John Hurt condemns cuts to arts, to visit Derby Film Festival

John Hurt, who played Garrick Ollivander in the Potter films, has spoken out about the British government’s recent cuts to culture. Hurt feels the arts should be protected from such cuts because they give people “a life.

In Hurt’s view, the likes of music, dance, opera, theater, and film are needed as well as wanted. The acclaimed British actor said,

I find it rather saddening when people look at the arts and will say ‘we don’t need that.’ I would argue to the contrary. I think we do need ‘that.’ I think ‘that’ is precisely what we need.

It definitely worries me. What is the point of waking up, going to work and earning money in order to exist? The arts actually provide a life.

Hurt will also be paying a visit to this year’s Derby Film Festival on May 10, which will see him share insights into his long-running career. Talking about the occasion, Hurt said,

I’m delighted to be involved. It will be a terrific festival. The programme looks really good, I must say.

A number of his films will be shown at the festival, including Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Field, Plague Dogs, Owning Mahoney, and The Hit. On the inclusion of these films, Hurt commented,

The thing I like about these films is they haven’t been seen so much. I can’t remember how they were chosen, but I probably did say ‘rather than show something people have already seen, let’s show some good films that people don’t know.’ There’[re] a lot of really good films in the world that, because they didn’t hit the headlines for one reason or another, get forgotten about.”

Meanwhile, Hurt is giving his backing to a campaign to restore Derby’s Hippodrome theater. The actor said,

I have wonderful memories of going to pantomimes at the Hippodrome; it was the first taste of theater I had. It was wonderful.

It would be great to restore it, as long as it didn’t become a lame duck.

Derby Film Festival runs from May 9-18. “John Hurt in Conversation” on the second day, is now sold out, but entry will still be granted to those with passes for the weekend of the entire festival, which are priced at £50 and £90. For more details of the festival and to purchase tickets click here.

What do you think of Hurt’s comments regarding the cuts to culture in the UK? Let us know your thoughts!

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