The other evening watched a rather disappointing film A BIGGER SPLASH, with the attractive actor Matthias Schoenaerts, elegant Tilda Swinton and a surprisingly overbearing Ralph Fiennes, who though really irritating to begin with, turned into the most interesting character. It was like a beautiful model shoot in a lovely location, many changes of dress by Tilda, (terrific clothes) with the same level of titillation. The actors were the big attraction for me, all generally very appealing, but not this time. Matthias and Tilda stripped down and ” did it” with much gusto, but frankly their lovemaking moved me not a jot. Beware the perils of sex on the screen. I suspect it provided the Director more entertainment, than it did me and my companion, friend Terry Frisby ( wonderful playwright), as we exchanged desperate looks and stared longingly at the exit sign. Lovemaking on screen is fraught with peril and is often either bland and boring or ridiculous and clumsy. It takes a lot to engage the audience with sexual feeling, while you’re trying to do the same with a fellow actor. I have only seen a couple of films which hit me with that extraordinary physical tension you need to draw in an audience during love making scenes: one was LUST CAUTION directed by the wonderful director Ang Lee and the other was the George Clooney/ Jennifer Lopez film OUT OF SIGHT, directed by Steven Soderbergh….masterful directors both. While in London I did see some ballet on screen from London’s Royal Ballet and the sheer sensualityof two dancers engage and entwine themselves around each other in their pas de deux, was very erotic. I think actors and directors can take a few lessons from this form of highly charged athletic engagement to bring to love making to the cinema and make it fascinating enough to be acceptable. Sex in real life is generally very private, hence the difficulties of making it public.
Last night was my other personal appearance on this trip…An Evening with Jane Merrow..at the very interesting Cinema Museum in the Elephant and Castle, south east London. The building was once a poor house and Charlie Chaplin was an early inhabitant in his youth. My mother grew up just around the corner amidst her very theatrical family. The evening went well and my kind audience enjoyed themselves as did I. It was helped along by a nice and talented host/interviewer for the evening Jonathan Rigby. Where the Producers found some of the clips of my work, beats me, but there they were and the whole evening gave my old ego a nice boost. Our new short film, made in Boise: COUGAR, opened the evening and so got its first public showing, looked lovely on the big screen and people seemed to enjoy it. Got its laughs in the right places. Here I am with Lincoln Lewis DP/Director and Will von Tagen Actor/Director.
The pictures from the evening at the Cimema Museum were taken by a fan, now a friend. Chris Blackburn
Here in London for one more week and then back to Boise and the joys of Christmas, the family and no doubt some cold weather. So far its been very warm in London.