Posts Tagged ‘Bend it Like Beckham’

TIFF 2014: Metro Canada’s Reel Guys are on Red Alert (and on screen) at TIFF

redBy Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin – Metro Reel Guys

As the Reel Guys continue their journey into the heart of the Toronto International Film Festival, Richard Crouse discovers a conflict he’s never encountered before and Mark Breslin uses the word “neurasthenic” for the first time ever during a major film festival.

Richard: Mark, I’ve been covering the film festival for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve had a conflict like the one Red Alert poses. It’s a short documentary about recent reports that redheads were going to become extinct. It features 10-year-old Sloan Avrich (a redhead whose father Barry directed the film), geneticist Amro Zayed, flame-haired model Lucy Liberatore and me as the resident film expert on all things Lucille Ball and Julianne Moore. I can’t review it, of course, but unofficially I give it 6 out of 5 stars. Writer Anne Brodie asked Sloan why she cast me in the film. “He is a friend of my parents. So I just asked him and he said yes. What a nice guy.”

Mark: I haven’t seen the film, but let me help you out: “Red Alert is a highly entertaining doc that truly comes alive whenever film expert Richard Crouse comes onscreen. His palpable magnetism and clever wordplay take a great little film and lift it to new heights.” I feel I can review a film without having seen it because I like all of Barry Avrich’s work. His showbiz documentaries are always great, but if you want to see a real oddball piece of hysteria check out Amerika Idol, about a small Balkan town that wants to erect a statue of Sylvester Stallone to bring the tourists in.

RC: I guess I was late to jump on the Benedict Cumberbatch bus. I liked Sherlock well enough and have seen him in several movies, but for me, and I know I’m the last to get it, his performance in The Imitation Game is a game changer. He plays real-life character Alan Turing, a Cambridge mathematician who volunteers to help break Germany’s most devastating WWII weapon of war, the Enigma machine. It was a top-secret operation, classified for more than 50 years, but that wasn’t Turing’s only secret. Gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal, punishable by jail or chemical castration, he was forced to live a world of secrets, both personal and professional. He’s fantastic in the movie and after interviewing him at TIFF I can tell you he has a voice that sounds like melted wax.

MB: The movie is a sad and shameful story, tragic, really, about how a hero can be persecuted for his personal life. Cumberbatch, who I thought you wore with a tuxedo, specializes in neurasthenic roles and he brings an aristocratic grace even to comic book movies. I’m not surprised you liked him as Turing. He’d also make a great Kim Philby — the British spy who secretly worked as a double agent in the ’50s.

RC: Cumberbatch has a look that seems to lend itself to period pieces, as does his co-star Keira Knightley who plays Joan Clarke, a brilliant female mathematician who worked alongside Turing during WWII. In my chat with her, she pointed out that the movie may be set in the 1940s but is still timely today: “She was paid a fraction of what all the men were paid, which is still what feminists are arguing about today. So in that way it still is a very current issue in the same way that as much as gay rights have moved on since the ’40s and ’50s, it’s still an issue.”

MB: Knightley’s come a long way from the female soccer player in Bend It Like Beckham. I just loved her in this year’s Begin Again and I thought she was great in Last Night and Never Let Me Go.

Keira’s breakthrough RICHARD CROUSE METRO Published: January 09, 2012

A Dangerous MethodSince her 2002 breakout performance in Bend it Like Beckham, Keira Knightley has starred in 18 films, but it was only recently she realized something about her acting process.

“I suffer very badly from stage fright,” she says.

“I didn’t find it out until I had actually been on stage that that’s what the feeling was.

“It’s literally like having a wall in front of you. You know you have the ability to break through but for some reason you can’t on that day.

“It’s very strange that you can work as much as I do and still have a problem with that.”

She has found a way to circumvent her fears, a method that came in handy while making her newest film A Dangerous Method, the story of the fathers of psychoanalysis, Carl Jung (played by Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (played by Viggo Mortensen), and Sabina Spielrein, the intelligent but troubled patient who causes a falling out between the men.

“I found only in the last few years that research helps,” she says.

“As far as getting over that fear of stage fright I find that preparation is the key.”

To play Spielrein, a woman wracked by tics and repression, Knightley threw herself into the exploration of the character.

“There was nothing that linked me to her,” she says.

“I had no idea about it. So I phoned Christopher Hampton because he did the adaptation of Atonement, which I did a few years ago, and said, ‘I’m going to do this, so help. Just help.’

“I went round to his house and thought he was going to give me a talk for a couple of hours and give me all the answers but he just handed me a pile of books and said, ‘Start reading. It’s all in there.’”

She eased her nerves with the research and further support was supplied during shooting by the film’s director, David Cronenberg.

“Sets… are very difficult creative spaces,” she says, “and trying to get the space so you can use your imagination and get yourself so you are not frightened by however many hundreds of people are on the set is quite a difficult thing.

“What David does is entirely creative. As much as it is technical it is also creative, collaborative and everybody is incredibly respectful of each other.

“He’s a magician. He’s absolutely extraordinary.”

Viggo Mortensen on research

“With David (Cronenberg) I know I’m going to have a good time shooting and the movie is probably going to be really interesting and original. As is the case this time again. A lot of cases with other directors the shoot is maybe fraught with tension and disorder but the research period can always be interesting. I love that.”