This month we celebrated the 75th MK3D show at the BFI, and as always Mark was joined on stage by a variety of amazing guests.
Here’s the show description — and some fantastic photos by Julie Edwards.
First on stage was Hassan Nazer, who talked about his film WINNERS, which was released in August 2022 and this weekend won the BIFA 2022 Raindance Discovery Award and Breakthrough Producer Award for Nadira Murray, who was in the audience. With his film, Hassan wanted to convey the joy of cinema-going, and portray his Iranian heritage. He talked movingly about the reason he had to flee his native Iran, and being red-flagged after having put a female actor on stage for the first time ever in his town. Now resident in Aberdeen, he is thrilled that his film is the British submission for Best International Picture at the Oscars. He also talked about two films that influenced him: Abbas Kiarostami’s 1987 AND WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE and Majid Majidi’s 1997 CHILDREN OF HEAVEN.
Our next guests were director Mark Jenkin and actress Mary Woodvine, who discussed their new Cornish film ENYS MEN. They talked about the making of ENYS MEN as well as the BFI season Mark has curated, the upcoming “The Cinematic DNA of Enys Men”. Mark then went on to talk about one particular influence on his work, Lawrence Gordon Clark’s TV movie STIGMA, from the BBC’s series of Classic adaptations of Ghost Stories.
Mark then welcomed director Edward Berger onto the show to talk about his film ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which if you missed in cinemas you can watch on Netflix now. They discussed why Edward chose to remake the classic film, his love for the novel, and what it was like to film such visceral scenes. Edward then went on to chat about his guilty pleasure, NOTTING HILL, in particular the scene where Hugh Bonneville meets Julia Roberts at a dinner party.
During Ask The Audience, Mark talked about the BFI Sight and Sound Critics’ Poll results, and asked the audience whether they had seen the film that tops the new 2022 list of 100 Greatest Films of All Time: Chantal Akerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES.
Mark then invited screenwriter Tony Kushner to talk about his latest collaboration with Steven Spielberg, autobiographical feature THE FABELMANS. They talked about how the script came to be, and what it was like working with Spielberg to produce such a personal film. Tony then went on to highlight his guilty pleasure, Robert Aldrich’s 1962 WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE starring the peerless Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
The conversation continued as Mark welcomed Stephen Woolley and Aimee Lou Wood to the stage, where they talked about LIVING, in which Aimee stars opposite Bill Nighy. The film is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 IKIRU, and Stephen, who produced the film, described how the idea for the production came out of a BFI season he curated around his 2016 feature THEIR FINEST, which also starred Bill Nighy. Aimee talked about the pleasure of working with ‘sparkly’ Bill Nighy and the way the film has opened doors for her.
To celebrate the festive season and the 75th edition of MK3D, show producer Hedda Archbold had pulled together a musical finale. The Philharmonia orchestra had lent Mark Kermode a double bass, and Mark was joined by composer David Arnold on piano to accompany Aimee Lou Wood, for a beautiful rendition of HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS. Then Mark was joined by a veritable supergroup consisting of Sanjeev ‘Elvis’ Bhaskar who sang Elvis Presley’s BLUE CHRISTMAS, accompanied on vocals by Hedda Archbold and Mary Woodvine, on double bass by Mark Kermode, on guitar by David Arnold (who did a rocking solo) and on daf (Iranian drum) by Hassan Nazer.