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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


Fargo (The Coen Brothers, 1996)

I was always a fan of the Cohen brothers - Barton Fink, Millers Crossing - but Fargo was the one that I thought was their best work. I really loved it. If you were to ask if it was an influence on Slow West it would be that way of presenting violence and action in a comedic way without it going into bad taste. Really pointing out the absurdity of the situations. That's something I would take from Fargo. It was only when I watched the extras on the Miller's Crossing DVD that I realised that they story board their films shot-for-shot and follow them quite closely, especially for action sequences. That's something I did in Slow West as well. That's probably what draws me to them. It gives it an intensity and preciseness. The little camera zipping around has been thoroughly gone over and worked through. I think it's that preciseness that people like, but they manage to be meticulous without feeling sterile as well. Someone like Wes Anderson could be compared, but I don't see it because I think there's a knowingness to his style. I think that with the Cohen Brothers you're sucked into the story so it's content over style.