Naked


2h 11m 1993

Brief Synopsis

A man abandons Manchester for his ex-girlfriend and the streets of London.

Film Details

Also Known As
Naken
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Black Comedy
Release Date
1993
Production Company
British Screen Finance; Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Film4 Productions; Filmfour International; First Independent Films; Thin Man Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Fine Line Features; Channel 4; Fine Line Features; First Independent Films; New Line Home Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 11m

Synopsis

A man abandons Manchester for his ex-girlfriend and the streets of London.

Crew

Chris Allies

Title Designer

Sue Baker

Dubbing Editor

Christine Blundell

Makeup Artist

Mike Carter

Location Assistant

Kirstin Chalmers

Assistant Makeup

Simon Channing-williams

Producer

Alison Chitty

Production Designer

Derek Creedon

Stand-By Prop

John Davies

Other

John Davies

Other

Andrew Dickinson

Music

Martin Duncan

Bestboy

Trisha Edwards

Production Buyer

Stephanie Faugier

Production Coordinator

Douglas Glenn

Props Pick-Up

Jon Gregory

Editor

Tommy Hamilton

Props

Loveday Harding

Boom Operator

Lindy Hemming

Costume Designer

Zerlina Hughes

Assistant Director

Guy Hunt

Stand-By Carpenter

Piero Jamieson

Stand-By Prop

Neil Lee

Location Manager

Mike Leigh

Screenwriter

Sharon Long

Wardrobe Supervisor

Georgina Lowe

Production Manager

Tommy Lowen

Other

Kate Mackenzie

1st Assistant Editor

Peter Maxwell

Dubbing Mixer

Simon Mein

Stills Photographer

Mark Mostyn

Location Manager

Nick Orlande

Carpenter

David Owen

Electrician

Chris Palmer

Other

Susie Parriss

Casting

John Parsons

Gaffer

Imogen Pollard

Foley Editor

Dick Pope

Camera Operator

Dick Pope

Director Of Photography

Dick Pope

Dp/Cinematographer

Steve Potts

Other

Tom Read

Art Department Assistant

Josh Robertson

3rd Assistant Director

Rupert Ryle-hodges

1st Assistant Director

Hank Schumaker

Construction Manager

Ian Seymour

2nd Assistant Editor

Toby Sherborne

2nd Assistant Director

Andy Shuttleworth

Steadicam Operator

Christopher Simon

Assistant Accountant

Simon Starling

Other

Patty Stern

Casting

Eve Stewart

Art Director

Heather Storr

Script Supervisor

Colin Strachan

Camera Grip

Claudine Sturdy

Producer'S Assistant

Garry Turnbull

Other

Will Tyler

Production Accountant

Reg Wheeler

Dressing Props

Steve Wheeler

Property Master

Film Details

Also Known As
Naken
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Black Comedy
Release Date
1993
Production Company
British Screen Finance; Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Film4 Productions; Filmfour International; First Independent Films; Thin Man Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Fine Line Features; Channel 4; Fine Line Features; First Independent Films; New Line Home Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 11m

Articles

Mike Leigh's Naked on DVD


Film reviewers are evenly divided between those who can't stand Mike Leigh and those who think he's the best thing happening in the British cinema. Naked is about the kinds of people left behind by social progress as the nation nears the 21st century, a permanent underclass no longer trying to compete in the system and incapable of seeing any good in the world. His main character Johnny is a selfish scavenger who gets by on his charm and wits while continually expounding his bitter theories to all who will listen. Johnny's existence is a perpetual present-tense hustle, even though he lectures a man for five minutes on his theory that the present does not exist, as it is just the future continually becoming the past.

