Edgar Wright’s "dazzling" Last Night in Soho recently premiered at the Venice film festival, and it marks something of a change of pace for the celebrated British director behind Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver.
His latest feature – following hot on the heels of his music documentary The Sparks Brothers (opens in new tab) – plays out over dual timelines. In the present day, fashion student Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) heads to London, but in her dreams she’s intoxicated by visions of singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), who was exploring the same Soho locations in the 1960s.
In the new issue of the magazine, Total Film (opens in new tab) goes on set of Wright’s long-gestating passion project – which he co-scripted with Krysty Wilson-Cairns – to delve deep into the mystery. Below, you can see some exclusive imagery featured in the magazine, with McKenzie and Taylor-Joy photographed by Frank Ockenfels in a neon-drenched shoot. There’s also an exclusive still from the film featuring McKenzie’s Eloise. Check them out below:
Wright has been sitting on the idea of Last Night in Soho for almost a decade, letting it quietly percolate as he made The World’s End and Baby Driver. The movie in his head offered him the chance to embrace his love of horror, most notably psychological, emotional genre films like Repulsion and Don’t Look Now, and, equally importantly, British dramas of the 1960s.
"They’re always interesting as a time capsule," Wright tells Total Film (opens in new tab). "And there’s a particular subgenre of these cautionary-tale movies, usually written by men, which are about women coming to the big city, and wanting to be a star, and being roundly punished for the temerity of wanting to succeed."
Taylor-Joy was originally lined up to play Eloise, though by the time the film entered production, it was clear that she was a better fit for Sandie. "Anya is such a chameleon," says Wright. "There’s what she’s like on film, and then also what she’s like when you see her in a fashion spread or on a red carpet."
For McKenzie, soaking up ’60s cinema was only one aspect of the research for Eloise. "I was constantly listening to the film’s playlist, and when I was still in Wellington, I spent a lot of time with one of the head teachers at the fashion school," she tells Total Film (opens in new tab). "She taught me how to sew, and how to sketch different designs. I made a couple of clothing items, and did a lot of drawing in my Ellie notebook."
Last Night in Soho will play as a Headline Gala at the BFI London Film Festival on October 9, before opening in cinemas in the UK and US on October 29.
For much more from Wright, McKenzie, Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine (opens in new tab), when it hits shelves this Thursday, September 16, featuring not one but FOUR Eternals covers to collect:(opens in new tab)
And if you’re a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe (opens in new tab) so that you never miss an issue? You’ll also get it before it’s in shops, and you’ll get exclusive subscriber-only covers like the Eternals one you can see below. With our current subscription offer at MagazinesDirect (opens in new tab), you’ll get the magazine half price too, so what are you waiting for?(opens in new tab)