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admin   Mar 11, 2015

As you may have noticed already when you’ve read any of the posts down below, we have a fresh new look!

The design is a premade by SaraEO Design and was edited by me. I hope you like the choice of colours :)

Feel free to email us (see contact) in case you spy any errors, bugs or broken links.

admin   Apr 1, 2015   Comment

We’re having a DVD giveaway of Maxine’s recently released film ‘Keeping Rosy‘. You now have the chance to win one of two signed copies. Head over to our Facebook fanpage to enter (see the top post). Good luck!

admin   Mar 29, 2015   Comment

Film-maker Carol Morley talks about making The Falling, her friendship with Maxine Peake – and the Madchester days

The cast and crew of The Falling is overwhelmingly female, which is unusual in the film industry. Was this deliberate?
It just happened organically. I think it came about becauseI am interested in female stories and in telling them from a female point of view, so the make-up of the cast and crew was really a reflection of where my interests lie. It wasn’t a box-ticking exercise. It was much more natural than that. But it was definitely a very powerful dynamic on set and when we were at the London film festival, with the cast and crew all lined up, looking so female, it looked and felt very strong and powerful.

What can be done to involve more women in film-making?
I feel quite optimistic about this. Nowadays, most young women have access to technology that would not have been available to them 10 or 20 years ago and they are used to taking pictures and videos on their mobile phones. This will substantially change the number of girls who are interested in film-making and feel confident about doing it. When I was at college the boys would grab the cameras first and would be much more confident than me around the equipment and the technology. But that’s changing.

This is the fourth time you have worked with Maxine Peake. Tell me about your friendship with her.
She’s my muse. Derek Jarman had Tilda Swinton. Maxine is my Tilda Swinton. She’s very open to new ideas, she’s somebody who’s prepared to take risks, which I really admire, and she has a real interest in so many things. As a friend I like her because she is prepared to speak her mind and put herself out there politically. And of course we both have the whole northern working-class thing going on too. Through seeing her on stage and meeting her actor friends I learned a lot about actors and the craft of acting.

Casting Maisie Williams as Lydia was a stroke of genius. Are you a Game Of Thrones fan?
I’ve not seen Game of Thrones, never witnessed Arya Stark [Maisie’s character] in action, and that was a really good thing. When Maisie auditioned for the part I had no preconceptions and I think that made her feel quite free. It meant she could come on set with no baggage, fresh, as though she’d never done anything before and she loved that. She was really supportive and she taught the less experienced girls a lot.

How did you find newcomer Florence Pugh?
I leafleted the area around Oxford, where the school location was, and Florence was one of hundreds of girls who sent us one-minute videos. I remember seeing her in the corridor before her audition and she had loads of makeup on. I asked her to take it all off. And then she came in looking really natural and she was amazing. I was blown away. After she left the room the casting people were very quiet. They said they had goosebumps – it was like a young Kate Winslet coming in the door.

Your father killed himself when you were 11 years old. Did you draw on that experience to create the central story of Lydia, a girl with no father and an emotionally frozen mother?
Definitely. Having lost my dad at that age, the idea of the absent father is for me very powerful. Lydia’s father hasn’t died but he’s not there and her family is in crisis and I dug deep into my own life and experiences to try and bring truth and complexity to the way that was portrayed. It’s not autobiographical but there’s an amazing amount of my own feelings in it.

Your breakthrough documentary, The Alcohol Years, was based on your own experience as well, wasn’t it?
Yes, the film covers my life from the age of 16 to 21, which coincided with the opening of the Haçienda in Manchester, where I come from. I left school at 16 and hung around, not getting a job, drinking too many free drinks and being promiscuous. By the time I was about 23 I’d moved to London and decided I had better get my life together. I applied to St Martin’s and studied film.

