Director survives remake ‘scuicide’

Brighton Rock
Brighton Rock

EASTBOURNE’S latest appearance on the big screen was launched across the country yesterday with the general release of Brighton Rock.

The town features extensively in the adaptation of the classic Graham Greene novel and award-winning 1947 film, and on Thursday evening the release was celebrated with a gala premiere performance at the Cineworld cinema.

The event was attended by Eastbourne’s great and good and featured a question and answer session from the film’s director Rowan Joffe.

It’s Joffe’s directorial debut and stars up-and-coming British actors Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough, with supporting performances from Phil Davis, Helen Mirren and John Hurt

He said, “When I was first approached, I baulked at the idea. I don’t like remakes.

“And remaking perhaps the greatest British movie would be professional suicide.

“But curiosity sent me to my bookcase. I got down a copy of the novel from my school days, blew off the dust and started to read.

“Then fell in love. In love with the insecure, fear-fuelled psychopath, Pinkie and his deadly mixture of satanic menace and schoolboy precociousness.

“In love with the key witness to his first murder, the innocent yet motivated tea‐room waitress, Rose.”

The action has been transplanted from the 1930s to the 1960s complete with feuding Mods and the Rockers.

It tells the story of Pinkie, a cold-hearted brutal youth and small-time gangster.

When a young and very innocent waitress, Rose, stumbles on evidence linking him to a revenge killing, he sets out to seduce her to secure her silence.

Producer Paul Webster said, “It’s just a brilliant story.

“It features one of the greatest bad guys ever created in Pinkie Brown.

“Graham Greene was in love with cinema and is eminently adaptable because he writes so cinematically.

“I was really pleased when I saw the final cut. What you want always is for your own vision to be surpassed by its realisation.

“I thought the movie looked sensational, and hats off to cinematographer John Mathieson for making a beautiful film and giving us all a hot house high pressure education in how to make something look like the 60s but also very contemporary.

“When you’ve read the script, cast the movie, and been around when all the performances were put down on film, you think you’d know what to expect.

“But somehow, it was only when it all came together that I could see there was a really special kind of magic.

“ I would say I was far more than pleased; I was thrilled by the final film.”