|The Passion of Joan of Arc
|Carl Th. Dreyer
|Meshes of the Afternoon
|Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied
|Wake in Fright
|The Elephant Man
|You Were Never Really Here
Watching Blue Velvet for the first time as a teenager exploded my idea of what cinema could be. There are so many incredible, memorable moments: the slow motion opening introducing the folks of Lumberton who appear to be hypnotised by the American dream, Frank Booth’s terrifying rendition of Roy Orbison’s usually romantic 'In Dreams', the fake robin... Ultimately, Blue Velvet explores the repression of the shadow self, in both the individual and society. Frank Booth, impulsive, aggressive, demanding, is offered as the unrepressed version of Jeffrey, telling him “You’re like me”. This sentiment is one of the films’ most terrifying. Lynch shows us that, below the surface, we - the protagonist - might be just the same as the villain.
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Has the human face ever been shot more epically, more cinematically?
The Elephant Man
The Elephant Man offers us what I would call a 'cinematic emotional catharsis'. Watch it and weep. A truly beautiful film, and whilst it is most definitely visually beautiful, what I mean is that the soul of this film is beautiful. It’s a powerful reminder of the importance and beauty of empathy.
There is nothing else like it.
This is very, very difficult - to boil it down to ten. I started with an incredibly long list and, although Blue Velvet remained consistently at the top, there are so many I kept switching in and out... Day of Wrath, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, A Matter of Life and Death, Rear Window, The Headless Woman, Safe, Taxi Driver, Peeping Tom, Deliverance, Carrie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, argh! ... In the end I’ve been led by emotion – films that caused mini explosions in my heart or my imagination, films that have in some way left me breathless, films that reflect life or feeling in a way that only cinema ever could, films that have inspired me to make films, films that have shown me the overwhelming potential of cinema. I still can’t help feeling that as soon as I press send I’m going to remember another film I wish I’d listed.