Poor Things: On the red carpet with the creatives at London Film Festival 2023
Poor Things is a fantasy film fuelled by threads of dark comedy and sci-fi that is brought to screen from a screenplay by Tony McNamara and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite). The story has been adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by Scottish author Alasdair Grey and tells of a young Victorian woman called Bella (Emma Stone) who attempts suicide to escape her life but is resurrected from death by the scientist Dr Godwin Baxter (William Defoe) who keeps her under his watchful care until she runs off with a lawyer called Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo) to travel the world.
The feature is an obscure take on one woman’s quest for liberation and equality as she finds her voice, her taste for cocktails and her sexual freedom. The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to the creatives behind this whimsical and funny feature on the red carpet at the BFI Southbank during London Film Festival 2023.
We Spoke to Ed Guiney about what it meant to be part of the production team behind this film, collaborating with Stone, who not only stars as the lead but was on board as a producer too, and what it was like to bring such an eccentric tale to screen.
We chatted to the film composer Jerskin Fendrix about how he worked with the sound team to create this musical palette for the film, what he created for the piece and what it was like collaborating with Lanthimos. He also talked about the intricacies of the script, the childish and wretched nature of the characters, the honesty of their emotions and how they became a starting point for him.
We spoke to producer Robbie Bryan about the appeal of working with such a visionary and unique director and the sheer scale and ambition of the film. He also talked about the filming process and the striking use of different lenses, saturations and colour and the complications that came from using such techniques.
McNamara spoke to us about working previously on The Favourite movie with Lanthimos and then coming together again for Poor Things and the originality of the story. He also talked about the sad passing of the author Alasdair Grey who wrote the book of the same name that the film was adapted from but that his son had given them his blessing on the project.
Sound designer Johnnie Burn spoke to us about previously working with Lanthimos and how this script for him just jumped off the page. He also talked about the collaborative process and creating the sound for the film against all these unusual characters and the reward of working with composer Fendrix.
Make-up artist Nadia Stacey chatted about the appeal of the story, having previously read the original book, and what it was like to work with Stone on this. She also talked about the unique characters, interpreting their world through the make-up but also the many challenges that faced her with the ever-changing filming process, including different colours, monochrome moments and all the different lenses that were used.
Costume designer Holly Waddington came over to speak about working on this with people she admired, using the book as a reference point as well as her own imagination for the characters’ costumes and the many fittings that took place as shoot got underway.
Poor Things is released nationwide on 12th January 2024.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2023 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Poor Things here: