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Tue 27 | 7.30pm
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Sun 25 | 9pm
Sat 31 | 9pm

Christopher and His Kind

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Details: | 2011 | 90 min
SynopsisChristopher-and-his-Kind-001Ever wondered what the backstory to Cabaret is? Where Sally Bowles came from and who, indeed, the delicious Michael York was portraying? Wonder no more. Geoffrey Sax has adapted Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin diaries, taken bits from his novel Goodbye Berlin and produced a compelling drama, set against the backdrop of a changing, fermenting, boiling 1920s Europe. The young aristocratic scribe (played here by Dr Who cutie Matt Smith), would-be-novelist and raging homo, fresh from failure at Cambridge, arrives in Berlin looking for a bit of excitement beyond the careful vowels of his mother’s upper middle class Cheshire sitting room. Friend WH Auden is on hand to show him the city’s gay fleshpots and before he can say ‘pass the rent boy’, is contributing to the metropolis’ rich tapestry. Hitler’s growing presence is the broader landscape, but Sax’s focus – as indeed was Isherwood’s – is on the boys and falling in love. After a highly charged but ultimately disastrous fling with Aryan god Caspar, he settles his attentions on the impossibly pretty Heinz (Douglas Booth from Time to Time). As the Nazis close in and Isherwood attempts to protect his fey lover from their purges, fellow libertarian Sally Bowles also dissembles and the film, like the stage play and the book, comes to represent the mad final days of pre-war Germany. Matt Smith is lovely as the irrepressible Isherwood and Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre) puts Sally Bowles firmly back into her rightful place as a nutty English torch song singer, rather than Fosse’s lashed Yankee Liza. A lush period drama with a smile factor as big as its production values.

Courtesy of the British Council

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Cast
  • Alexander Doetsch
  • Clare Louise Connolly
  • Douglas Booth
  • Faolan Morgan
  • Iddo Goldberg
  • Imogen Poots
  • Issy Van Randwyck
  • Lindsay Duncan
  • Matt Smith
  • Perry Millward
  • Pip Carter
  • Toby Jones
  • Will Kemp
Trivia
  • While filming this movie in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ulster Unionists vehemently protested the fact that some scenes required giant roof-to-ground Nazi swastika banners to be hung on the exteriors of buildings. This protest resulted in those exterior scenes only being filmed in the very early morning or late night, which greatly complicated the filming schedule.
  • Because Matt Smith filmed this (BBC) movie during his break from playing the lead character in the BBC’s hit television series “Dr Who,” the BBC gave Geoffrey Sax, this movie’s director, strict instructions that Smith was never allowed to be shown nude. In a newspaper interview, Sax said, “They told me I must not show Doctor Who’s bare bottom. They were quite firm about that, even though Matt was playing an entirely different character. They have invested a lot in him as the 11th Doctor and were due to make a second series with him, so they were obviously anxious to protect their property.”
  • The dolphin desk clock that appears in this movie actually belonged to Isherwood while he lived in Berlin. It was lent to the film’s production by Don Bachardy, Isherwood’s longtime romantic partner, who visited the set during filming.