Sally Potter & Elle Fanning are Bringing the Sexual Revolution of London to the Screen
Potter's work has always stretched boundaries, both narratively and aesthetically. Orlando (1992), which introduced the wider world to the acting genius that is Tilda Swinton, turned the traditional costume drama on its head. The Tango Lesson (1997) is a gorgeous black-and-white documentary that saw the filmmaker herself step in front of the camera for record a personal journey through dance and love. Yes (2004) showed that, indeed, contemporary films can use iambic pentameter dialogue and have it be rich and sexy. Her last work, Rage (2009) is arguably her most technically challenging, filmed and designed to be watched on mobile phones.
Her new film, which she calls her most accessible to date, takes us back to London in the late 1950s, and two teenage girls coming-of-age during the cold war and the sexual revolution. Even so, Potter watched over 1,500 YouTube video auditions to cast the lead roles, which went to Elle Fanning and Alice Englert. The rest of the cast is pretty impressive, and includes Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening, Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt.
Many directors have told stories based around their own childhood impressions of their personal and the wider world, and Potter's previous work shows an uncanny ability to reveal the most raw, sensuous, and angry parts of the human heart. Hopefully we'll be seeing this new work at a festival soon.