Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why are Martians not allowed to destroy London? An interview with film director Richard Stanley

Time Out London has an interesting interview with South African-born film director Richard Stanley. Perhaps best known for his film Hardware (1990) and getting fired from the set of The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996) after only three days of shooting, Stanley seems to be quite knowledgeable about British science fiction, as this excerpt from the interview demonstrates:
Time Out: How do you think Hardware fits into a tradition of British science fiction?

Richard Stanley: Britain has had a very honourable tradition of literary sci-fi, HG Wells, John Wyndham, JG Ballard, Brian Aldiss, Michael Moorcock, but for whatever reason they have never really been given the time of day onscreen. I can’t understand why we keep getting high-budget Dickens adaptations on television, but we’ve never had an HG Wells adaptation. Why are the Martian war machines never allowed to destroy London? When Nigel Kneale passed a couple of years ago there was nary a flutter on the television, as opposed to the national state of mourning when Dennis Potter died. I’m dying for somebody to give those stories the classic-status treatment they deserve, instead of being treated as a ghetto genre.
Pictured: Cover of 1913 British edition of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, depicting Martian war machines with London's Tower Bridge in the background.


Sharon E. Dreyer said...

Seems if other cities are targets for alien destruction, London would be too. Perhaps London wasn't destroyed because the author wouldn't have been able to finish the novel; can't write great books when your home is vaporized!

Paul said...

Good point!