Grit and Glamour: Inspiring Pretty Red Dress

Dionne Edwards and Georgia Goggin select the inspirations behind their acclaimed debut feature, Pretty Red Dress.

I wanted Pretty Red Dress to be joyful, symphonic and exhilarating as well as grounded, raw, and truthful. While making the film we came up with the term ‘Grit and Glamour,’ because in many ways they are opposites, yet strangely harmonious when placed together intentionally. The following films selected for this programme served as inspiration in their grit, glamour and authenticity - even their imperfections.

Dionne Edwards, writer and director.

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Documentary2021118 minsDirector: Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin

Classic live footage and engaging interviews create a powerful film that celebrates icon Tina Turner's tumultuous career.

"This is a captivating portrait of the legend that is Tina Turner, looking back at her challenges and also celebrating her legacy. Her influence in pop culture is second to none and without her, Pretty Red Dress wouldn’t exist. "

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Alice Doesn't Live Here AnymoreAlice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Drama1974107 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed fourth feature famously won Ellen Burstyn an Academy Award for Best Actress.

"A great character piece centered around a single mother called Alice played brilliantly by Ellen Burstyn. There’s such a spectrum of tone and dynamics; from outright brutality and sadness to comedy and joy. The camera style in this film was very engaging – it is intentionally designed, yet feels free flowing and unrefined. This contributes to the emotional resonance and authenticity."

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Drama1967111 minsDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni's arthouse classic about a stylish photographer (David Hemmings) who finds something disturbing in his snaps.

"Blowup by Michelangelo Antonioni, though not a direct influence, was a film I watched a lot around the preparation of Pretty Red Dress. It is a sensory feast and cinematic experience that revels its mysteries and allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions. "

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Drama200899 minsDirector: Noel Clarke

After being released from prison following a murder charge, Sam Peel (Noel Clarke) attempts to reboot his life and seek redemption.

"Sequel to the highly regarded Kidulthood; this was one of the defining black British gangster films of the noughties. It’s another one of those films that features a black man attempting to avoid being dragged back into his old life of crime. Hard hitting, violent and fast, this is a British classic that captures a distinct moment in time."

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20 Feet from Stardom20 Feet from Stardom

Documentary201387 minsDirector: Morgan Neville

This moving documentary shines a spotlight on the backing singers behind some of the great musical hits of the 21st century.

"An enthralling celebration of back up singers who never quite ‘made it’. The film centers on the predicament of having unquestionable talent against the slim chance of actually achieving stardom – something Candice wrestles with in Pretty Red Dress. Featuring talents such as Claudia Lennear from The Ikettes and Darlene Love from The Crystals."

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Pretty Red Dress

Chart-topping singer and West End actor Alexandra Burke stars in this stunning debut feature from Dionne Edwards.