The First Film You Saw at a Cinema

Interview by Justina Hart

What was the first film you saw at the cinema?

“‘Isadora’, by Karel Reisz. I am still disturbed when Vanessa Redgrave is strangled as her scarf gets caught in the wheel of a Bugatti.”

What’s your favourite film?

“‘Midnight Cowboy’, a film about brotherhood between two of the strangest characters to have graced the screen.”

When did you last walk out of the cinema and why?

“I walk out often nowadays. Maybe I’m jaded but films aren’t what they used to be. I walked out when Ben Stiller got his penis caught in his zipper in ‘There’s Something About Mary’. That was enough for me.”

What’s the most erotic moment in a movie?

“The feast in ‘Babette’s Feast’.”

What’s the most annoying habit in a cinema?

“Staying because you paid.”

When was the last time you snogged at the cinema?

“Never. Films get my undivided attention. Until I walk.”

Which actor would you most like to be?

“I am what I am.”

Which actress?

“Liv Ullmann.”

What’s your favourite snatch of film dialogue?

“The silence between the Tramp and the blind flower lady in ‘City Lights’, when she recognises his touch and says: ‘It’s you.’ Chaplin smiles and nods with eyes lit up by tears.”

When was the last time you cried in the movies?

“‘There’s Something About Mary’.”

When was the last time you hid under your seat?

“Also ‘There’s Something About Mary’.”

What do you make of Greg Wise’s success, seeing as he was in the same theatre club as you at university?

“Not only Greg Wise, but also Hamish Clark. In fact, the three of us had a stand up routine called ‘The Thunderbunnies’ back in the mid-80s, which we may resume in the near future.”