Synopsis: Vagrant Johnny (David Thewlis) runs from Manchester to take shelter with Louise Clancy (Lesley Sharp), an old girlfriend now living in London. A voracious reader, Johnny never spends more than a few hours in one place and is constitutionally motivated to provoke and disturb people. When Louise comes home, she finds Johnny already getting cozy with her roommate, the needy Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge). But he soon tires of them both and starts 'doing the town': Haunting the streets to find various other indigents and teen runaways to regale with his unending stream of opinions and philosophy. A long encounter with Brian, a lonely security guard (Peer Wight) leads him to a woman who undresses in a window (Deborah MacLaren) and a potentially interesting girl in a café (Gina McKee). Meanwhile, Louise's abusive landlord Jeremy Smart (Greg Cruttwell) installs himself in her apartment, demanding sexual favors from the demoralized Sophie. The main tenant Sandra (Claire Skinner) is due home soon ...

At one point in his travels Johnny finds a copy of Homer's The Odyssey and it becomes clear that Mike Leigh's aim is to create a portrait of modern Man lost and searching for his way home. Instead of struggling against outside dangers, Johnny rails against the world and everything in it, reserving an especially vile attitude for those who dare attempt to be cheerful in his presence.

Johnny is bearable as a protagonist only because Naked sticks with him long enough for us to appreciate his compexity. Johnny is pathologically gregarious. He strikes up conversations with anyone who will listen, and anyone who listens becomes an immediate target for his criticism and scorn. Johnny is both intelligent and articulate - when he goes on five-minute rants about the impending apocalypse or the pointlessness of the space program, he actually has plenty to say. If only the world Johnny holds in so much contempt was worthy of his wisdom. He's forever on the run, looking for an easy mark while avoiding becoming a victim of the streets.

In one strangely poetic episode, Johnny delivers his entire philosophy of conspiracies and the apocalypse to a lonely security guard he accompanies through an empty, immaculate office building. He's wholly convinced of his intellectual superiority and glowing with an idealism that emerges only when he's arguing some abstract point of logic. The obvious therapy for this man is to get him a website to create a blog opinion page.

Naked's character relationships are almost completely dysfunctional. Johnny finds his way to the apartment of his former lover Louise, seduces her roommate Sophie and then sulks when Louise returns wondering what's going on. He's not interested in committing himself to anyone and lashes out at any attempt by others to establish meaningful contact. Yet he's capable of extending feelers of tenderness and compassion when he needs company. Sophie is emotionally defenseless under her tough lady act but Johnny couldn't care less. He frequently becomes hostile during lovemaking, turning consentual sex into something akin to rape. As the film doesn't openly condemn or punish this behavior, Naked was charged by several critics as condoning it.

Johnny only picks on women too weak to resist his teasing come-ons ("I guess you think I'm too cheeky, eh?"). Louise has invested a certain amount of affection in him, and poor Sophie falls head over heels. Neither of them can defuse his essential rage. They're so empty and desperate that they fool themselves into thinking he'll blossom into something worthwhile.

As if Mike Leigh's bleak outlook needed darkening, a secondary plot thread introduces Jeremy Smart, a truly hateful misogynist and sexual thug who asserts his manhood by humiliating and insulting his dates in public, and abusing them in bed. He's Louise's landlord, and when Sophie runs into him at the apartment, she caves in to his demands for sexual favors simply because he expects them. The only stand on principle taken by any of the harassed characters is when Louise makes the landlord back down by threatening to castrate him with a carving knife. Compared to Smart, Johnny is a bon vivant.

One has to be a patient individual or particularly interested in outlaw characters to see that Mike Leigh's film is more than a just a scattershot condemnation of the quality life for English have-nots. Restless and searching, Johnny's mean little lifestyle is a rebellion against everything, a slacker's refusal to play the game. His women yearn to form relationships or to at least find a little peace of mind, but Johnny isn't having any. He's the mirror image of society reduced to one man - selfish, aggressive and aloof to anyone's needs but his own.

Criterion's DVD of Naked is a stunning enhanced transfer shot in an intriguing style by Dick Pope. It resembles an early 70s grunge look but without the excessive grain, and with far better color.

