London-based Charlie Lyne is a documentary filmmaker and film critic who is heading for Canada's prestigious Hot Docs Festival this week with his latest short film, Copycat.
Charlie Lyne is a filmmaker and film critic living in London. His first film, Beyond Clueless, premiered last year at SXSW and was released in cinemas this January. He has followed it up with Fear Itself a feature doc in production at the BBC, which will be released later this year. Meanwhile his new short film, Copycat, screens at Hotdocs this week and Charlie is heading out so support it with help from a British Council/BFI Travel Grant. When not making docs, Charlie writes a weekly column in the Guardian Guide and also writes for Little White Lies, Sight & Sound, Vulture and others. You can follow him on Twitter at @charlielyne
1. What’s your connection to the British Council?
I've just been awarded a travel grant by the British Council to take my short film Copycat to the Hot Docs documentary festival in Toronto.
2. What’s your current film project / what are you working on?
I'm making a movie called Fear Itself for the BBC. It's a feature-length essay film about horror movies and how they exploit our capacity for fear. It's set to premiere in October so my summer is going to involve a lot of sitting in dark rooms watching people be horrifically mutilated.
3. What/who originally turned you onto film?
Watching and (poorly) imitating skate videos as a pre-teen Tony Hawk fan.
4. What has been your career high so far?
Having my first film Beyond Clueless play at some of the cinemas that I'll forever associate with formative adolescent cinema trips, like the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square.
5. What was your first job/role in film?
I started a movie blog at the age of 16 and managed to get some work as a film critic off the back of that - mostly for publications that don't exist anymore (I had nothing to do with that, honest).
6. If I knew then what I know now…
Never think more than one step ahead or it all becomes too much to process.
7. What is your favourite British film?
Birth. It's so obstinately perfect.
8. If you could have directed/been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
I've thought about this a lot, and decided it's pointless to wish I'd made a film I really like, because it would change the way I saw it. Instead, I wish I'd made something hugely significant but unrelated to my interests, like Chicago.
9. What’s the first film you remember seeing?
Matilda. It scared the fuck out of me and I didn't go back to the cinema for five years.
10. What’s your favourite line or scene from a film?
The chair fighting scene from Gummo for self-explanatory reasons.
11. Favourite screen kiss?
The kiss in Dumb and Dumber had a big impact on me as a child.
12. Who’s your favourite screen hero and/or villain?
Any of the characters from Nine, who I consider both heroes and villains.