TAKING A LEAF OUT OF FIGGIS'S BOOK: Film
Saturday 18 January 1997
Of these three incarnations, Figgis is best known for his movies, and this weekend's retrospective at the National Film Theatre offers a fine opportunity to enjoy the creative breadth of a director who, over the course of the last 10 years, has worked with everyone from Sting to Hitchcock's favourite icy blonde, Kim Novak.
Illustrating a penchant for psychological thrillers, like Stormy Monday (his directorial debut) and the powerful Internal Affairs (with Richard Gere giving his best performance to date as a slickly corrupt cop), Figgis's portfolio also shows him to be a film-maker happy to tackle less obviously engaging subjects. This weekend sees, for example, a rare screening of Liebenstraum, Figgis's idiosyncratic blend of black comedy and ghost story, alongside Mr Jones, conceived as a love story between a therapist and her manic depressive patient. This is, after all, the director who once told an inter-viewer that his ideal movie would be one that made audiences sympathetic towards Hitler.
Most recently, this sense of adventure resulted in Leaving Las Vegas, a low-budget melodrama, shot on Super 18 that soaked up Academy Awards as quickly as its alcoholic hero (an Oscar-winning Nicolas Cage) soaked up the booze. Sadly not all of Figgis's concepts have not always been so successfully realised. Particularly in Hollywood, which sucked Figgis up from England after Stormy Monday, only to spit him out after Mr Jones. Battling hard to retain the essential darkness of his story, Figgis watched despairingly as the studio relentlessly sanitised the film's insanity with multiple re-writes and edits. Lacking the rights to the final cut, his only redress was to disown the bland picture that was finally released.
Unsurprisingly, Figgis's last couple of films have been made outside Hollywood with the director maintaining full editorial control. But his confidence and natural buoyancy is such that Figgis hasn't so much rejected, as rewritten his relationship to Tinsel Town. One Night Stand, his next movie (about a husband's infidelities) is scripted by none other than Jagged Edge sleazemeister, Joe Eszterhas.
The retrospective runs today and Sunday and the director will be in conversation on Sunday at 8.45pm. To book call the NFT on 0171-928 3232
Life & Style blogs
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Ed Miliband deemed less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson by official Doncaster power list
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...