January 26, 2010

SUNDANCE '10 PODCAST: Chris Morris ("Four Lions")

FOUR LIONS co-writer and director Chris Morris

From radio to television and now feature films, Chris Morris has amassed an impressive body of work in the UK as a trenchant writer, director, actor and prankster. Perhaps best known for his current-affairs TV satires Brass Eye and The Day Today (the latter co-created with In the Loop director Armando Iannucci and featuring Steve Coogan's befuddled host Alan Partridge), Morris was more recently seen as managerial madman Denholm Reynholm in The IT Crowd. Premiering at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, his directorial feature debut Four Lions has been brewing some oh-no-you-didn't controversy:

Could there be a more hot-button topic than terrorism these days? Although it is historically the subject of serious documentaries and intense dramatic films, renowned British comedian Chris Morris finds the humor (and ultimately the humanity) in this extremist world. Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that—while terrorism is about ideology—it can also be about idiots.
Morris agreed to do only one other interview at Sundance besides GreenCine Daily, so I wanted to make sure politics didn't smother our conversation since—unlike Sacha Baron Cohen, who was able to shield himself from questions about Borat's anti-Semetic humor since he's Jewish—Morris risks people belaboring his intentions over what's clearly a lampoon. We discussed his brilliant new film, the real-life absurdities he discovered in his research, his 2007 lashing-out at novelist Martin Amis on the topic of Muslims, and the most trouble he's ever gotten into for a joke.

To listen to the podcast, click here. (16:02)

Podcast Music
INTRO: tUnE-yArDs: "Lions"
OUTRO: Braintax: "The Grip Again (A Day in the Life of a Suicide Bomber)"

[Four Lions screens again at Sundance on January 28 and 29. For more info, please visit the festival website.]

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Posted by ahillis at January 26, 2010 1:38 PM


Thanks for the podcast. Looking forward to his film.

Posted by: Steve at January 27, 2010 8:23 PM

Great Podcast!! I've been waiting years for this!!

Posted by: at February 10, 2010 5:42 AM
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