Who doesn’t love the inexplicable, transportative moviegoing experience? I remember seeing Wim Wenders’ documentary about Cuban music, Buena Vista Social Club, and floating on that one for days. I thought I was going to see a concert film, but it took me to a place I’d never been before and did it in a unique way.
I’m also a tremendous science fiction fan, as this is the safest way, usually, to get audiences in “the zone.” (note – I hate the expression “the zone,” but sometimes cliches, even if they are the names of fad diets, work best.) When a movie dabbles on the edge of sci-fi and is able to take you in unexpected directions, that’s when I really start to get excited.
This week, taking a break from some of the more clear cut categories (e.g. “World War II movies”) I’d like to offer up some examples of movies that you wouldn’t at first consider as science fiction, but still take on (for me) the properties of good sci-fi. Some actually try to “pass” as sci-fi without any of the usual techniques (more on this in a bit) and some do precisely the reverse: have such a remarkable texture that they seem otherworldly.
Maybe this category is too heady or only makes sense to me. At the very least, I’m going to recommend eight titles you may want to check out. And no, I’m not including Tree of Life because that just came out! But I think you may have a sense of where I’m headed with this. . . Read More »
Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.
In this week’s Movie Playlist we interviewed director Brad Anderson, who I first discovered through the wonderful but unseen Boston indie Next Stop Wonderland, which featured Hope Davis and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 1997, Anderson was named by Variety as one of the “Ten Leading New Independent Directors to Watch.” His filmography includes Happy Accidents, Session 9, and The Machinist. His television credits include episodes of Homicide; The Wire; The Shield; and Surface. His new film Transsiberian, which hits theaters today, is a Hitchcockian thriller which he also co-wrote.
/Film: I just want to start off saying, I’m a big fan of all your work. I’m from Boston,
Brad Anderson: Oh yeah, really.
/Film: so I’ve been following your career since Next Stop Wonderland.
Brad Anderson: Oh great, wow!
/Film: So this is great, so – I want to talk to you today, I’m not sure if they briefed you but we do a feature called Movie Playlist which basically talks about your favorite movies of all time, or maybe not even just your favorite movies but movies you watch a lot, or movies you love. What are some of your favorite movies?
Brad Anderson: Favorite movies? It runs the gamut, in no particular order and no particular preference, I just caught, anything by Stanley Kubrick, I can watch those movies again and again I don’t know why, but just something about what he invests in his films and the meticulous level of detail, and choreography that I just find as a filmmaker craft of film making is so apparent in his movies that every time you watch them it’s like being taught how to make a movie, so yeah, I just caught 2001 recently again and it’s just like the kind of thing you’re clicking through the channels and you sort of catch a piece of it and you’re like yeah, I’ve seen this about 20 million times and you’re about to switch to another channel and you just find yourself watching it and the next thing you know you’ve watched it all over again.
/Film: 2001 is one of those movies that if you come across on cable, basically you’ve lost three hours of your life.
Brad Anderson: [laughs] Yeah, it’s so amazing to me that movie and all his films, but that one in particular because it’s like, you think about it the way – I don’t know what you’d call it, it’s not a thriller, it’s not a straight out sci-fi film, it’s not necessarily a straight out adventure movie, it’s just a study in visual brilliance, you know, and the way that his use of sound and his use of music and anything by Kubrick.
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