I have seen hundreds of films in my life, some I have hated, many I have loved but there are a few that have always stuck in my mind. So here is part 1 that covers 2 films that have influenced or inspired me. There is no order – or best film overall. All the films are equal,
Badlands (1973) – This is the film that changed my life. A big statement. After watching Terrence Malik’s The Thin Red Line (1998) that I loved, I wanted to watch more films he had made. I chose Badlands to start and I was in Awe.
The film was wonderfully shot and explores an intriguing relationship between the young are loved up Holly (Sissy Spacek) and the brooding delinquent, Kit played by Martin Sheen. The love story is juxtaposed to the growing violence and anger in Kit, lashing out to the world around him. Martin Sheen’s performance as Kit is mesmerizing and it is worth watching just for that alone.
I also loved the ending of the film, as there is a role reversal; Kit – whom is confident and sure of himself from the start – seems child like and naive to the fate that awaits him. Whilst Holly is less innocent having witnessed and participated in some of Kit’s crimes – as well as betraying Kit for her own sake.
After I watched the film I knew what I wanted to do with my life, although I am not there yet, I always think back to when I first watched this film to remind me of my dream. I only hope I ever make at least one film that is only a fraction as good.
Blade Runner (1982) – Arguably one of the best science fiction film ever made. The film still resonates today and has relevance for the future – probably one of the reasons why it still so popular – as it deals with the implications of technology on the environment and society. But it is also an examination of humanity and what it means to be ‘human’.
For me another major success of the film is the world it created – LA in 2019 – it felt tangible and was full vivid of details that dragged the audience in. When watching the film, you wanted to reach out and touch it as it looked ‘real’ and ‘dirty’. The bright neon signs, the rain hammering down – that help creates the paranoia that haunts the film – adds to the atmosphere of this futuristic metropolis.
I would love to make a film like this one day – I love the world and potential of a tech noir. But more importantly I want to make films that can work on many levels and make an audience think and question their own lives or world.
I think the question of whether Deckard is a replicant or not, should not have been answered (in various interviews since it release). I think it would have better to leave the audience to make their own minds up rather than giving commentary. I don’t know how this will impact the sequel, but we will leave that to when Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is released in a couple of months time.