Naked | 1993
- Locations |
- DIRECTOR |
- Mike Leigh
One of his most problematic films, Mike Leigh’s bitter comedy took Best Director and Best Actor (for David Thewlis) at Cannes in 1993.
For all the self-lacerating rage and self-loathing, there’s no getting away from the fact that the central character, Johnny, is essentially a rapist. It’s a towering performance, though, by Thewlis that makes the movie – and compensates for a paint-by-numbers yuppie character who seems to be pasted in as an afterthought to demonstrate that, yes, the middle classes can be monsters too.
33 St Mark’s Rise, off Downs Park Road, Dalston E8, is the house where sardonic Mancunian misanthrope Johnny holes up. (rail: Dalston Kingsland).
It’s in the doorway of Lina Stores Ltd, 18 Brewer Street, Soho, that Johnny comes across twitchy Scots drifter Archie (Ewen Bremner) .
The tiny greasy spoon (café), ostensibly in the ‘West End’, where Johnny meets the waitress (Gina McKee), was 14a Winchester Walk, south of the Thames in Southwark. Times change, and it’s now smartened up, grown a covered terrace and morphed into The Rake which, while claiming to be the smallest bar in London, nevertheless boasts a range of over 100 different bottled beers. Winchester Walk also stood in for the ‘West End’ for An American Werewolf In London.
Ariel House, 74a Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, is the “post-modernist gas chamber” where Johnny speculates on increasingly paranoid philosophical concepts with the obsessive security guard (Peter Wight). Behind the block is the flat of lonely Deborah MacLaren, where Johnny pops over for a bout of sex.
On the corner of Caledonian Road and Twyford Street, northeast of King’s Cross Station, Johnny gets a savage kicking from the bill-poster at the film's downbeat conclusion.