March’s MK3D at the BFI Southbank was a bumper episode. Mark’s Q&A with the audience led him to a discussion of the relative merits of the actors who have played Batman, and his thoughts on who will with the Oscar for Best Director this year.
Our first guest was brilliant director Harry Wootliff, a double BAFTA nominee for her short film Nits, and for Only You starring Josh O’Connor and Laia Costa. She joined us to talk about her new film True Things, starring Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke, which comes out on 1 April 2022. She also talked to Mark about the films that influenced her work as a director: she chose Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Dekalog and Three Colours Blue.
In the news segment, Here’s the Thing, Mark paid homage to Doug Trumbull, director of Mark’s all time favourite film Silent Running.
Next he invited broadcaster and journalist Anna Smith onto the stage to talk about the first ever Girls On Film Awards, which were set up by, and hosted jointly by Anna and myself. Anna talked about the Girls On Film podcast and talked us through some of the categories: alongside the usual categories of Best Feature Film and Best Feature Documentary, the Girls On Film Awards include some groundbreaking categories including Best Ensemble Acting, Best Female Friendship, and Best Female Orgasm on Screen – which is awarded for sensitive handling of female pleasure on screen, and for countering the customary male gaze. Anna also talked about the year-long Girls On Film initiative started by Heather Dempsey: we have been posting a recommendation for a female-focused film every day of the year, from last year’s International Women’s Day, to this year’s. Today, 8 March, sees the last of the 365 posts in the project. One of the films posted about was Atlantis – a Ukrainian film that is currently not available for viewing in the UK but Anna is actively lobbying for its re-release.
Next up, actress Monica Dolan came on. Her extensive TV credits include Call The Midwife, W1A and A Very English Scandal. She won a BAFTA for playing Rose West in Appropriate Adult and an Olivier Award for the stage production of All About Eve. She is terrific in The Dig, The Falling and Days of the Bagnold Summer – and she co-stars in Cyrano – which is up for outstanding film of the year at the BAFTAs. She also talked to Mark about two film choices: the Film that Changed Her Life was “Man in a White Suit” (1951) directed by Alexander McKendrick starring Alec Guinness. Her Guilty Pleasure was “The Holiday” starring Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach. Mark had not appreciated the charms of the film, but Monica’s defense of the life-swap movie prompted Mark to promise he would re-watch it with “as much of an open mind as I can” – and report back. Watch this space!
Mark did a List-O-Mania of his top ten Michael Caine performances, which are: The Day the Earth Caught Fire, Zulu, Mona Lisa, Hannah and Her Sisters, Alfie, The Italian Job, A Muppet Christmas Carol, California Suite, Educating Rita – and in the top spot: Get Carter.
Our last guest graced us with some fabulous Hollywood stardust: she was the star of West Side Story, Rachel Zegler, who is in London filming Snow White. Her screen debut in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress – and she is the youngest ever actress to win in that category. She talked about working with Steven Spielberg and the auditioning process – which took a whole year! The show went out with a bang when Rachel and Mark broke into song, with lines from Donny & Marie’s “I’m a Little Bit Country – And I’m a Little Bit Rock’n’Roll”. What a show!