November 29, 2021

Edgar Wright on ‘Last Night in Soho’ and the Trap of Nostalgia

“My mom had a story that was literally, ‘I went to Soho once with my friend and we got harassed by a man and chased out,’” he said. “And that’s the end of the story.”

By 2012, before he shot his sci-fi pub-crawl comedy “The World’s End,” Wright was already contemplating a film that would explore the darker side of London and juxtapose the modern era and the period preserved in sensationalistic 1960s films like John Schlesinger’s “Darling,” which starred Julie Christie, and Edmond T. Gréville’s “Beat Girl,” with Gillian Hills.

Typically the moral of these films, Wright said, was “Beware, young lady that comes to the big city — you will be chewed up and spat out. Then the city becomes the villain.”

He researched Soho’s history of organized crime and unsolved murders and he studied up on theories of the supernatural. (“I would say I’m ghost-curious,” Wright said. “I haven’t seen one but I’d really like to.”)

Wright also met a crucial collaborator, his co-screenwriter, Krysty Wilson-Cairns (“1917,” “Penny Dreadful”), through the director Sam Mendes, a mutual friend.

On the night of the Brexit vote in 2016, Wilson-Cairns said, she and Wright were in Soho “drowning our sorrows” while she told him about the many dingy neighborhood dives where she’d worked as a bartender.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/27/movies/edgar-wright-last-night-in-soho.html

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