With a list of directors like Steven Spielberg, Lynne Ramsay, Jim Sheridan, Harmony Korine, Anton Corbjin, Charlie Kaufman and Michael Winterbottom on her resume, actress Samantha Morton certainly had more than enough experience to draw upon when venturing out for her own directorial debut “The Unloved.” Premiering way back in 2009 at TIFF, the made-for-Brit-TV movie stars Molly Windsor, Robert Carlyle and Susan Lynch and tells the story of a young girl plucked from her abusive parents and placed into woefully inadequate government care. We caught the film at MIFF last year and called it “a compelling work of cinematic activism.” And while it unfortunately never got picked up for a theatrical release, it heads to DVD next Tuesday and Morton is doing the rounds to promote her movie.
“It’s just a very honest portrayal of what it is like for children in the care system in the UK,” she told the AV Club. “In fact, it’s a lot worse now. It hasn’t gotten any better. It’s horrific for children. In this country, they spend more on their prisoners. They can spend over £3,500 a week making sure prisoners, certainly pedophile prisoners, are given their own cells, given Sky TV, they have exercise rights, they get education. I mean, these are people who are imprisoned for the most horrific crimes. The human rights here are amazing, how people are treated. Yet the children, who often have done absolutely nothing other than being abandoned or abused, are neglected, are treated in a horrific fashion. So to me, it was a real social statement.” Sounds like a tough movie, and while Morton decides what she’ll direct next, she’ll take on a easier gig in the interim.
“I’m just hopefully going to do a short film with the band The Kills. A music video for them,” she said. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the music scene lately, The Kills are singer Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince and they do some grimy, lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll. No word yet on what tune Morton will direct, but considering that band have a new album, Blood Pressures, in stores now we’d guess we’ll see her work soon enough.
Morton is currently shooting David Cronenberg‘s “Cosmopolis” and will next appear in the sci-fi spectacle “John Carter.”