|Matthew Sweet presents the weekly film programme. Join in the discussion by visiting the Radio 4 Arts message board. |
|Matthew Sweet is a writer and broadcaster with a doctorate in Wilkie Collins. He has been a director's assistant for the RSC, both film and TV critic of The Independent on Sunday, edited the Penguin Classic edition of The Woman in White, and has a monthly movie column in Red magazine. His first book, Inventing the Victorians (2001), put figures such as Julia Pastrana the Baboon Lady and the Bipenis Boy back into the story of the nineteenth century, and celebrated the achievements of the Victorian film industry.|
His next, Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema (forthcoming January 2005), uses candid interviews with nonagenarian survivors to rediscover the gossip, scandals and tragedies of the British film studio system. In the course of his research, he has lolled on a chaise longue and shared macaroons with Olivia de Havilland, drunk neat Vermouth with a 96-year-old mistress of Fred Astaire, and heard from a 99-year-old silent film star what it was like when Thomas Hardy came on location with the crew of the 1921 adaptation of The Mayor of Casterbridge.
The first film he saw was The Land that Time Forgot (1974), in which the dream cast of Susan Penhaligon, Doug McClure and Keith Barron discovered a menagerie of dinosaurs living on a hidden island in the South Atlantic. Since then, he’s been a sucker for any movie that involves fibre-glass pterodactyls.
|Mean Girls starring Lindsey Lohan|
As two high school comedies are released that are less about losing your virginity and more about regaining your self-respect Back Row asks how did the teen movie get all grown up? We speak to film lecturer Maggie Roux, CosmoGirl writer Suzy Wood and real life teen Sophie Rose.
13 Going on 30 is scheduled to reach UK cinemas in August
Matthew Sweet talks to leading French director Patrice Leconte, whose résumé is a list of eclectic and award-hoovering pictures like Ridicule, The Hairdresser's Husband and L'Homme du Train. Leconte's latest film is Confidences Trop Intimes (Intimate Strangers).
The gambling movie is back with The Cooler, an independent movie set in the murky world of a Las Vegas casino. William H Macy is the cooler, a man with bad luck so contagious that he only has to brush by a roulette table for the ball to rattle to the zero mark. Gambling correspondent Victoria Coren joins Back Row to discuss whether any of the bad luck inducing tactics used in the movie are employed by casino managers in the real world.
Please note that audio for this edition of Back Row will not be available on this website until after the programme's transmission on Radio 4 on Saturday 12 June 2004 at 5.30pm.
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