The second day of the Festival opened with Mike Leigh's film. The press conference was attended by Mike Leigh, Timothy Spall and the actresses Dorothy Atkinson and Marion Bailey. The Director of Photography Dick Pope was also present, as was the Producer Georgina Lowe. Selected highlights.
Mike Leigh on Turner's life: "He was a great, sublime radical painter. I found it possible to generate plenty of interesting content from the life of this fascinating man. A director must feel a certain empathy towards his subject. Turner's life was hard, and I certainly feel that empathy."
Timothy Spall also spoke of his preparatory work: "In order not to come across as ridiculous on screen, I took some time - two years in fact - to learn to draw and paint. I worked on his emotions. His relationship with his mother left its scars on his heart and he was totally dysfunctional in emotional terms, particularly with women."
Mike Leigh on the historical accuracy of the film: "I had already worked on a film that took place in Victorian times. There was a responsibility to create a historical truth. But there was also the need to create the character for the film. So we did research and went through all that wonderful documentation. But there was no script, as usual!"
Photographer Dick Pope on the use of light in the film: "We found that superb light in Cornwall... it was a summer dominated by the best possible light for the film."
Reported by Hannah Benayoun