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Rising To The Occasion: Ben Wheatley's Cinematic Baker's Dozen
Ian Schultz , March 17th, 2016 07:32

Ahead of the release of his JG Ballard adaptation High-Rise, director Ben Wheatley talks Ian Schultz through his 13 all-time favourite films


The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1977)

It was directed by Larisa Shepitko, who was married to Elem Klimov and died the year before Come and See in an accident. So it’s set in the same era as Come and See, with the Russians fighting. I think it’s one of the best films ever made. She’s not just my favourite woman director, she’s one of my favourite directors full stop.

I saw it as part of an Eclipse two-disk set, with a film called Wings, which is also brilliant. It’s a about a woman pilot from the Second World War who’s been running a school and retires. Just genius. I don't know, there’s something about Eastern European cinema and Russian cinema in particular. There’s a quietness and a spirituality that you have in those movies that you just don’t get in other kinds of cinema. You really feel like the time slows down and you’re actually there, you feel the fear of the characters, and you feel the human decency of the characters.