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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

May the power of the brolly live on!

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The New Statesman interview: Ralph Fiennes
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly


Photo credit: http://spletnik.ru/blogs/pro_zvezd/30217_to_chto_ya_lyublyu

There is a great interview with Ralph in the New Statesman.

Follow the link to read the full interview:
http://www.newstatesman.com/film/2012/01/interview-god-world-coriolanus

Selected highlights:

Was Coriolanus, your first film as a director, a story that you always wanted to tell?
Since I played it on stage I've had this building curiosity about it. The situations in Coriolanus are always with us all the time. Particularly this year, weirdly, with what's happening in the world, in the Middle East, economically everywhere - the sense of deep uncertainty, these things that are happening in the streets. They all happen in Coriolanus. They always happen. The tensions between authority and the people need to be heard, especially when they are suffering and they can't eat.

Why did the character of Coriolanus appeal?
He's a soldier; he's been very much conditioned to be a certain way. I think there's no question Volumnia has instilled in him certain values, martial values of service, and he's become that thing she's wanted, and somewhere there is a death wish in him. In some ways he is rather stunted. He is a boy who has never been allowed to grow up. He is a kind of impossible, sad figure. In a way, I find him sympathetic. You shouldn't allow him into politics.

How do you engage with politics?
There is a humanitarian impulse that one aspires to and there are days when one doesn't do it very well. But you go: "What can I do to help?" in the immediate sense. That's why I admire Vanessa [Redgrave]. But I am suspicious of overt political manoeuvring, of party politics.

What is the root of that impulse?
Sometimes you need people to prod you. It doesn't always come organically. I'm not very good at causes. I've had a relationship with Unicef and also the Constant Gardener Trust - a couple of experiences going abroad which were amazing. People have said: "Was it very upsetting going to places like Uganda?" But no, often it's uplifting.

Was directing terrifying, after years as an actor?
It was exhilarating. I think I felt a deep curiosity about it for some time, and people got behind it. On the first day, I was so full of adrenalin I didn't have time to be nervous, then my confidence grew as the shoot went on. The excitement is in seeing other performances come together. Seeing a scene, a world, a story, I think I have become more excited by what it would be like to make that world of a film happen. I love working on the design of it - on the clothes, the look, the location, on what a shot is doing, how a shot develops. I found all that exhilarating.

What does God mean to you?
God is not anything human. God is a force, God is chaos, God is unknown. God is terror and enlightenment at the same time.


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Thanks for the link. Some insights – I like what he says about God for example. I intended to go see Coriolanus, but the film has already gone from my usual cinema. It was only screened for one week! I live in a cultural desert...

Well, there is always the DVD which, I am hoping, will have some extras!

It would have been better on the big screen but, if it is gone, it is gone!

I am going to email you a Ralph story which I meant to do yesterday but I will do so now!

Thank you for posting this, I would have never seen the interview if you hadn't.

Really nice photo of him too, his eyes look amazing.

"I would have never seen the interview if you hadn't". That is a first! A real turn-up for the books! Hooray!

As you can see, the photo is not connected to the interview in any way whatsoever. I just trawled the net for the nicest photo that I could find of Ralph and this is the one that spoke to me!

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