Tuesday, 21 September 2010
To BAFTA to hear screenwriter Pete Morgan talking about his work. A more engaging interviewee it is hard to imagine, and one wanted immediately to join him in a pub somewhere and natter about Stuff. What he did not talk about - what he was not asked about - was his predilection for the non-fictional, or rather his inclination to turn the non-fictional into fiction. His films are almost always about real people, to whom he gives made-up lines. I wanted to ask him about Shakespeare, an obvious forerunner, and to whom he must turn from time to time, but i couldn't articulate the question properly to myself before time ran out. I came home and watched 'The Special Relationship' on iPlayer. Morgan makes things seem very easy but it was masterfully crafted. However, I thought it lacked gravity somehow. The difficulty was that the characters did not have enough, well, character. Arthur Bryant for liberals, history lite. Which was also true of course for Frost/Nixon and The Queen, except that in those xceptional works history was in some sense risen above, and the drama was what counted. Anyway, Pete Morgan is a delightful man and a very good screenwriter and I look forward to more of his films.