Celebrity Interview & Review: Pride Loyalty for a Lifetime and Part II with Director Matthew Warchus

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"Pride," from BBC Films, Pathe and CBS Films," a brilliant film that stands out in the sea of compelling stories, presents the peoples oppression as the joining force  between the  gays and miners in 1984's British Miner's Strike.

 

 "Pride" humanizes the struggle with funny, charming and poignant struggles faced by each. As both felt ostracized by society and forgotten by their government, devoted and loyal citizens with deep roots to a country are not able to understand the harshness of the Prime Minister's edict, the intentional injury, the refusal of the government to compromise without apparently a plan for the future.

The fight to triumph, to remain true to oneself and to a genuine core belief in humanity "Pride" brings every element of human drama possible without being cheap and folds it all together renewing ones belief in humanity.

The daunting running time, at almost 160minutes, could be challenging if the storyline, expertly crafted by Stephen Beresford, weren't so deeply compelling: The gays, the miners, which group's next story would be more gripping, funny or uplifting.

Director Matthew Warchus, writer Stephan Bereford and three of the members, Sian James, a Miners' wife and Jonathan Blake, and Mike Jackson, of the Gays and Lesbian for the Miners, came to America for a whirlwind media tour taking them to New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles of which I had been invited to attend.

Below is Part II of the interview with Director Matthew Warchus and an overview of my interview with Sian James, a Miners' wife, Jonathan Blake, and Mike Jackson.

Loyalty for a Lifetime: Sian James, a Miners' wife, Jonathan Blake, and Mike Jackson

Meeting them in Manhattan, I found the entire group from Director, writer, talent to the "real people" behind the story charming, and what was stunning was the loyalty, thirty years since the event.

Here these three, Sian James, a Miners' wife, Jonathan Blake, and Mike Jackson, The Gays, held fast and sat together in the media day, shoulder to shoulder, honoring a pledge crafted, built and forged thirty years ago.

The loyalty is unbelievable and seems possible over the years the cemented bond became natural, to the outside world, the bond is remarkable, stunning, a huge deal, it is uncommon, deserves mention, a monument in history.

Not that loyalty is unheard of it is this type of loyalty, between two polar opposites, such distinctly different groups, where a word of support to an unknown could result in physical assault and neither shied away from the battle, from the rest of the world who screamed common sense should rule the day.

In our 15minute interview Ms. James, now  a Welsh Labour Party politician who has been a member of Parliament for Swansea East since 2005,  must have spoken the name, Gays and Lesbians for the Miners, half a dozen times, she is a brave woman not only to stand with a community hated and routinely and blatantly the subject of police brutality thirty years ago , but to stay, to remain a friend during the onset of the crippling AIDS crisis in London, when Case Number 2, Jonathan Blake, a friend of the miners, becomes  a friend of hers.

More from the Interview with Director Matthew Warchus

Janet Walker: I assume the experience at Cannes was amazing.

Matthew Warchus: Well, thankfully I was absolutely exhausted because I was still just finishing the film or I would have been completely terrified. I find that exhaustion is a great sort of anesthetic. We didn't know what was going to happen. Not only was It was our first large scale audience but that it was a foreign audience. There was no real reason that would have any interest in this events or the story as it is so British. So I didn't have any expectations at all and the response was overwhelming.

And it seemed to be the case there and then the power of the film had nothing to do with the politics or could remember the miners' strike whether you were or gay or lesbian whether you were interested in trade unionism the power of the story was something other than that. I saw that when a 1000 people were standing crying and cheering for 15 minutes for two screening at Cannes

But then I didn't know. Then you come away from that an think The French are very revolutionary they're socialist and all. SO then it comes about what happens to the next time you do it. SO we gone through all these screenings, London, of course, a number of places round London done the screenings recently Toronto recently and we find the same thing happens.

My job, I gave myself the brief, to just honor the story to tell it. So that more and more people were impressed by these amazing real life events.  And now I'm thinking okay It's starting to look like I did my job okay.

JW: Was the expectation of making the film different than what you thought it would be?

MW: Um . . .I don't its so different.

Like I said I was so ready to make another film. I learned how to and I had been holding myself back. I had been held back. So I was just ready to go at it. I knew pretty much what it was going to involve. The thing that is always different between theater and film, is the rhythm, and that comes down to stamina.

During the musical, a large scope piece of theater, it's on the same scale in lots of ways, as a movie you have a long development period and then an intense work period to get it on and then it opens and the Director is the first person to walk away and everybody else keeps doing it.

Whereas the film the director is the last person, you keep working with these groups of people, pre-production people, the cast, cinematographer, and then they finished and then it is you and the editor ten weeks, twelve weeks, very intense and then editor leaves, then it's you and the post production people, visual effects, sound, music and then they leave and it is you and the marketing people and so It's quite a different shaped job and that's the difference.

JW: If you could take this entire process and narrow it down to one or two memorable moments what would they be?

I remember first turning up at the actual village where we shot which was the actual village where it all happened. The welfare hall there, the real welfare hall I went in and the echo's of the past just flooding in and made me that really made me understand the responsibility I had to tell the story and the rigor in which I had to do it.

I also remember when we screened the final cut of the film to the real characters, the real Welsh, they came to London for a screening and we were all so nervous and this was before Cannes no one had seen it, and the real people knew of it, they had been interviewed by Steven, but had never seen the script and did not know what it was going to be and then when we did that, and the response that it got and it was a very, moving powerful moment.

MW: Those are the two big milestones in the beginning and kind of near the end of the process.

JW: Amazing, thank you for your time.

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