew up with the romantic films of the period, All That Heaven Allows, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, Magnificent Obsession. They all had women as their central characters. Focusing on women characters always came very naturally to me.

What I certainly didn’t want to do with Hester was to make her seem either a victim or clinging in a possessive way. I knew that we had to show a woman who is in many ways extremely conventional doing something extraordinarily unconventional. Hester leaves her husband, and women didn’t do that in the 1950s, even if they had a bad marriage, like my mother’s. Hester finds sex at 40 and it overwhelms her. She makes a number of social faux pas that people may not know now. For example it was not the done thing to argue in public. Even working-class people didn’t argue in public.

The real revelation about reading the play umpteen times was that the subtext is love. Each person wants a kind of love from the other that simply cannot be given or reciprocated. At the end Hester experiences true love. True love is to say to someone that you adore more than life ‘If you are really better off without me then I let you go’.

Rattigan’s play deals with passion and sex but was of course very much restricted by what it could show because of the time in which it was written. We live in less morally restrictive times so I wondered how that affected your approach in this regard.

There is something very interesting about being sexually repressed. I am homosexual and that was illegal, but even heterosexual sex, you just never saw it. You might see a film such as Passport to Shame, where Odile Versois takes her blouse off, but that was about it. There is something about restraint, and not just sexual restraint, that we have lost in this country. Restraint can be extraordinarily moving. I did want to show Hester and Freddie in bed but I wanted it to be erotic rather than purely sexual. For me it was about the nature of flesh against cloth and I think that is far more sensual. I show the post-coital moments of soft greys and soft blues against Hester’s hands that are wearing red nail varnish. For me this is much more interesting than simply showing people thrusting away at each other. It is rather like violence. If you don’t show very much it is always far more shocking. People always seem to remember the scene where the mother in Distant Voices, Still Lives is beaten as being incredibly shocking but if you watch it again it actually isn’t. It is implied.

What aesthetic choices did you make to represent the period on screen? Sean O’Connor has described it as ‘an anti-period film’ and yet there is a very potent visual texture. The palette is largely autumnal but there are also astonishing splashes of colour. I know that Vermeer is a big influence.

Vermeer is possibly the greatest influence. I could look at his paintings forever and never get bored. I just love the idea of someone at a window, not necessarily doing anything.

When I was growing up you hardly saw any primary colours. After the war everything was faded. Well kept, but shabby. Colours were generally autumnal. Sometimes you might see a splash of red.

You play with linearity and memory. I think this is another key characteristic of your work.

It struck me as a very obvious approach. If we are going to see things from Hester’s point of view it makes sense to start with Hester’s attempted suicide as this seems the smartest way to reveal how she got there. Memory works in a cyclical way and by emotional association. It is not a linear narrative. Once you set up the idea that this is not linear, when you have informed your audience that we are going to be moving in and out of linear time, it is really relatively easy.

I am fascinated by time and by the nature of time. It is why I am so beholden to The Four Quartets. The nature of time, as well as our perception of it, is one of the central themes of The Four Quartets. I also love the use of time in Letter from an Unknown Woman, one of the greatest films about the subject of unrequited love. Despite the way Ophüls uses time you always know exactly where you are.

As with all of your work music plays an incredibly important role in the film. Can you discuss your use of Samuel Barber and the popular music of the time?

I have known the Barber Violin Concerto for a long time and I think it is one of the great violin concertos. I knew it was right for this film. The reason why I chose ‘You Belong to Me’ was because in the 50s there was a programme on the radio at 12 o’clock called Family Favourites. This was for all the British forces abroad sending their requests home, and equally people in Britain sending their requests to their loved ones in the armed forces overseas. We were the only Catholics in our street so we’d get up early for mass, come home, have something to eat and switch on the radio at 12 o’clock. It was a lovely warm summer morning on one particular day I’ll never forget. I went and sat out on the front step. There were doors and windows open and everybody was listening to the same programme and ‘You Belong to Me’ was playing. It struck me as perfect for this film.

When we last spoke you had returned to filmmaking with Of Time and the City. Do you now feel more able to make films on a regular basis? There hasn’t been the long hiatus you previously endured.

I am genuinely quite surprised at the response that has been given to me. Before Of Time and the City I didn’t work for eight years and I thought, ‘That’s it. It’s over now’. I never thought I would get a second chance. To be asked to close the London Film Festival with The Deep Blue Sea was such an honour. I kept thinking somebody was going to come up and say, ‘We’re very sorry. We’ve made a mistake. It’s the OTHER Terence Davies’.

Interview by Jason Wood