The extras arranged by disc producer Kate Elmore examine the film from several angles. The first disc offers Leigh, David Thewlis and Katrin Cartlidge on a full-length commentary, and the original trailer that affects an art-house sell. Disc two has a BBC television show with author Will Self interviewing Leigh at length in a London pub. And director Neil LaBute analyzes Naked in a new interview featurette.

An extra short film is Mike Leigh's 1987 The Short and Curlies, a comedy that shows David Thewlis in an earlier and lighter mode. An insert booklet has thoughtful essays on Naked by film critics Derek Malcolm and Amy Taubin.

For more information about Naked, visit the Criterion Collection. To order Naked, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
Mike Leigh's Naked On Dvd

Mike Leigh's Naked on DVD

Film reviewers are evenly divided between those who can't stand Mike Leigh and those who think he's the best thing happening in the British cinema. Naked is about the kinds of people left behind by social progress as the nation nears the 21st century, a permanent underclass no longer trying to compete in the system and incapable of seeing any good in the world. His main character Johnny is a selfish scavenger who gets by on his charm and wits while continually expounding his bitter theories to all who will listen. Johnny's existence is a perpetual present-tense hustle, even though he lectures a man for five minutes on his theory that the present does not exist, as it is just the future continually becoming the past. Synopsis: Vagrant Johnny (David Thewlis) runs from Manchester to take shelter with Louise Clancy (Lesley Sharp), an old girlfriend now living in London. A voracious reader, Johnny never spends more than a few hours in one place and is constitutionally motivated to provoke and disturb people. When Louise comes home, she finds Johnny already getting cozy with her roommate, the needy Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge). But he soon tires of them both and starts 'doing the town': Haunting the streets to find various other indigents and teen runaways to regale with his unending stream of opinions and philosophy. A long encounter with Brian, a lonely security guard (Peer Wight) leads him to a woman who undresses in a window (Deborah MacLaren) and a potentially interesting girl in a café (Gina McKee). Meanwhile, Louise's abusive landlord Jeremy Smart (Greg Cruttwell) installs himself in her apartment, demanding sexual favors from the demoralized Sophie. The main tenant Sandra (Claire Skinner) is due home soon ... At one point in his travels Johnny finds a copy of Homer's The Odyssey and it becomes clear that Mike Leigh's aim is to create a portrait of modern Man lost and searching for his way home. Instead of struggling against outside dangers, Johnny rails against the world and everything in it, reserving an especially vile attitude for those who dare attempt to be cheerful in his presence. Johnny is bearable as a protagonist only because Naked sticks with him long enough for us to appreciate his compexity. Johnny is pathologically gregarious. He strikes up conversations with anyone who will listen, and anyone who listens becomes an immediate target for his criticism and scorn. Johnny is both intelligent and articulate - when he goes on five-minute rants about the impending apocalypse or the pointlessness of the space program, he actually has plenty to say. If only the world Johnny holds in so much contempt was worthy of his wisdom. He's forever on the run, looking for an easy mark while avoiding becoming a victim of the streets. In one strangely poetic episode, Johnny delivers his entire philosophy of conspiracies and the apocalypse to a lonely security guard he accompanies through an empty, immaculate office building. He's wholly convinced of his intellectual superiority and glowing with an idealism that emerges only when he's arguing some abstract point of logic. The obvious therapy for this man is to get him a website to create a blog opinion page. Naked's character relationships are almost completely dysfunctional. Johnny finds his way to the apartment of his former lover Louise, seduces her roommate Sophie and then sulks when Louise returns wondering what's going on. He's not interested in committing himself to anyone and lashes out at any attempt by others to establish meaningful contact. Yet he's capable of extending feelers of tenderness and compassion when he needs company. Sophie is emotionally defenseless under her tough lady act but Johnny couldn't care less. He frequently becomes hostile during lovemaking, turning consentual sex into something akin to rape. As the film doesn't openly condemn or punish this behavior, Naked was charged by several critics as condoning it. Johnny only picks on women too weak to resist his teasing come-ons ("I guess you think I'm too cheeky, eh?"). Louise has invested a certain amount of affection in him, and poor Sophie falls head over heels. Neither of them can defuse his essential rage. They're so empty and desperate that they fool themselves into thinking he'll blossom into something worthwhile. As if Mike Leigh's bleak outlook needed darkening, a secondary plot thread introduces Jeremy Smart, a truly hateful misogynist and sexual thug who asserts his manhood by humiliating and insulting his dates in public, and abusing them in bed. He's Louise's landlord, and when Sophie runs into him at the apartment, she caves in to his demands for sexual favors simply because he expects them. The only stand on principle taken by any of the harassed characters is when Louise makes the landlord back down by threatening to castrate him with a carving knife. Compared to Smart, Johnny is a bon vivant. One has to be a patient individual or particularly interested in outlaw characters to see that Mike Leigh's film is more than a just a scattershot condemnation of the quality life for English have-nots. Restless and searching, Johnny's mean little lifestyle is a rebellion against everything, a slacker's refusal to play the game. His women yearn to form relationships or to at least find a little peace of mind, but Johnny isn't having any. He's the mirror image of society reduced to one man - selfish, aggressive and aloof to anyone's needs but his own. Criterion's DVD of Naked is a stunning enhanced transfer shot in an intriguing style by Dick Pope. It resembles an early 70s grunge look but without the excessive grain, and with far better color. The extras arranged by disc producer Kate Elmore examine the film from several angles. The first disc offers Leigh, David Thewlis and Katrin Cartlidge on a full-length commentary, and the original trailer that affects an art-house sell. Disc two has a BBC television show with author Will Self interviewing Leigh at length in a London pub. And director Neil LaBute analyzes Naked in a new interview featurette. An extra short film is Mike Leigh's 1987 The Short and Curlies, a comedy that shows David Thewlis in an earlier and lighter mode. An insert booklet has thoughtful essays on Naked by film critics Derek Malcolm and Amy Taubin. For more information about Naked, visit the Criterion Collection. To order Naked, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

