|UK, 2006. Pathétique
Produced by David McGillivray, Jill Freud
Directed by Keith Claxton
sc: David McGillivray, Keith Claxton. ph: Fabio
Calascibetta. sd rec: Godfrey Kirby. ed: Chuck
Cartmel. prod. mgr: Karen Krizanovich. music: Dominic Glynn. make-up: Ian Brown. make-up assts: Hayley Biggs, Hannah Eccleston. costume designer: Isabel
Munoz. costume supervisor: Haldis Gothard. prod.
designer: Tricia Hitchcock. asst dirs: Gary White,
Joseph Brett. sd design: Steve Rogers. on-line ed: Bryan Farrar. property maker: Tim Higham. prod.
assts: Jules Fox, Hannah Harvey.
cast: Jill Freud (Janet), Alister Cameron (Gilbert),
Fenella Fielding (Her Ladyship), Emily Pennant-Rea
(Hannah), Charles Davies (Colin), Alva Semple
(Audrey), Andrew Powrie (Arthur), Pauline Whitaker
(Mary), Jane Evers (Dorothy), Anthony Falkingham
(George), Sidi Scott and June Morell (Housewives),
Clement Freud (Chauffeur), Keith Claxton (Vicar), David McGillivray (Undertaker), Danny Church (Ferry
Colour. 16 mins
Shot in Southwold and Walberswick, Suffolk, Sept 11-15, 2006.
|"I didn't want to make another
film in London, but I couldn't afford to take actors to another
town in the UK. Southwold was the answer. Jill Freud runs
a summer theatre there. I've worked there a couple of times.
Lots of actors are hanging around with nothing to do during
the day. The film was shot during the last week of the 2006
season. I wrote a script with more characters than usual.
Keith re-wrote it completely, adding all the business about
Her Ladyship, and even more characters. Jill was terrific.
She found all the actors and locations. I think she just phoned
people and told them they were going to be in a film and that
was that. The part of Her Ladyship was written for Luise Rainer,
who I met at the launch of John Fraser's autobiography. Like
Anna Wing, she was extremely old  but behaved like a young
girl. Both Keith and I loved the idea of working with the
first woman to win two Oscars. But she sent the script back
to me with a note, "This is of no interest to me."
I toyed with the idea of Pamela Green, Britain's Bettie Page,
who wrote the foreword of my book, Doing Rude Things. But
she hasn't been well recently. We were very happy when Fenella
Fielding said yes. She had very set ideas about the part and
the clothes she'd wear and every day I expected a phone call
from her agent to say, "Fenella's changed her mind."
But suddenly there she was making her grand entrance, and
there were mutterings that it had all been worth it. Jill's
husband, the great Clement Freud, was in Southwold doing his
one-man show and agreed to play Fenella's chauffeur as long
as we gave him a couple of lines. He was the second of my
actors to walk off the set in a huff. He had an appointment
in London. All in all, we had more people on this film than
any of the others. I think that on the first day we made lunch
for 20. The main location was Emma Freud's and Richard Curtis'
house in Walberswick, where most of us also lived for the
week. The meeting of the witches' was staged in their sunken
garden and we all got bitten to buggery by mosquitoes. Ian
Brown suddenly produced a life cast of Jane Evers in the last
stages of disintegration. It was shot with his hand inside
it, making it writhe. I had no idea that he'd made it until
it appeared. After we wrapped, Jill decided that the film
should premiere at the Southwold Picture Palace the following July. For this event I went to the cinema to shoot some linking material and used this to join all the films together to make a portmanteau feature. See Worst Fears.”
for the screenwriter