What makes a FIVE STAR FILM?
That’s always tricky because it changes so much with my mood. But there’s something that Paul Schrader once said… which I’d agree with is: “if you’re hearing about a film and its screening down the road from you and no matter how many times you’ve seen it you’ve just got to go and watch it again.” That’s kind of a test of the five star films [for me]. And each time you see it you get something else out of it.
So what is your number one FIVE STAR FILM?
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)… I’ve seen [it] like 20 times. For me being a film maker is different from being a punter. The way it’s constructed and made is so original and powerful. Every decision that’s made from costume to camera move to lighting to acting to casting just feels quite perfect. I suppose what I really like in films that I watch again and again is that there is something about the film that is not just the plot like you feel it on a deeper emotional… visceral level. So there’s just all the stuff about what it means to be a man and a Vietnam veteran and the loneliness of big cities and sexuality and desire and all those big questions are dealt with so interestingly in that film, and the music is good in that film. And that’s something that’s one of those quite raw 70s urban films with a sort of 1950s score on it and it kind of works.
Finally are there any other films you’d rate as FIVE STAR FILMS?
One that is sort of lighter which I can’t get enough of is Barton Fink. There’s some that older films – one from the 1940’s a George Stephens film. Like Art house ones like Chris Markers films - like Sunless is one that is amazingly beautiful; [and] Crimes and Misdemeanours by Woody Allen.