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Let's Drift: John Maclean's Cinematic Baker's Dozen
Mat Colegate , July 3rd, 2015 06:51

As his debut feature Slow West hits the cinemas, John Maclean - former Beta Band member turned director - takes time out to reveal his 13 favourite films to The Quietus


Assault On Precinct 13 (John Carpenter, 1976)

There used to be a TV show called Moviedrome. Alex Cox was the presenter and I used to watch that as a weekly treat. They don't show stuff like that on telly any more. But they showed Assault On Precinct 13 and it made a huge impact. I guess because I'd never really seen a film that felt so much like a b-movie or a pulp movie but that was so perfect at the same time. It didn't have stars and the acting was almost clunky, but the structure of it and the way that it was filmed and the music... the whole feel. The dodgy acting made it even better than it would have been if it was all Thespians. I think Carpenter said that it was based on Rio Bravo. I can see the siege style being taken from it. I kind of prefer it to Rio Bravo actually. It's so menacing. You don't really see the bad guys it's just that sound of the silencers.

What is it about Westerns though? Because it seems like every year I read another article about the death of the western and every year there seem to be another 5 westerns made.

They say that about painting as well. For me its the same with music. If something appears to go out of fashion then its almost the best time to approach it, because you can really start from scratch and try to make it fresh. I'm sure people started saying that the western was dying out in the '50s, and then Pekinpah comes along. and then again in the '70s Altman comes along. I think it's one of the genres where everyone's always thought it would fade away.