Carol Morley interview: ‘Bugsy Malone reminds me of my dad’

The director of The Falling recalls a precious cinema-going memory

My most precious cinema-going memory was the only time I went to the pictures with my dad. I was 10 years old and we went to see Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone and, even though he was very strict, my dad gave me permission to lie down on the floor in the aisle. He killed himself a few months later and I’ve wondered in recent times what was going through his mind as he heard the lyrics of the featured song You Give A Little Love: “We could’ve been anything that we wanted to be.”

What’s your favourite film ever?

Imitation of Life by Douglas Sirk. It’s a glorious, complicated, heartfelt 1950s’ melodrama about two single mothers, which delivers art and politics within an entertaining Hollywood package.

What’s your worst/most overrated film?

Knocked Up. It was praised in some circles as a great comedy, but the female characters are so offensively conceived.

Favourite director?

Choosing a favourite director brings another string of sleepless nights, but I’m going to say Agnès Varda – for bringing us Cleo from 5 to 7, Vagabond and The Gleaners & I.

What’s your favourite film snack?

My favourite movie snack used to be chocolate eclairs: a slow chew as I consumed the film.

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