After leaving college I was looking for ideas and I met up with Clio Barnard, the film-maker, who was a friend, and her boyfriend, who started telling me stories about myself from that “lost period”, which I didn’t remember at all. Obviously I knew I had been “bad” and had a wild time of it but I didn’t know any of the detail he was coming up with. So I put an advert in the newspaper asking anyone who knew me to come forward with their stories about me. Once I had gathered them all together I went back and made the film, which was really a reconstruction of a character that all these people thought they knew. It was me and it wasn’t. All my films are about identity and I think The Alcohol Years kicked that off.

In a way The Alcohol Years also allowed me to move on and make Dreams of a Life [her film about Joyce Vincent, whose body lay unnoticed in a London flat for three years after her death]. I felt that having exposed myself and my life on screen in that way gave me permission to look at Joyce’s life in the way that I did.

Were you surprised by how much Joyce Vincent’s story resonated with people?
I always knew it would strike a big chord. It took five years for us to make it and no one wanted to invest in it because they all thought the story was too grim and that no one would be interested in seeing it. But I always felt it was an important story of our times that could shine a light on the way we live now, especially if you were to tell it in a very filmic way rather than a journalistic, factual way. I felt that if you told the story right and you didn’t pass judgment on any of the characters in it then people would find a lot to identify with. And they did. So many different types of people connected with it. I believe that if you keep a story open and alive, and don’t close it down, then people will feel able to insert themselves into the gaps. People will think, this could be me. After the film came out I had so many people writing to me saying just that.

You’re often described as Paul Morley’s sister. How does that feel?
My brother is nine years older than me, so when my dad died he was just leaving home. There are two parts to my brother for me. The first is when he was living at home and he was incredibly inspirational, bringing all this music into the house, all these books, especially science fiction, which he loved. When I was six he was 15 and I really hero-worshipped him. Then came part two when he left home and went to work at the New Musical Express and I still hero-worshipped him. I used to buy the paper and feel really proud of him. So I don’t mind people describing me as his sister. It’s been brilliant having him as a brother. He is very, very supportive.

None of our family did anything remotely connected with writing or art or film before he moved into that world. I remember my mum showing a copy of the NME to my seven-year-old cousin and saying that this was Paul’s writing. She said: “Doesn’t he write neatly?” Paul was the first one to show us that there were other ways of interpreting the world. Whenever he was on Newsnight Review my mum would tell everyone. Mind you, all she’d notice was if he’d had a shave or not. The only annoying thing is that on IMDb it says I’m Paul Morley’s sister, but it doesn’t say he’s my brother. We’ll have to rebalance that!

What next?
I’m adapting a book by a major writer but I’m not allowed to say what it is. All I can say is it’s fiction and it will have a really good female cast. I’ve finished my first draft and I think it will be announced around the time of Cannes.

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admin   Mar 27, 2015   Comment


Friday 6 March, post-show
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Conversation with playwright Zinnie Harris about ‘How To Hold Your Breath’, led by Royal Court Artistic Director, Vicky Featherstone. With actors Maxine Peake, Michael Schaeffer, Christine Bottomley, Danusia Samal and Neil D’Souza.

admin   Mar 25, 2015   Comment

Maxine narrated a BBC One documentary called ‘Call Security‘ last night. You can (re-)watch it by following this link.

Cuts to public spending mean there are far fewer police on the streets than before, and the public’s obsession with security is on the rise. Over 7000 private security firms in the UK are stepping in to fill the gap – and business is booming. People are terrified by threats – some real, some imagined – and are willing to pay big bucks for everything from bodyguards to cutting-edge security equipment. Using a mix of CCTV footage, point-of-view narratives from security personnel and moving testimonies from victims, Call Security gets to grips with one of modern society’s fastest-growing industries.

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admin   Mar 24, 2015   Comment

Maxine’s latest film ‘The Falling‘, which will be released nationwide on 24 April, will be shown as part of the Dublin Film Festival next Saturday. You can book tickets for it here.

Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls’ school in the late 1960s, partly inspired by a recent case of psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria, in the US.

Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and newcomer Florence Pugh star as two teenage friends, Lydia and Abbie. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Lydia begins twitching and fainting at school. Her malady infects fellow pupils and teachers but stern headmistress, Miss Alvaro (Monica Dolan), thinks it’s all down to their overactive imaginations.

