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Baker's Dozen

"Shy People Telling Small Stories, Quietly": Jeanie Finlay's Favourite Films
Adrian Lobb , April 24th, 2014 10:40

Jeanie Finlay, director of Sound It Out and The Great Hip Hop Hoax picks her favourite films, and talks about the final days of fundraising on her next documentary, Orion


It's A Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)
It's the favourite film of our new culture minister? Oh, for fuck's sake. I know Capra is a bit obvious. But I think there is a massive pleasure in sitting in the dark crying with strangers. Whether that is Like Father, Like Son or Departures – which is amazing, a Japanese film about a cellist who became an embalmer, which could easily be in my list. There are very few films where people applaud at the end at a screening at Broadway, and this one they always do.

I have been fighting with my editor recently about feeling Christmassy [Finlay's next film, Pantomime, is about "the longest running and lowest budget pantomime in Nottingham"] . I like feeling Christmassy, I believe in Christmas and I want some of that in my film, but he doesn't. I just fell in love with Jimmy Stewart watching this film. It takes you on a whole journey and it makes you value one man's life. It can be seen as trite and chocolate box-y, but there is so much that is incredibly dark. He is such a crotchety old shit before his transformation. I like films where you can feel completely different about the character by the end, you realise how far you have come with them. Another underdog, another outsider – it is a running theme.