Foyle, the master of brevity, knows when he’s said enough to bring the guilty party to his knees.
And Michael Kitchen knows how to use his incomparable mouth shrug and eyes to maximum effect.Continue reading
Goodbye, Mr. Foyle.
John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” but, I’d argue, that Foyle comes as close to proving him wrong as any fictional character and MK played that perfectly.
This is inspired. Thank you for sharing, KT. In light of your comment, I particularly got a kick out of this New Yorker cartoon. →
Created and written almost entirely by bestselling novelist Anthony Horowitz, “Foyle’s War” is the Mona Lisa of television: small, quiet, utterly hypnotic and mysteriously perfect.
A small and often silent man, as kind as he is morally rigorous, Foyle stands guard over basic humanity as the whirlwind of war and modernity threatens to uproot the good with the bad. Year after year, he has been brought to vivid vibrant life by Kitchen, an actor of rare and controlled brilliance. Each season, he gave the performance of a hundred lifetimes while appearing to do little more than shrug off his coat, bite his lip and refuse endless offers of tea.
…the final episode of the series, “Elise,” is what the American-based Acorn TV, which has co-produced the series since its return, will submit in all the relevant television movie categories — some of which it better win, despite the low-key nature of its radiance and, perhaps more significant, the famous long-standing refusal of its leading man to do any publicity.
Neither should matter at all if the awards are truly about excellence.
Kivrin has written a lovely Foyle vignette that picks up after this final scene.Continue reading
Michael Kitchen is all sun-kissed gorgeousness and gentlemanly charm as Berkeley Cole in Out of Africa.Continue reading
Michael Kitchen makes even the most mundane dialogue interesting to watch.
A Times critic put it another way (Nov. 29, 2003):
“…Michael Kitchen — an actor capable of making even the most banal dialogue sound as if Chekhov had written it.”Continue reading
Mr. Kitchen is possibly the eighth wonder of the world. Never flashy … but nevertheless the center of every frame in which he appears. – hikari
From John Powers’s review of Foyle’s War on NPR:
What makes the whole thing irresistible is Michael Kitchen’s enthralling performance as Foyle, who, in his reticence, sly humor and triumphant decency, is our fantasy of the ideal Englishman.
Beautiful Michael Kitchen/Richard Crane.
Thank you KF, you always make my day! Perhaps Reckless should have been titled Breathless? At least that’s how MK playing Richard Crane leaves me feeling. ;- )
Seems we do a good job of making each other’s day. Completely agree about that feeling of breathlessness MK brings on whenever he appears in Reckless. 🙂
Nope, I wouldn’t either, Richard.Continue reading
Another one of the gorgeous closeup shots of Michael Kitchen from A Lesson in Murder. ****Continue reading
Freud reminisces about happier times when von Fleischl generously picked up the tab and took him under his wing. Even a big, bushy beard can’t hide the adorableness of Michael Kitchen’s smile that’s replicated the following year in Out of Africa.Continue reading
Having an actor as gifted and exacting as Michael Kitchen interpret one’s work is undoubtedly a huge boon to writers, but it’s not without its challenges as Anthony Horowitz has described in interviews:
Michael is as responsible as I am for the character of Foyle. Michael Kitchen has always been one of our most revered actors here in Britain. He had never done a long-running television series until Foyle’s War. The only reason he took it on, I think, was because I was able to persuade him that it wouldn’t just be a case of him getting a thud of an envelope through a door every two weeks with a new script; he would be very much part of the creative process. That is what we have done for nearly ten years. It’s not always been easy. Michael is very demanding. One of the funny things about him is that he’s the only actor I know who demands fewer lines. He’ll look at a speech and say to me, “Actually I can do all of that — five lines — with one look.” And the annoying thing is, he’s always right; he can — which means I have to write more dialogue for the other actors to fill out the episode. – PBS Q&A for Series 7
Curiously, he had never taken the lead in a long series. In part, this may have been down to his reputation for being ‘difficult’. …Was he difficult? He was certainly demanding – utterly focused on the character with a rigid determination to ensure that the integrity and the quality of the drama would never be compromised. Sometimes, he would cut or rewrite a scene hours before it was due to be filmed, and I won’t pretend that this wasn’t frustrating. But for him the performance was everything, and the result is there on the screen. I have no doubt at all that a huge part of the success of the show was down to Michael. – Daily Mail (Jan. 5, 2008)
Well, this just made my day. Many thanks, lucky owner of Foyle’s residence!Continue reading
Keith Barron also appeared with Michael Kitchen in Home Run, which along with Benefactors, makes me wish I had a time machine to transport me to England circa 1989.Continue reading
Newly listed on eBay, a press photo of Michael Kitchen as Michael Faraday in Faraday’s Dream.Continue reading
(Why was MK’s mirror image used on the DVD cover?)
Gorgeous Alibi production stills on Acorn Media’s pre-order page for the DVD.
The DVD runtime is 2.5 hours, so it seems Acorn’s release is the uncut version! It’s also in widescreen and hopefully remastered with better picture quality. Preview here.
From the New York Times, Nov. 13, 2017:
The infallible drama fodder of betrayal, love and murder gives this mini-series its edge.
If only a new Michael Kitchen project were being featured in the current NYTimes rather than a film that’s 14 years old. Sigh.Continue reading
My thoughts today as I cast my vote in a blue county amidst a sea of red. The destruction of all that’s good in this country by ignorant, corrupt white men needs to be stopped.Continue reading
Newly listed on eBay, a press photo of Michael Kitchen as Dick Foster, who joins a biker gang in Hell’s Angel (1971), one of the episodes in the first series of BBC’s Play for Today.
