|UK, 2005. Pathétique
Films in association with Eduardo Barreto. Produced by David
McGillivray and Eduardo Barreto.
Directed by Keith Claxton.
sc: David McGillivray. ph: Sam Hardy.
make-up: Ian Brown, Hannah Eccleston. sd rec: Godfrey Kirby. ed: Chuck Cartmel. music: Dominic Glynn. asst dir: Gary White. on-line ed: Bryan Farrar. sd. design: Steve Rogers. colourist: Lesley
Russell. prod asst: Felix Lopes dos Santos. camera
asst: Jose Antonio Santos. dolly operators: João
Manuel, João Almeida. camera mount sup: João
Pessoa. Lisbon Airport liaison: Vera Borrego, Filipe
cast: Celia Williams (Mrs Davenport), Luis Castro (Jose), Emily Kirkpatrick (Chauffeuse).
Colour. 19 mins
Shot at Espaço Karnart and on location in Lisbon, Portugal,
March 9-13, 2005.
|This interview reveals the ending
|"The basic premise of this one - an encounter
between a airline passenger and one of those people who hold
up signs at arrivals - was an idea I had for a TV pilot, written
in 1995 but never shot. The rest of the film came about because
of a crazy Portuguese artist, Vel Z, who was living in my
house in London. After he went back to Lisbon, he invited
me to stay with him and his partner, actor-director Luis Castro.
I was very impressed that they were squatting in a disused
veterinary hospital, which they were turning into a theatre.
Vel also introduced me to the equally crazy Portuguese director,
Eduardo Barreto. I was in a couple of his plays. In one of
them, All for Nothing, I played opposite the marvellous
Celia Williams. So now I had my cast and a location.
In the original script, Jose killed Mrs Davenport! Keith changed
that and added the "romantic" scene by the river.
Eduardo went to Lisbon ahead of the rest of us and set everything
up, including permission to film at Lisbon Airport. I've been
very lucky with co-producers. Without them, I'd never have
been able to film out of London. I'd written all these scenes
in a car, but I didn't know how they were going to be shot.
How do you get the crew in a moving car? As it turned out,
Celia and Luis spent much of the time driving alone - just
them and a camera on a mount, going backwards and forwards
over the Vasco da Gama bridge.
The highlight for us all was the bloodbath at the end of the
film. It could only be shot once because we didn't have time
to re-make Luis' prosthetic and I'm not sure whether anyone
really knew if it was going to work. It was all shot in one
take, with Keith telling [cameraman] Sam Hardy to zoom in
and out and Luis to choke and to die. I knew it was OK when
I saw this huge pool of blood spreading out underneath Luis'
head. I went to collect the burgers for lunch feeling like
Herschell Gordon Lewis.
Thanks to Alan Jones, Mrs D premiered at "Frightfest"
at the Odeon West End in August. It was something of a thrill
- my first film in London's West End for 25 years or more.
Fortunately it supported Day of the Dead 2, which was
so terrible that it made Mrs D look extremely good. I got
completely blotto and, when I was plonked in front of a camera
by the Horror Channel, I'm ashamed to say I slurred one of
my replies. Luis didn't come over for the screening. He contacted
me about a week beforehand and wanted me to send him his air
fare. I said no. He hasn't spoken to me since. It's a shame.
He's got a great, villainous face and I'd love to work with