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My Life as a Witch

Aprile 2006
Emma Thompson ci racconta com’è entrata nei panni (orrendi) di Nanny McPhee, novella Mary Poppins alle prese con sette pesti scatenate.
File audio:

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson

Speaker: Rachel Roberts (Standard British accent)

Emma Thompson plays the title role in the film Nanny McPhee, which received its Italian release on April 7th. She also wrote the screenplay and was the person mainly responsible for bringing the project to life.  She explains how she first had the idea for the film:

Emma Thompson (Standard British accent):

Where it all began was with a dusting session in my house about 10 years ago, when I was doing the shelves in my telly room, which is all lined with books – stupidly, really, ‘cause nobody reads the books, they watch the telly ‘cause it’s the telly room – and I took out this tiny little book and I thought, “Oh, I remember that book from when I was little.” It was called Nurse Matilda, it was by Christianna Brand, and I looked at the illustration on the front, which was particularly lovely, by a man called Edward Ardizzone, who did a lot of illustrating for children, he was... a wonderful artist, so I sat down and read it and thought, “Hum, I think there’s something about this that might make a good film.”

the Director

Nanny McPhee is a witch-like governess who is given the task of looking after seven particularly badly behaved children. Colin Firth plays their widowed father, Mr. Brown, and Angela Lansbury their scary Aunt Adelaide. The film is directed by Kirk Jones, who is best known for the splendid 1998 comedy, Waking Ned:

Kirk Jones (Standard British accent):

I wanted this to be a very colourful, bright film and I think the reason for that was that I looked back to my own childhood and looked to the family films that I enjoyed at that time and undoubtedly Mary Poppins was one of them, but also films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Bedknobs and Broomsticks also kind of came to mind and I looked back at those films and I realised that  they were incredibly colourful. Some of them were actually shot in technicolor, but if they weren’t, there was something about technicolor and very bright strong colours that we all enjoy from… you know, whenever we sit down and watch a movie on a Sunday afternoon, there’s something about technicolor, very bright colours which enable a story to transfer very easily into its own world and to create its own world.

Emma Thompson has the final word:

Emma Thompson:

We were lucky enough – well, I mean, I had nothing to do with it – but Kirk has this wonderful designer he’s worked with before called Michael Howells, who’s a genius, I think actually, (a) bit of a visual genius. And Michael created this world of extraordinary colours, I mean, Mr. Brown’s study is green, but I mean it’s the green of absinthe – or not even absinthe, actually, ‘cause I think that’s a bit creme de menthey – but it’s just a green that you... you walk in and you go… “Oh!” you know, it...  was so powerful and when I walked onto the set of the children’s bedroom, I just started to cry because every single toy was an antique, all of the toys had been loved by children possibly now dead.


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Glossary

screenplay - sceneggiatura.

dusting session - un momento in cui stavo spolverando.

shelves - scaffali.

telly room - stanza della televisione.

lined - foderata.

tiny - minuscolo.

witch-like governess - governante dall’aspetto di una strega.

the task of looking after - il compito di sorvegliare.

badly behaved - maleducati.

scary - che fa paura.

Waking Ned - tit. ital., Svegliati Ned.

bright - vivace.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - tit. ital.  Pomi d’ottone e manici di scopa.

absinthe - assenzio.

creme de menthey - tipo creme de menthe.

an antique - un pezzo d’antiquariato.