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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


Weekend (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)

I almost felt like I’d had the stack of cards in my head rearranged and reprogrammed after watching that film. In so many moments in it—I didn't understand much of it, I probably still don’t understand much of it—but what I did understand I really liked. Just the boldness of it, the jump cuts, that you could do whatever you wanted, that you could be silly but serious at the same time. And visually it didn’t look like anything else I’d ever seen.

There’s a really great sequence in it where there’s a drumbeat in it, like a backbeat that just goes on, and they come around and the drummer is in the woods, and it comes around again, and that blew my mind. And the bit where he’s chasing the sheep and then the sheep would disappear or appear - all that kind of stuff where it completely broke with the form. He didn't give a fuck about how, about Hollywood, the invisible cut or the invisible storytelling, or the politeness of Hollywood movies and the slickness of the three-act structure. He wasn’t interested. But yet at the same time his movies are about movies, you know, and they’re incredibly exhilarating. And that was my first introduction to him, so again it was a start. La Chinoise, and Alphaville I love, and À Bout de Souffle, all his movies. Every time I saw one of them it made a big impact on me. They’re not movies I watch again and again, I don't go back them. Sometimes I think you can have a favourite film which you only see once, you don't have to see them again and again.