Excerpted from a review by Leonard Buckley for the Times, Jan. 22, 1971:
So if your adopted son takes to a motor cycle as Dick did, and becomes a Hell’s Angel you will think him a cuckoo in the nest. Though with his anti-glare glasses and his rearing handlebars he looks more like a praying mantis. And if you are the rich widow, Cynthia, doting on your real son, Conrad, you will find him an absolute menace.
But these are arbitrary attitudes. You, your politician friend, Sir Geoffrey, and the others of your generation are all intent on your own selfish conventions. Dick needs love. You are lonely. Conrad is delinquent. But nobody really communicates. And when the Hell’s Angel and his companions beat up your stately home during the dinner party from which you have excluded him, you tell your guests that it is the gardener’s son.
This was an engrossing bitch of a play in which Mr. Agnew exposed the generation gap, the social divisions of our times and much that was disquieting besides. Katharine Blake as Cynthia, Richard Morant as Conrad, Michael Kitchen as Dick and André Morell as Sir Geoffrey sustained the unlikeable characters they were given to complete conviction and Angharad Rees as the one honest girl among the hypocrites provided the right sounding-board for our conscience.
The same generation gap and social divisions that can be seen in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam.Continue reading
Actually, I’m not convinced Trump can read above a third-grade level, while key members of his administration are determined to keep their heads deeply buried in the sand as they wage war against science and the environment.Continue reading
Couldn’t resist after reading Frank Bruni’s New York Times op-ed,
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Makes the Heart Grow Fonder:
…she dwells without evident compunction in a gaudier fairyland of grander fictions. There’s no panic. No squeak. Just that repulsed expression, as if a foul odor had wafted in and she knew – just knew – that the culprit was CNN. …Sure, every administration indulges in self-serving narratives and laughable spin. But this administration takes both to perverse summits, and Sanders is its mountaineer extraordinaire.
From the somethingawful.com forum:
One of my favorite character actors is Michael Kitchen, now probably best known for playing Foyle in the Foyle’s War series, but he’s played villains, romantic leads, supporting grey-moraled characters, etc. and he always always turns his characters into real people living in the present moment. It’s like you can see him going through the process of making decisions (as the character), you can see him thinking and having mental revelations and shifting loyalties and all other sorts of dynamic internal processes that real people have in their daily lives. All of his body language and facial expressions seem like personal quirks of that particular character occurring organically in the moment, rather than gestures called for by the script.
I’ve never seen him be himself in an interview, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what the guy is like in real life because he so completely disappears into his roles and makes them feel like real, distinct, individual living people. Is he gregarious and charming? Is he quiet and cold? Who knows?
Also, take the character of Foyle for a moment — the character is emotionally very guarded and more cerebral. Michael Kitchen can be standing there with a poker face and (in-character) convey nothing, but to the audience, you somehow know exactly what’s going on in his head. He’s working on two levels.
Love this take on Michael Kitchen and his acting. I do hope we haven’t seen the last of his mastery on screen, as he seems to have vanished altogether of late. Wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, here’s hoping he’s enjoying a very happy birthday today.Continue reading
Acorn Online (@AcornMedia) October 31, 2017
I’ve never been one for astrology, but there just might be something in it…
The Element associated with Scorpio is Water. As opposed to the ‘roiling seas’ seen in other Water Signs, a better motto for Scorpios would be ‘still waters run deep.’ Those born under this sign are as emotional as their waterborne brethren, it’s just that they’re not as likely to show it. – astrology.com
Astrologers believe Scorpios are ruled by their desires, but that their strength is resourcefulness, and that their resourcefulness allows them to control their desires unless they have a plan to achieve them. Scorpios are analytical and meditative, and ponder data to create a realistic plan; self-deception is not something a Scorpio does. The Scorpio is secretive and intense, though their careful approach to planning and action can appear as a lack of intensity. The Scorpio is good at hiding their feelings, which can cause problems in their relationships. They do not try to please others, and do not care what the world thinks of them. – Wikipedia
Scorpio: Intrigue Them. It’s challenging to seduce secretive Scorpio, and hard to gauge their reactions. A good first move? Take their hand and trace delicate patterns on the inside of their palm, let your body do the communicating. – How to Seduce Every Zodiac Sign
An assessment that continues to ring true today, especially with a divisive hatemonger and cretin leading this country, so it’s good to be reminded by former President Obama in his speech yesterday that “[we’ve] got to embrace the longer and more optimistic view of history…” in spite of “a politics that threatens to turn good people away from the kind of collective action that has always driven human progress.”Continue reading
Peter Hall was also co-director, albeit a mostly absent one, with Alan Ayckbourn for the latter’s hit comedy play, Bedroom Farce, in which Michael Kitchen was one of the six original castmembers. In this marvelous video from the National Theatre Ayckbourn talks of rehearsing the play and how all the actors doubted their own abilities in the weeks leading up to the premiere:
*Ralph Richardson and Peggy Ashcroft were on the original wish-list.
Hard to imagine that Michael Kitchen with his superb comic timing once thought he couldn’t do comedy. It hadn’t occurred to me that Bedroom Farce was indeed his first major foray into comedy. Thank goodness the Birmingham audience went barmy on opening night and Michael Kitchen went on to many more roles that showcased his comedic talents.Continue reading
|Michael Kitchen acted in two Harold Pinter plays directed by Peter Hall, No Man’s Land and Family Voices. Reading about Hall’s lifework today, I was intrigued by what he had to say about the pauses written into Pinter’s plays and the difficulty John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson had with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Kitchen was able to handle Pinter’s pauses with ease from the get-go.|
Caricature art by Sam Norkin listed on eBay:Continue reading