When the film Dogtooth played for the first time to press and public at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, it was clear to everyone in the room that its maker harboured a perverse fascination with how we develop as human beings, and how that development can be manipulated to make entertainingly transgressive movies. That filmmaker was Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos. This interest in brain function, learning techniques, and psychological power-plays has always remained present, and surfaces once more in his latest – and possibly greatest – work, Poor Things. This new film is the product of a connection that was made with the famous Scottish novel by the author Alasdair Gray, about a Frankenstein-like creator and the daughter he builds and then sends out into the world. In this issue, we speak to the director about his long and winding relationship with the novel and how he received Gray’s blessing to make it. We also meet the craft team behind this eye-popping marvel, and how they helped refashion an early-19th century Europe into a colourful playground of expressionist delights.