YOUR FAVOURITE FILM? AND WHY?
We asked a number of Portobello Film Festival friends and film makers
what their favourite films were.
Here are some of the replies!
Aron Kumar. Filmmaker.
Apocalypse Now! - Visually it is amazing. The characters are
symbolic of emotions and issues that many people living the urban western
lifestyle deal with on a more mundane level. The actors turn in classic
performances and the movie was made against all odds with Francis Coppola
giving his all to get it made! The script contains a number of my all
time favourite movie lines. And unbelievably, as I discovered whilst making
my documentary "The Search for Kurtz" (Channel 4/History Channel),
it is based on a true story. In fact I liked the movie so much I went
out and made a film about it!
Ian Thomson Chief Press Office Film Council
Withnail & I - I can't think of a British film over the
last twenty years that's been able to hold a light to this hilarious and
poignant masterpiece. Robinson managed to tap into the heart of a whole
generation of student types and intellectual layabouts with a script that
has been revered for its endless one-liners, muttered over subsidized
pints in pretty much every student union bar and gastro pub across the
nation. Anyone who can write the phrase, "Wintering with his mother
in Colchester - Vim under the sink and two bars on", deserves a knighthood.
Withnail is a religion. Or is it more a 'terrible cult'?
Pip Eldridge - Exhibition Development Officer at the LFVDA
Diva by Jean-Jacques Beineix (1981) I loved this film when I
first saw it when I was about 13 because of the tinkly piano music and
Wilhemenia Wiggins Fernandez, the Opera singer's beautiful voice, as well
as the fab and strange lighthouse apartment that one of the characters
lived in with his very young, record thieving girlfriend. Even though
the Citroen DS has become a bit of a cliché in French Films now
I recall thinking that I would save up for one once I got my driving test.
I remember my father falling for Cynthia Hawkins in a big way and him
discussing the film with a friend who also said he'd fallen for the lead
character. It was at a much later date when the friend 'came out' that
he said he meant the actor Frédéric Andréi who played
Jules the postman, who was also indeed remarkably beautiful!
Andrea Oliver Broadcaster/TV Presenter/Musician
Favourite movie and why: Such a hard question but I think that
at the moment as far as contemporary films go I am as always in love with
the Cohen brothers films and I find it very hard to choose between Fargo
and The Big Lebowski (I could go on, Blood Simple, Oh Brother Where Art
Thou?)! Can I have two? Fargo stars Frances Mcdormand who is one of my
favourite actors and is also the only film that I have ever seen where
the fact that the main female protagonist is pregnant is not the wheel
on which the film turns, it just is , it is a great thriller and is very
very funny, brilliant writing ..the relationship between her and her husband
throughout the film and her total unflappability in the face of the nightmare
that unfolds is so inspired. I also love the Big Lebowski - the film makes
me weep with laughter and then they manage a moment at the end between
John Goodman and Jeff Bridges that is so touching that it makes me catch
my breath - they are just the creators of pure pure classic modern genius.
Natasha Tilley Film Maker
All About Eve with Bette Davis, because I love the black and
white era and this has fabulous dialogue and a credible story-line combined
with the dream-like and tragic existence of an ageing star.
Stuart Pond Filmmaker.
Solaris (the real version) by Andrei Tarkovsky. It's idiosyncratic, humanistic,
haunting, beautiful, strangely romantic, lengthy but substantial. This
film changes and informs individual sensitivity to images sequences and
sound, it's up there with Robbe-Grillet's/Renais's "Last Year in
Marienbad". So Hollywood, go fuck a duck!
Tom Kirk. Filmmaker.
Stranger Than Paradise is poetic, spare and wry; it takes its time and
imparts simple epiphanies in interactions and composition. Each scene
plays out in a long, often static take. Hungarian cousin Eva comes to
stay with New York hipster Willy, disrupting his life. She leaves for
Ohio and Willy feels stirred to get out of New York with his buddy Eddie,
to experience something else and maybe catch up with Eva. I love the wintry
scene where the three main characters pull up to a lake, climb out of
the car and amble over to a fence, looking out over a snow covered vista
John Hassay Skint Video Commissioner.
Pulp Fiction because I hadn't slept for three days before I saw it and
expected nothing more than John Travolta with a bad haircut. Instead thrills,
spills and a fucking big needle rammed through Uma Thurman's chest make
it the most visceral cinema experience since I saw Star Wars.
Ivan Kavagner Filmmaker.
Pasolini’s Salo – 120 Days of Sodom . The
film is based on the Marquis the Sade’s novel 120 Days of Sodom
transposed to Mussolini’s miniature Fascist Republic of Salo in
1944. The film is uncompromising in it’s depiction of man’s
inhumanity to man and Pasolini’s camera never flinches or looks
away from the horrors depicted on the screen. If I had to pick one work
of art that represented the 20th century, this would be it. I can’t
say the film is enjoyable, it isn’t in the least, but it influenced
me more than any other. Pasolini showed that the filmmaker has to be brave
and honest when trying to depict just what man is capable of. The film
is guaranteed to provoke a reaction in the audience and it is truly an
unforgettable cinema experience. Other favourites of mine are ‘After
Hours’ [Scorsese], ‘Barry Lyndon’ [Kubrick], ‘The
Shining’ [Kubrick], ‘Vivre Sa Vie’ [Godard], ‘Aguirre
Wrath of God’ [Herzog] ‘Winter Light’ and ‘Summer
Rider Palm Pictures
Cinema Paradiso because it is a beautifully shot film that works
on many levels, including an enduring love story and one man's passion for
Billy Mackintosh. Video Director.
Mean Streets because it made me want to go out and make films.
Bayram Fazli Film Maker
Rashomon Directed by Akira Korosawa. I like this film, because Director
can playing with time and making a filmic time and space.
Tim Saunders Film Maker
The Princess Bride. I don't collect stuff so when someone bought
me this video it became my entire video collection. I saw the film at the
cinema originally but owning the vid means it is probably the film I have
seen most times and I've never got tired of it.
Bill Taylor: Queer archival curator
("Lock Up Your Sons And Daughters") Lars Von Trier's "Europa
(Zentropa)". Just everything about it just makes my skin goosebumpy.
From the incredible narration of Max Von Sydow, the amazing trick camera
work, and to the great introduction to the amazing Jean-Marc Barr, this
is a movie that's SCREAMING Criterion DVD. (They better hurry, my tape has
James Kibbey. Film Maker
The Insider (1999). Directed by Michael Mann. Why? I like stories
based on reality as I think films are at there most powerful when audiences
can relate to the characters and empathise with them. The film has fantastic
performances all round but particularly from Russell Crowe whose Oscar for
Gladiator was really for his performance in this film a year earlier. The
production design is typically brilliant from a Michael Mann film as is
the use of music which really drives the emotion throughout. Simply brilliant