Henry Blake


Voted for

Jaws1975Steven Spielberg
DANCER IN THE DARK2000Lars von Trier
Chinatown1974Roman Polanski
Come and See1985Elem Klimov
Candyman1992Bernard Rose
Barry Lyndon1975Stanley Kubrick
Throne of Blood1957Akira Kurosawa
Bad Boy Bubby1993Rolf de Heer
The Third Man1949Carol Reed
Don't Look Now1973Nicolas Roeg



1975 USA

The film I have watched most in my life. It's perfect. Horror. Suspense. Drama. Wonderful characters inhabiting a small but richly cinematic community setting and a monster which has become mythic in its notoriety.

It also has my favourite line of all time: "Wanna get drunk and fool around?"

Thank you Mr. Spielberg.


2000 Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany

The first film that really, fully emotionally ruined me. The innovation in music and the technical brilliance of it are not to be underestimated. The performances are staggering. Bjork broke my heart and it is yet to heal.


1974 USA

My favourite screenplay of all time. I love the murkiness of the story, and of course that ending. Brave, meticulous and exhaustive directing from Polanski.

Jack Nicholson once said, "I don't make films, I make classics."

Yes Jack. You do.

Come and See

1985 USSR, Byelorussian SSR

The greatest war movie ever made. Period.

Some things cannot be unseen.

Go see for yourself.


1992 USA

I watched this when I was 11 on a Saturday night when my parents were out at the opera. I didn't sleep that night and I couldn't look in the mirror for days afterwards, however much I wanted to.

Philip Glass. Tony Todd. Virigina Madsen. All wandering around the greatest of settings - Cabrini Green.

A horror film with a deeply pained social heart.

It has never left me.

Helen.... Helen.... HELEN....

Barry Lyndon

1975 USA, United Kingdom

Most people are inclined to say 2001: A Space Odyssey is Kubrick's best film but I would argue Barry Lyndon is his most beautiful and tragically poignant.

It is the benchmark for period films and cast a spell on me with its Rembrandt-inspired framing, luscious locations and quietly pained performances. Marisa Berenson is exquisite in it.

Throne of Blood

1957 Japan

My favourite Shakespeare screen adaptation although I think of it less in those terms than an outright reinvention. Isuzu Yamada's take on the Lady Macbeth character is chilling and psychologically accurate. Toshiro Mifune is, as always, brimming with passion, rage and raw energy.

But Kurosawa's Noh theatre-inspired take on the play gives it an authenticity, and who wouldn't want to build sets on the foggy volcanic slopes of Mount Fuji?!!

A great, lean epic of a film.

Bad Boy Bubby

1993 Australia, Italy

If you can get past the first 45 minutes of this film it is an achingly powerful story about love and it urges the audience to never give up on anyone. Ever.

Healing, salvation, connection, belief and intimacy can all be attained even if you are damaged and have experienced trauma. Love can still blossom as long as you remain open to experiencing the world. And Bubby's great triumph is just that - he remains open even after everything he has been been through.

This film taught me that you can take an audience to the very edge of what they can handle as long as you know precisely what it is you want to say.

The Third Man

1949 United Kingdom

I have never wanted to go on a tour in a city more than when I was visiting Vienna and spotted The Third Man sewer tour. It is a credit to this film's legend that it still commands queues for a tour in sewers that are still working to this day!

Great writing. Great cast. Great director. And what a great, unusual, but oh so right score.

It looks a damn sight better than its hero's location smells, let me tell you that.

Don't Look Now

1973 United Kingdom, Italy

No film has disturbed or played on me more than Don't Look Now. I found it profoundly psychologically disturbing, erotic, emotional, symbolic and strange.

It cuts into and captures the kaleidoscopic nature of grief and her many faces.

It's pure cinema to me. Using the form in all its power to explore deep, subterranean themes, wrapping it in a not-so-familiar world but one that feels within arms reach.

"Original" is the word I would use.

You can't say that for every film you see.

Further remarks

I should say that these are not in order of preference but instead the first films to have come to mind which are always with me in some way.

These 10 films surround me at all times, drifting in and out of my consciousness, week on week, month on month, year by year.

I cannot choose a favourite as the others would turn on me, or worst still abandon me altogether, and that is just too much of a burden to bear, so think what you will about where my preferences lie and come to your own conclusions.

One film that didn't make the list but which I strongly believe to be a great film is STEP BROTHERS. Yes, you read that right. STEP BROTHERS.

Richard Jenkins IS my father in that film and yes, I sometimes spoke to him like John C Reilly does.

Appalling behaviour.

Henry Blake