David Thewlis was named best actor by the National Society of Film Critics (1993).

David Thewlis was named best actor by the New York Film Critics Circle (1993).

David Thewlis was named best British actor by the London Film Critics Circle (1993).

David Thewlis won in the best actor category at the Evening Standard British Film Awards (1993).

Nominated for a 1993 Spirit Award by the Independent Feature Project/West for best foreign film.

Released in United States August 1993

Released in United States December 16, 1993

Released in United States October 1993

Released in United States on Video June 29, 1994

Released in United States September 1993

Released in United States September 1996

Released in United States Winter December 15, 1993

Shown at Boston Film Festival September 13-23, 1993.

Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival (closing night) August 14-29, 1993.

Shown at MIFED in Milan October 24-29, 1993.

Shown at New York Film Festival October 1-17, 1993.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 9-18, 1993.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival October 1-17, 1993.

After marking his debut with "Bleak Moments" (Great Britain/1971), Leigh took a 17-year hiatus from feature filmmaking, working almost exclusively for British television (he's also an acclaimed stage director) before receiving international attention for "High Hopes" (Great Britain/1988).

Began shooting September 21, 1992.

Completed shooting December 16, 1992.

Thin Man Films is director Mike Leigh's production company.

Released in United States on Video June 29, 1994

Released in United States August 1993 (Shown at Edinburgh International Film Festival (closing night) August 14-29, 1993.)

Released in United States September 1993 (Shown at Boston Film Festival September 13-23, 1993.)

Released in United States September 1993 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (Contemporary World Cinema) September 9-18, 1993.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.)

Released in United States October 1993 (Shown at MIFED in Milan October 24-29, 1993.)

Released in United States October 1993 (Shown at New York Film Festival October 1-17, 1993.)

Released in United States September 1993 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival September 3-6, 1993.)

Released in United States December 16, 1993 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States Winter December 15, 1993

Released in United States October 1993 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival October 1-17, 1993.)