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David Hare: Screenwriters' Lecture

20 December 2011

Watch the video of David Hare (The Hours, The Reader) speaking as part of the 2011 BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture Series on BAFTA Guru.

Moving into feature film after a successful career in theatre, Hare wrote and directed Wetherby (1985), an award-winning drama about the mysterious death of an enigmatic young man. He also wrote and directed Paris By Night (1988), in which a politician makes a deadly choice when threatened with a scandal, and adapted Josephine Hart’s novel Damage (1992), about an MP’s passionate affair with his son’s fiancée.

Most of the really interesting filmmaking going on at the moment is either reinventing genre completely or working outside genre... breaking genre up.

His recent work includes two adaptations for Stephen Daldry. The Hours (2002) explored the effect of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway on three generations of women, whilst The Reader (2008) saw a law student in post-WWII Germany re-encountering his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

In the full video, available to watch now on BAFTA Guru, Hare talks about how a script's ending is crucial to its success - a theory that exposition-heavy Hollywood movies frequently ignore. He uses a selection of clips from his own work, as well as from Mad Men, to illustrate his ideas.