BUILD­ING BURSTEAD

Ben Wheat­ley on the in­spi­ra­tions for his new film

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - ALEX GOD­FREY

A WED­DING

“A Wed­ding is a mas­sive in­flu­ence on me, it’s one of my favourite [Robert] Alt­man films. In terms of deal­ing with a mas­sive cast and hav­ing mul­ti­ple sto­ries run­ning through it, that’s the one I en­joy the most. I re­watched it a cou­ple of years ago and it to­tally stood up, it’s as good as ever. So that was the start­ing point for me.”

CO­RI­OLANUS

“The hero who is told to do some­thing, does it, then ev­ery­one turns on him, that’s what hap­pens in Co­ri­olanus. It’s a par­tic­u­larly un-western, El­iz­a­bethan kind of arc — you couldn’t see it in mod­ern cin­ema at all, it’d be like Captain Amer­ica be­ing asked to be­come Captain Amer­ica and then The Avengers telling him he’s an id­iot for the rest of the film.”

FESTEN

“I re­ally loved Festen. As much as any­thing it was the free­ing of cin­e­matog­ra­phy by An­thony Dod Man­tle, it was so rad­i­cal. That and The Id­iots, they felt realer than any­thing else I’d ever seen. And it’s hand­held and in a coun­try house. It’s a sub-genre of film, the party, the get-to­gether with many char­ac­ters com­ing to­gether and in­ter­act­ing.”

GREY GAR­DENS

“Lau­rie Rose, the di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy, and I al­ways look back to Grey Gar­dens as a touch­stone for a lot of our film­mak­ing. The Maysles stuff feels like ‘wit­ness cam­era’ to me, like be­ing in the room, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it with the char­ac­ters. I bounce back­wards and for­wards be­tween the tableaux-style shoot­ing of, say, High Rise, which is more stylised, to a more gritty, boot­son-the-ground hand­held look.”

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