Mark opened the show and welcomed the audience with his usual Q&A, in which he offered his thoughts on an array of topics, including remake culture, Scorsese vs. Marvel, and Joker. He also talked about the films he saw at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, including Knives Out, for which Mark hosted a screen talk with writer-director, Rian Johnson.
Mark was thrilled to introduce Kodak as our very first special supporter, referencing the brilliant work that Kodak do. Mentioning the great success of Mark Jenkin’s Bait, which was shot on Kodak stock, Mark revealed how Jenkin’s film has become the highest grossing Cornish film ever and explained the importance of shooting on film.
Believe it or not, it has been 21 years since Mark and Nick first worked together on The Fear of God, a documentary about William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, and to celebrate this anniversary, the extended ‘festival cut’ has been added to BBC iPlayer and is available to watch now.
Referring to Ang Lee’s Gemini Man and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Mark offered his views on ‘youthification’, the new trend which digitally de-ages actors by using footage of said actors from when they were younger. Most notably, Robert De Niro and Will Smith have recently been ‘youthified’.
Our first guest was director, Wash Westmoreland, who was President of the Official Competition Jury at this year’s BFI London Film Festival. Mark and Wash spoke of this year’s competition winner, which included Monos, which won the Best Film Award (decided by Wash’s jury). Other winners at this year’s festival included Mati Diop’s Atlantics and Rubika Shah’s White Riot, which won the First Feature and Documentary competitions respectively. Wash talked about his new film, Earthquake Bird, which stars Alicia Vikander and arrives on Netflix in November. Mark also asked Wash about his previous work, including Colette and Still Alice (for which Julianne Moore won her Best Actress Oscar). Mark extolled the virtues of Wash’s early films,Quinceañera, and Wash promised to come back to the BFI and introduce a screening of the film, alongside Mark.
Up next, Mark welcomed director Tom Harper, whose new film The Aeronauts, is out in early November. Reuniting Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, the film charts the journey of a headstrong scientist and wealthy young widow who carry out a balloon expedition in an attempt to fly higher than anyone in history. Mark also congratulated Tom on the great success of Wild Rose, which has recently won 3 Scottish BAFTAs, including Best Actress and Best Writer for Jessie Buckley and Nicole Taylor, both of whom came on the show earlier in the year.
Inspired by Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep, a sequel to Stephen King’s novel The Shining, this month’s List-O-Mania saw Mark give his top 10 useless and unnecessary prequels and sequels, ranging from Men in Black II to John Boorman’s 1977 follow-up to Mark’s favourite film…Exorcist II: The Heretic.
Our final guest was the wonderful Joanna Hogg, who spoke about the success of her recent film, The Souvenir, starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke. Joanna also talked about the film’s sequel, The Souvenir: Part II, which she is currently editing. They about her previous work, including Archipelago and Exhibition, before talking about Joanna’s passion for musicals. Inspired by the BFI’s Musicals season, which is currently on, Joanna talked about the great Bob Fosse, and his films Sweet Charity and All That Jazz in particular. Joanna revealed she would love to make a musical in the future, so watch this space…
Mark paid tribute to the glorious Make ‘Em Laugh sequence from Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s classic Singin’ in the Rain, recently re-released in cinemas across the UK as part of the BFI Musicals season.