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Notts Screenwriter William Ivory on the Films That Influenced His Success

14 April 21 words: Jamie Morris and George White

Southwell’s own William Ivory, BAFTA-nominated screenwriter of Made in Dagenham and Burton and Taylor, discusses the films that have influenced him throughout the years – from the scarring impact of Bambi to the rage-inducing absurdity of The Lighthouse...

What’s the first film you remember watching as a kid? 
I saw Ring of Bright Water, which is a film about an otter, at the cinema and I remember crying all the way home. Then I remember watching Bambi and I was similarly traumatised after that. 

What was your favourite as a teenager?
Babette’s Feast. I remember seeing that when I was about sixteen or seventeen, and just thinking it was exquisite; what art should be, in a way. The other one is Top Gun. I bought myself some dog tags and the aviator shades – it was appalling!

Which film inspired you to get into filmmaking?
The Lost Weekend. I remember watching that when I was about fifteen and it’s one of the most devastating films. It showed me you can make powerful films that are funny as well and I believed that was something I could do. 

Do you have a favourite Nottingham-produced film?
I really admire Shane [Meadows’] work. A Room for Romeo Brass is my favourite Shane movie. It’s got a tighter script than some of his other work, and his genius is that he can flip tone on a sixpence.

What’s your favourite film of the 21st century so far? 
I thought Jojo Rabbit was incredible. I had to be helped out of the cinema because I was crying that much. It was sensational. I saw a film recently called A Ghost Waits, which was beautiful as well. 

Is there a film that you think more people should be aware of?
Golden Balls is this romp through low-life Spanish society; it’s funny and Javier Bardem’s brilliant. The only other one would be Loves of a Blonde by Miloš Forman. It’s just the most beautiful, simple story

What’s the last film you saw at the cinema? 
Monos, which is about a children’s army out in the jungle. Everyone raved about it, but I hated it. Another one I watched was The Lighthouse, which I similarly hate with a vengeance. Someone was taking the piss there.

What’s the best that you’ve seen from home during lockdown?
I saw Handsome Devil, which is a gay rom-com. I thought it was really nicely put together, and I felt good watching it. And Green Room, about this American punk band that gets hired to play in real redneck territory. It’s like Deliverance meets a Green Day concert.

What’s your favourite film that you’ve been involved in?
I’m going to use film loosely and say Burton and Taylor. I thought Richard Laxton, who directed the film, was spectacularly good and Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West were also astonishing. 

@williamivory

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