Little Joe: The female Frankenstein?

A new film from the Cannes Film Festival centres on a female scientist who creates an anti-depressant plant. But is it entirely harmless?

Imagine if Frankenstein was a woman. That’s the basis for Little Joe, a new film which played at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

British actress Emily Beecham picked up the best actress prize at the festival’s awards ceremony for her depiction of Alice, the female scientist who creates a new breed of anti-depressant plant.

For Austrian director Jessica Hausner (Amour Fou, Lourdes), recreating the Frankenstein story with a female lead allowed her to explore contemporary anxieties about genetic modification, corporate control – and motherhood too.

“In my film, the character Alice is a scientist, and she creates a sort of monster, it’s a plant, a red flower”, she explains in this clip from Talking Movies. “But she creates actually another monster, if you want, which is her child. The film is a lot about the ambiguity of her motherly love, and her focus on her work.”

Watch the video clip from Talking Movies to find out more.

Talking Movies’ Cannes Film Festival programme is on BBC World News on Sunday 26 May at 01.30, 08.30 and 17.30 and Tuesday 28 May at 09.00 and on the BBC News Channel on 26 May at 10.30 and 20.30 and Tuesday 28 May at 02.30.

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