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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


Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)

Seven Samurai is like the blueprint for action movies. It’s a film that has many, many characters in it, and they’re all wearing very similar clothes and have similar haircuts, and it could be completely confusing, about huge groups of people fighting other huge groups of people. And in anybody else’s hands it might have been a complete mess. And yet it’s completely clear from moment to moment exactly what’s going on, what’s happening. Even the smaller characters you get in Seven Samurai, in a way that modern action cinema doesn't manage at all. And Kurosawa I love because in the same way that anime is formed from Japanese sensibility and French comic strips, Kurosawa’s work is talking to John Ford, and the cowboy movie and the cowboy tradition, but yet being essentially Japanese.

He wasn’t especially liked in Japan at the time. They thought he was too Western.

Yeah? That’s interesting. It’s the same as Beat Takeshi. They’re not as excited about his films in Japan as we are. But then I suppose Jerry Lewis is the same…