Part 1 of a new series – each Film & Media teacher will list their favourite films and explain why. What better recommendation for all film students than an amazing selection of films from film teachers?
Part 1 is brought to you by Jenny Duff.
1) Pink Flamingos by John Waters (1972) – I’ve always Been a fan of the ‘trailer trash’ aesthetic, thinking about it, it probably came from following scene kid, Audrey Kitching’s ‘Trashy Life’ on Myspace. At a time when Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears were dominating the media and people were following their ‘demise’, the dark side of pink and trashy fascinated me. Pink Flamingos gives me a sense of freedom, I find the characters and their lives beautiful, I happily imagine that if my life ever falls apart I could live in a Pink Flamingos-esq world.
2) Kill Bill: Volume 1 by Quentin Tarantino (2003) It was recommended to me by my younger brother, who I have a very special relationship with so it will always be special for that reason. Around this time in my life, there was some death happening and this film allowed me to re-frame death, it was something joyful and cathartic. I idolised Gogo Yubari’s character and dressed like her throughout 6th form- her strength and lack of emotion was something I wanted to emulate and the shot with her bleeding eyes is SO beautiful!
3) Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino (1994) THE STYLE! After Kill Bill, I went through every other Tarantino film and never stopped. The music in this film helped to shape my tastes- every song was downloaded from Limewire after I saw it and I still listen to the same artists today. Dusty Springfield is an inspiration!
4) Nostalgia by Hollis Frampton (1971) I saw this film at university in my avant-garde module. I found the pace beautiful, I liked watching things burn on film just as much as I do in reality, I was so excited when the audio became out of synch. This film reminded me of the idea that we narratavise everything, an idea that Waking Life first put into my head. This film and this concept made me dislike narrative cinema for a very long time.
5) Gummo by Harmony Korine (1997) Similar to Pink Flamingos- I want to live in this world. The Bunny Boy was so iconic. I like to dress like these characters even now- that might be weird idk. The film is beautiful. I still watch all films starring Chole Sevigny. Having Buddy Holly and Slayer on the soundtrack is just such a ‘yes’
6)The Shining by Stanley Kubrick (1980) I thought I didn’t really like like horror but I loved this, It may have been through watching clips of this film in class that I caught my film teacher’s love of some good film symmetry and framing. Today I get just as excited about shots as she used to in class.
7) Blue Velvet by David Lynch (1986) Lynch likes to show the dark side of suburban life and I Iike to see the dark side of ‘nice’. Embarrassingly, I liked Desperate Housewives and I guess this film just amplified what I like about it. The Dennis Hopper character kind of reminded me of someone I knew, which I found uncomfortable but uncomfortable is fine with me when it comes from a film. I think my dad turned me on to this film. Lynch is a firm favourite and I will try to copy his techniques for creativity forever. Lynch is such a G in interviews too.
8) Climax Gasper Noe (2018) A recent watch but it jumps into my mind often. I think everything Gasper Noe does is wonderful. A few months before watching this I watched the remake of Susperia so my mind was nice and prepped for the references. My dog, who has fantastic taste, loved the sound design in the new Suspiria. I enjoyed letting my mind slip into the choas in the film. The camerawork was obviously beautiful coz Gasper Noe, the film is deeply depressing coz Gasper Noe
Grimm by Alex Van Warmerdam (2003) An odd film for my family to be watching when my brother first brought his girlfriend home. The film is almost exactly like a dream and the brother-sister relationship really touches a soft spot for me.
Honourable mentions: Full Metal Jacket, Alphaville, Dogville, Wavelength, Requiem for a dream, The Holy Mountain, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Happiness , Jawbreaker , Mulholland Drive, Rope , Trainspotting , This is England, SLC Punk, A Clockwork Orange