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Chatting Up… Peter Bradshaw

first_imgName one film everyone should see. The Addiction, by Abel Ferrara. This is a seriously weird, creepy and brilliant movie about vampires starring Christopher Walken. Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with and why? I have actually been stuck in a lift (on my own), and the security guards who jemmied the doors open and dragged me out were surprised by my glacial calm, a state I arrived at by meditating on the ‘lift scenes’ from The Shining and Damien Omen 2. Anyway, I should like to be stuck in a lift with Sophia Loren, the most beautiful person in cinema history, just so I had an excuse to gaze at her face, close-up, for a long period of time. In your opinion, what are the three qualities every great film should possess? It should be sublimely beautiful, like Visconti’s The Leopard, or sublimely funny like Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels, or sublimely exciting, like Scorsese’s Raging Bull. What is your idea of a perfect evening? Not necessarily a film. The most perfect evening I had recently was being on the winning team in a pub quiz in a London club. Pub quizzes are sporting contests for the nerd generation. You are the film police for one day, what do you ban? The Piano by Jane Campion. This annoying, wittering, shallow, overrated middlebrow film is so much more insidious than honest rubbish like Sex Lives Of The Potato Men. Which authors and literary characters have acted as the inspiration for your novels? I love VS Naipaul’s A House For Mr Biswas, Dickens’ Bleak House, BS Johnson’s House Mother Normal, the Letters and Memoirs of Kingsley Amis (his account of meeting Roald Dahl is still one of the funniest things in the language), Money by Martin Amis, What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe, Girlfriend In A Comaby Douglas Coupland. Do you have any rituals before you begin writing? I’m sorry to say that I like to drink an entire two-litre bottle of Diet Coke while I’m writing for that evil Aspartame rush. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? “Never drink gin after dinner” is the weirdest advice I’ve been given. The most sound advice I’ve been given is: “Be persistent. Persistence is the key to success.” Your new book Dr Sweet… is a dark comedy – what is your favourite comedy film or tv series? My favourite comedy film is the Ealing classic Kind Hearts And Coronets, which I love more than I can say. Favourite TV comedy: Seinfeld (which stayed brilliant long after Friends curdled), The Larry Sanders Show. From Britain: Baddiel and Skinner’s Fantasy Football League, Rising Damp, The Office and Phoenix Nights. What do you never leave the house without? An uneasy sense that I have left the gas on. Finally, any tips for the top for film over the coming months? I recommend Uzak by the Turkish director Nuri Ceylan, a very beautiful and sad movie about male loneliness, out 28 May. There is also a bizarre documentary coming out soon called Supersize Me about someone who tried to live entirely on food from McDonald’s, with horrific results. Dr Sweet And His Daughter is out now. Picador £7.99. Peter Bradshaw will be appearing at Borders on 27th May, 7pm. ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004last_img

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