Don't sit there, do something

Stacy Title doesn't hang about. She directed 'The Last Supper' in just 18 days. And she talks as fast as she works.

It would not be ungracious to call Stacy Title a fast woman. She has scripted and sold numerous blockbusters in the time it takes most people to feed a sheet of A4 into a printer. The prickly black comedy The Last Supper, her first film as a director, was completed in a mere 18 days (a snip at just $500,000). What's more, she can talk. I mean really talk - she could make an amphetamine addict seem catatonic. She doesn't just look like the late American comic Gilda Radner, she has Radner's joyful fizz about her, in those darting eyes and that restless tongue.

There's a lot of talk in The Last Supper, too. Food and politics and death, yes. But mostly talk. That's what happens when you put a bunch of self-righteous liberal graduates around a dinner table. These aren't just any self-righteous liberal graduates, however. These ones have a Bernhard Goetz tinge about them. They've had enough of sitting back and doing nothing, and decide to lure a succession of right-wingers home for dinner, in a unique meal 'n' murder package that you won't find at your local Harvester.

A short way into the film, you realise that Title is not exactly enamoured of political correctness.

"I hate PC!" she exclaims. "It's sushi socialism. Despite being fairly liberal myself, the one thing I didn't want to do with the movie was say 'liberalism is good, conservatism is bad'. It's not that simple. I wanted to take on everyone. I despise political correctness, and I hate that pause where people are forced to check themselves before they laugh."

But presumably you've felt the same impotence and frustration that drives your characters to kill?

"That was my college career," she shrugs. "Just sitting around, bitching and moaning. What the movie hopefully says is: do something, don't just sit there."

She stops, realising where she has arrived. "I mean, don't kill anyone, obviously. But do something."

As The Last Supper's ethical conundrum demonstrates, Title likes a challenge. As if the film's budget and schedule weren't enough, Title was also moving house while shooting, and gave birth to a son just seven months ago. You'd be forgiven for expecting someone more bullish - a Kate Adie out of LA not El Salvador - instead of this modest chatterbox.

So what about that 18-day shoot then, Stacy - pretty amazing, huh?

"Oh, it's do-able," she assures me. "I made sure the cast had rehearsed. They don't do that much on big-budget movies. They just show up on set and rehearse on film. What a waste! If you saw the dailies for any big- budget movie, you would vomit."

She knows what she's talking about. She's been loitering with intent on film sets since before she can remember, tagging along with her father, who produced commercials. Consequently, her childhood memories feature a different kind of dolly than most people her age. She saw Michael Cimino in action years before Heaven's Gate got Hollywood's door slammed in his face, and watched Tony and Ridley Scott cutting their teeth in the days before she had any herself. The experience shows. One film, one Oscar-nominated short (Down on the Waterfront) and a pile of screenplays later, she's already got the business figured out. Now if only someone would produce one of the screenplays she's written with her husband, the "sort- of-famous" actor and Last Supper star Jonathan Penner.

It's not as if there isn't plenty to choose from. There are expensive action movies, like Payback, the one they polished off in 10 days when they got back from their honeymoon, and which Columbia paid an obscene amount of money for (it was once set to star Jean-Claude Van Damme). There's a sitcom pilot too, called Sitcom: The Pilot, about two sitcom writers locked in a room. Very post-modern. And Title's pride and joy, a horror movie called Dread.

"People cry when they read it, but no one will let us make it," she complains. "It's really frustrating, selling all these scripts but none of them getting made. It's like your life's in limbo." That feeling may not last. Judging by the promise of The Last Supper, you can expect Dread, Sitcom: The Pilot and Payback - Van Damme-less or not - to be arriving at a screen near you soon.

n 'The Last Supper', reviewed overleaf, opens Friday

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own