Bingo Ladies

Ever wished you were a fly on the wall in a ladies’ bathroom? Well, we hope not as that’s called being a pervert.
On the other hand eavesdropping on a gang of elderly ladies playing bingo is quite a natural urge. And in this film you get to see that ladies don’t get old. They get refined.


Merve Erde, producer and co-writer of this gem, answered our questionare. And away we go:

Tere is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
It says: "A story without headline".

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
As a small creative production company, it is very challenging to get clients to survive as a filmmaker. It is also quite hard to get exposure and recognition for the work we do. However, the magic and necessity of filmmaking goes beyond those limitations and hardships. It gives you the possibility to take a feeling, an idea or an image to different realm where you can narrate, represent or manipulate them as you wish. It allows you to communicate your story and share it with the world in the most charming and direct form. Depending on the stylistic and intellectual approach, you can tell the same story in many different ways and each element (light, camera, script, sound etc) contributes to it differently to form a uniformed body. The whole creative process of filmmaking makes it very worthwhile. It is also a collective form of art which brings creative people together to create a unique piece of art.

Why this film?
Our production company, That Thing, had an office next to a bingo hall at the time. Irina was quite amazed by the elderly ladies who went there very regularly. They all had a particular style, a particular attitude. Bingo was more than a game for them - it allowed them to socialize, make friends and enjoy their time. In a city like London, where everything is quite frenetic and organized around youth culture, we thought that bingo halls opened up an alternative space for these women. We can discuss how satisfying of an experience this is for them, or whether it is positive or negative. However, we wanted to get to know them and their stories better. On the other hand, we did not want to romanticize it so we introduced some absurd moments in it and tried to blur the line between "fiction" and "factual" in their narratives.

Another aspect that we were interested in was to make these women "protagonists" of our film. Elderly women have a very limited range of roles in film and these roles are generally repetitive and stereotypical. We wanted to challenge this as well.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
We like dark comedies and the sense of absurdity/ridiculousness that arises in unexpected tragic moments. It would be probably such a story. With Vincent Gallo playing the main character.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
We have some short film projects. We are also working on a series of video portraits such as the bingo ladies.  The next one we will take place in a hair salon in Brixton.

Merve Erde

Merve Erde

To see what the Bingo Ladies have to say - and boy do they like to talk - come on down to the good ole’ Streatham Space Project 9th July at 19.30 and just so you make sure you get your seat you might as well buy a ticket right now. Right HERE.