The Movies and Me is back! We’ve got a real heavyweight to return with too.
You’ve probably encountered Richard LaGravenese’s work more than you may have realised. His pen has produced the likes of The Fisher King, The Bridges of Madison County, Behind the Candelabra, and so much more. He’s also a dab hand calling the shots, having directed Freedom Writers and the runaway hit P.S. I Love You. The talented writer/director’s latest, The Last Five Years, is in cinemas now with Anna Kendrick hitting the high notes as the lead. We caught up with the director to talk Mary Poppins, freaking out at the cinema and looking forward to Jason Segel in the summer.
What was your first trip to the cinema?
I think my first cinema experience was Mary Poppins in 1964. I remember waiting on a long line holding my Dad’s hand. Movies had really long lines for most of my childhood.
What film do you wish you had seen at the cinema?
Psycho. I can’t imagine what it must have been like being in the audience and not knowing what was going to happen.
What is your most memorable cinema experience?
When I was 14, I snuck into New York City and convinced an older couple to buy my ticket for The Exorcist. It was rated R so I needed help. It was a packed house, late afternoon. I was alone. I was a devout Catholic. And I was FREAKED OUT! The experience was made memorable, not just because of the movie, but because of the audience. We all would react, scream – then as the next scene started, there would be moments of everyone talking to everyone as we recovered, some laughter, as if to say “I can’t believe we’re surviving this”…it was something films don’t often do – which is create a real sense of community in an audience.
What was the last film which made you cry?
Her. I love that movie.
Which film is your guilty pleasure?
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
What film can always make you laugh out loud?
This is the End, Bridesmaids, and The Birdcage.
What is your favourite cinema snack?
Popcorn mixed with Nestle’s Bunch-A-Crunch and a Coke. (Sounds incredible, quite frankly – Ed.)
Have you ever walked out of a film?
No, but I’ve fallen asleep.
Was there a certain film/actor/director that inspired you to go into film?
I don’t know that there was any ONE specific actor or director. I was a movie geek at an early age, often going by myself. During that time, on television, all the old black and white classics were being shown on TV – which I loved…while in the cinema, movies were breaking ground from the late sixties into the seventies in terms of content, language, sex, etc…So I was lucky to be born during a great time when all kinds of films, all kinds of filmmaking was available – old Hollywood, new Hollywood and many foreign films – much more than are distributed today.
What film are you most looking forward to in 2015?
THE LAST FIVE YEARS is currently exclusively showing at The Empire Leicester Square; VOD on 1 May and DVD on 4 May 2015. Cinema tickets are now available for pre-booking here: www.L5Ytickets.co.uk