Letter: Lunch with Michael Winner

Publié le par The Guardian - Brian Baxter

The Guardianpublished 22/01/2013 at 14:08 GMT by Brian Baxter

Those who had dealings with Michael Winner over the years invariably came away with a new tale to tell, perpetuating his notoriety. My first encounter with him was when a colleague and I visited his production company, Scimitar Films, in Sackville Street, central London, to discuss his forthcoming discussion on stage at the National Film Theatre.

Michael Winner
We entered to a swath of smoke, with Michael genially puffing on a fat Havana, feet up on his huge desk, in a smartly decorated office with – among other niceties – an Elisabeth Frink sculpture. It was the lair of a mini movie mogul.

Formalities over, he suggested lunch and we were ushered into his gleaming, black Rolls-Royce, which purred gently down the street, turning left into Piccadilly and then into the tiny Air Street, where it stopped outside a Spanish restaurant. He told his chauffeur to return in a couple of hours and the car moved 100 yards or so before parking outside 6 Sackville Street, the office of Scimitar Films.

I recalled Buster Keaton in the 1924 film The Navigator, getting into his car and telling the driver to take him to the large house opposite. He later emerges despondently and tells the waiting driver that he will walk home as he feels like some exercise. With Keaton it was genuinely comic, but whenever I met Winner again I could never take him as seriously as he took himself.

Publié dans Articles de Presse

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