Madelaine Byford first fell in love with film at A-Level, making smug remarks on Melies and Hitchcock and genuinely believing that she was the first to come up with them. Since then, she has studied screenwriting with the BFI, appeared in some terrible student film productions, fallen asleep on a pile of cinematography books in the UCL Library and started writing her first screenplay for the BBC. She hopes to bore people with her opinions on the mise-en-scene in classical film for many years to come.
Her favourite dirty movie is The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014). The palette for the mise-en-scene and the blend between shots in diagonals and smooth, straight lines echoes the novelesque narrative and the rigidity of a lost era. The dialogue is beautifully crafted between absurdist humour to deep pathos. It’s as if Vladimir Nabokov got incredibly high and decided to write a short novel about a hotelier he met many years earlier.
She believes that a good film never tries to be its source material: a film is a personal dream beaten to death by investors, and trying to shoehorn in the novelist’s vision seldom ends well. It’s a truly beautiful film in it’s own right that captures the silliness and sadness of the human being.