Ben Wheatley – #AAEmpireLive

“I love making films. I’ll keep making them until they stop me.”


So, I very excitingly got comps tickets to attend this event at the O2 Arena (took place Sunday 25th September – hello to my fellow Charlotte who came with me!) The event comprised of three elements. First up was the preview footage (roughly five minutes long) from ‘Free Fire’ that isn’t out in the UK until March 2017. It’s showing at LFF next month but I’ve not managed to get a ticket (if there are any generous folk out there who would like to donate a ticket to this secondary school teacher/blogger then please get in touch…) The footage, perhaps unsurprisingly, was spectacular. Ben Wheatley and his team are unrivalled in their ability to give so very little away. The sequence shown (from which the above still is taken from) gave away nothing yet set such an intriguing and exciting tone that I truly cannot wait to see what happens next. In fact most of the audience groaned in dismay when the clip finished, such was our want to see more.

Next was the Q&A, hosted by Chris Hewitt. This is the second time that I’ve attended an interview hosted by Hewitt (the first being at the premiere I attended of ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ – for my review click here) and he remains one of the best. He asks questions that are reflexive, insightful and thoughtful without overshadowing his guest. Ben Wheatley, as ever, was a delightful guest. The third time I’ve watched him talk about film and I could watch film many more times. Among the many quotable things he said (the sub-heading being one of them) he made the point “Middle age depends on when you’re going to die.” which definitely set up tonally the main event…


I’ve already reviewed ‘High-Rise’ on  here (click here for my original review) and I stand by everything I said entirely. And more. Seeing it on the Sky Superscreen was a genuine treat. My third watch yet I still spot things I missed prior and also leave with new questions. Tom Hiddleston’s performance as well as that of Luke Evans deserve much acknowledgement for their equal yet very different brilliance in their roles. It’s oddly funny (not really the right word here) to watch the film post-Brexit, mid-Trump trail and with the hindsight of various recent news stories. It is to the much deserved credit of writer Amy Jump that the she manages to make the story set in the past and yet so contemporaneous. Seeing it again I really think this is one of the top ten films of the year – we’ve got three more months to see where it will rank.

And now I leave you with the trailer for ‘Free Fire’. Enjoy! (P.S I was serious about any ‘donations’ of tickets…)


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