Mixing supernatural elements with drama, choreographed dance with original music, The Falling is its own beast yet has hints of Heavenly Creatures, The Craft and even The Woods. Terrible secrets hide in the grounds of this school and the deterioration of Lydia’s mental state is strikingly rendered by cinematographer Agnès Godard (Beau Travail).

Katherine McLaughlin The List

With special guest Carol Morley

Please note that the festival is over 18s only

Thanks Emma for emailing us about it!

admin   Mar 21, 2015   Comment

EDIT: Here are 3 more photos:



Take a look at the pictures below which were taken before and during Maxine’s great interview with Graham Norton.

The recorded broadcast will be online soon so if you missed it there’ll be a copy to listen to later.

Gallery Link:
Interviews > 2015 > 21st March | BBC Radio 2 Graham Norton

sources: #1, #2, #3, #4

admin   Mar 21, 2015   Comment

The Moonlandingz EP is out digitally in the UK/Europe today..
Get it here(and other online shops)

https://itun.es/gb/HEk05

The MOONLANDINGZ EP will also come on 12″ vinyl as part of The ERC’s ‘double’ concept album ‘Johnny Rocket, narcissist & music machine….Im Your biggest fan!!’ Which is about a woman(narrated by Maxine Peake) stalking the lead singer of the Moonlandingz.

Released on Fat Whites family’s Without Consent Records on May the 18th(across Europe).

An expanded 10″ vinyl version of The Moonlandingz EP will get a release in America via Sean Lennon’s Chimera Music label in the early summer too.

Exciting times.

XT

The Eccentronic Research Council. Practical Electronics Duo behind ouija concept records with actress Maxine Peake & The MOONLANDINGZ with The Fat White Family.

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admin   Mar 21, 2015   Comment

In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock’s most successful period is in the past and he has become depressive and alcoholic, recently emerging from a stay in a rehab centre. Joan tells him that if he can remain sober for a year she will leave John for him. Hancock goes to Australia to film a comedy series there but it does not work out and he commits suicide. Joan stays with John until his death in the 1980s.

Haven’t seen it yet? Watch it here! It’s a good film.

Here’s some promotional artwork:



Gallery Link:
Films > Hancock & Joan (2008) > Promos & Stills

admin   Mar 20, 2015   Comment



Late last year Maxine Peake starred as Hamlet, Shakespeare’s tortured prince, in a production staged at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. Peter Bradshaw explains why the filmed version of the stage show, which showcases Peake’s brutal, angry performance, is worth your time this week

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admin   Mar 20, 2015   Comment

Cross-dressing as the prince of Denmark is no gimmick: it brings a fresh edge of alienation and anger to the role

The Manchester Royal Exchange production of Hamlet with Maxine Peake cross-dressing in the lead has been produced for the cinema. It’s a terrifically fast, fluent, attacking production and Peake’s Hamlet is like a page-boy gone bad, relying on mates for a supply of drugs, sporting a aggressive short haircut that comes from prep school or the army: blond, but unlike the Byronic crop of Olivier’s Hamlet. Her casting isn’t a gimmick. Peake looks like a stowaway, or a French resistance fighter in disguise: her femaleness gives a new edge of differentness and alienation and anger, although turning Polonius into “Polonia” was a bit self-conscious and didn’t illuminate the text much. This is a truculent and lairy Hamlet; Peake really lets rip with Hamlet’s bipolar delirium, and the production intelligently preserves the eternal mystery around the relationship of the usurper Claudius (John Shrapnel) and Gertrude (Barbara Marten): does the Queen actually know that Claudius killed her first husband? Or does she think their shame merely consists in a sudden, insensitive and unseemly remarriage? Interestingly, Maxine Peake’s delivery of the “To be or not to be” speech (while covered in blood) brought home a great truth for me: it is not simply an abstract discourse, but an agonised self-harming rant, triggered specifically by his grotesque accidental homicide of Ophelia’s foolish parent. And Katie West is really excellent as Ophelia: intelligent, wounded and passionate.

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