Michael Winterbottom Can’t Take The Pace 9

I have no idea what he’s talking about. I was only just warming up. Good job he never worked with Oliver Reed…

Winterbottom seems chipper, given that two projects have recently collapsed. One was A Beautiful Game, about gangs in Manchester. The other was Murder in Samarkand, based on the memoirs of the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who accused Tony Blair’s Government of connivance in torture. The director rattles through a long explanation involving difficult locations, some creative differences with the screenwriter, David Hare, the pitfalls of making a black comedy about torture and, not least, the phenomenal amount of vodka he and Eaton had to absorb on their reconnaissance trips. “We were drunk the whole time. We thought, ‘Our bodies can’t take this any more. Three months of it and we’ll be dead’.”


So now the name on the Director’s chair has been changed to Julien Temple. If he could work with Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious…

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9 thoughts on “Michael Winterbottom Can’t Take The Pace

  • ceedee

    Temple’s docu-movie about Glastonbury Festival was well put together.

    And he had to deal with Michael Eavis…

  • alan knight

    i very much enjoyed the programme you were recently on, on press TV, the people versus Bush.. i don’t think you mentioned it on these here pages; i assume you KNEW about it..? apologies if you HAD mentioned it and i’d somehow missed it

    t’would be great if you could give us a heads-up of anything that you are involved in on the tellybox or any other media, in the future.

    keep up the fantastic work

  • MJ

    “some creative differences with the screenwriter, David Hare, the pitfalls of making a black comedy about torture”

    Therein probably lies the real problem, rather than the vodka. Hare is a fine writer but not noted for his comedy. With Steve Coogan in the lead however the performance – and audience expectations – will emphasise the laughs.

    Have you read the script Craig? Does it really work?

  • Jon

    That’s a shame the film has been cancelled – is there any way, do you think, that it might still see the light of day?

  • Strategist

    Temple’s Glastonbury movie really is excellent. IMHO, the festival is England’s greatest cultural achievement over the last 40 years, and the film gets it exactly right.

  • alan knight

    researcher – i just went onto press tv’s website and couldn’t find it. maybe the author of this site himself may be able to help, although if it’s not on presstv’s site, i don’t know where it could be, unfortunately..

  • Paul J. Lewis


    This is one movie I really want to see made. I think the rest the the UK needs to see it, as do our PMs.

    Something I don’t understand from the above though; there seems to be some suggestion above of a (black?) comedy element to the movie. Though I realise that even the darkest movies usually have elements comic-tragedy, is this really a good idea? Surely, if this movie works, it should be a movie that induces utter loathing and voter rage at UK foreign policy?

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