Road to Morocco
Cresting on the wave of Titanic's big splash, Kate Winslet is steered into Hideous Kinky’s warmer waters by Scottish director GILLIES MACKINNON.
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'I always had a thing about the desert, even as a little boy
in Scotland.’ Gillies MacKinnon
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early 70s. But MacKinnon isn’t as unfamiliar with the world depicted in Hideous Kinky as might be expected.
'Everybody came to Morocco then,’ says the director, who spent six months travelling around the region in 1972. 'It was very exciting — the colour, the Sunshine, the music, I always had a thing about the desert, even as a little boy in Scotland and I saw Beau Geste. Everyone is drawn to something different and I was drawn to North Africa.'
Hideous Kinky was adapted from Esther Freud’s semi-autobiographical novel by Gillies's brother, Billy, who also co-wrote the script for Small Faces, MacKinnon brings his own personal memories to the film, emphaSiSing the mood more than the narrative and making Marrakech itself almost a lead character. During production, he discovered that locals in the cast and crew were JUSI as eager to capture the essence of the country on film.
'Although there is a big film industry in Morocco, productions usually use the locations as a backdrop for somewhere else like lsrael and Egypt,’ Mac'Kinnon explains ’Martin Scorsese even made a film [Kundun] abOtit the Dalai Lama . here, using the mountains and desert of South Morocco as Tibet. So everyone was delighted to be working on a film actually set in Morocco ’
Someone else who was charmed by the cOuntry was Hideous Kinky's star, Kate Winslet 'After the time and
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beer swilling, sport crazy. film watching, music listening, hotel staying
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Marrakech express: cinematogra
energy I spent on Titanic, l felt like this was a cultural release,’ says Winslet 'Gillies is calm and patient, and although he knows exactiy what he wants, he has the confidence to give actors the space to woik in and encourages you to try diffeient ideas He works from total confidence, not total control ' James Cameron, take note
l‘.ldCKlIlllOIl is equally forthright in his praise for his lead actress 'As soon as I met Kate, her enthusiasm for the protect impressed rne,’ he says 'She
pher John de Borm‘an and director Gillies
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MacKinnon on the set of Hideous Kinky
was so keen to embrace the new culture that she (lid something I've never known an actor to do before she came on a location rec ce with the crew to get her ideas about the country'
Winslet also found her future husband in Hideous Kinky's third aSSistant director lllll Thieapleton, but that’s a story Mat Kiiiiton is keeping tigl'it-lipped about for HOV.
Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 5 Feb. See review.
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