With Susanne Bier bringing his adaptation of John Le Carré’s The Night Watchman to BBC primetime, British screenwriter David Farr has been busy behind the camera himself, crafting his directorial debut The Ones Below. A nightmarish upstairs/downstairs simmering suburban thriller, it is an impressive first outing on the big screen for the vastly experienced theatre director.
CineVue’s Matt Anderson sat down to speak to him about blending European and British tradition, Roman Polanski and making the transition to celluloid.
Matt Anderson: How well would you say you know your own neighbours?
David Farr: *Laughs* I do know my neighbours actually quite well but where I live now is nowhere like where the film takes place. London is a very mobile, fluid city. People come from abroad, or different parts of Britain and only stay for a few years. One of the film’s themes is about the city as a huge, lively, thronging place, yet somehow one can feel very lonely. You don’t see anything of conventional London at all. It’s about the state of being in an urban environment and the psychology of that.