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Cult Vault #40: Ulrich Seidl on Naked

Ulrich Seidl picks Mike Leigh's film Naked and reveals the similarities between them both

Taken from the August 2013 issue of Dazed & Confused:

Austrian director Ulrich Seidl releases Paradise: Hope, the last in his Paradise trilogy, next month. As before, grotesque moments and black humour abound over the course of the movie, 

in which a teenage daughter pursues a not-unrequited infatuation with a doctor at diet camp. Seidl’s next project is likely to be controversial: a documentary about Austrians and their basements. “The cellar represents the subconscious,” he says, “a place of fear and darkness, crime and violence.” For Dazed’s Cult Vault, Seidl has selected Mike Leigh’s 1993 classic Naked for its unflinching portrayal of social ills. Shot in London, it captured the era’s Thatcherite depression and rootless cynicism through the story of 27-year-old antihero Johnny (David Thewlis), a nasty, nihilistic, dark-coated Mancunian who commits rape then flees to grimy Dalston to seek refuge with an ex. 

Naked is an existential look at the psychology of outsiders hunting for dignity in their lives. Like Leigh, I’m interested in violence between men and women. We both try to mirror the moral situation of the times.” 

Paradise: Hope is out on August 2