Landis goes European for Burke and Hare
The name John Landis brings to mind smiles and films like Animal House, Blues Brothers, Into the Night, An American Werewolf in London. All parts of our collective imagination, comedies that brought the world together.
Welcome, then, to Landis in Europe. The “American werewolf” returned to London, to hunt down some good scripts. "I had to go to London and my wife Deborah suggested I visit some production companies because they were shooting interesting independent films there ," said the director.
"It had been a while since I made a film, and the ones the American studios are making these days are not the kind I want to make. I went to about 40 independent production companies in the UK. I met Barnaby Thompson, head of Ealing Studios (Easy Virtue [+see also:
film profile], An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest and Valiant, among it’s many hits) who told me about a script he was developing with screenwriters Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, and which he thought I might be interested in. He gave me Burke and Hare [+see also:
Thus were born the adventures (based on a true story) of rascals William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), who steal corpses in 1828 Edinburgh, when the Scottish city was the global epicenter of medical research and its doctors were in desperate need of cadavers for their anatomy lessons.
From a script that transforms two monsters into romantic heroes, Landis weaves a very dark comedy that serves as a metaphor for cinema. Burke is willing to kill to help his wife finance an all-female staging of Macbeth, while an unscrupulous doctor has a French artist photograph dissected bodies for the doctor’s pioneering mapping of the human body. But what is a film is not the external and internal geography of the human body, depicted by a skilled photographer?
Sporting a top-notch cast that also includes Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Tom Wilkinson, national comic treasure Ronnie Corbett, Tim Curry and Michael Smiley, Burke and Hare comes out today in the UK and in Italy will be released soon by Archibald Enterprise Film.
(Translated from Italian)
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