The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Film Features

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


Phantom of Liberty (Luis Buñuel, 1974)

I just remember seeing it as part of a season of Buñuel movies that they showed at the Duke of York’s in Brighton, and I basically saw everything from L’Age d’Or and Un Chien Andalou all the way through to the end.

I loved the brilliant start of it where he kind of rearranges everything on the mantelpiece and says, “I abhor symmetry,” and shuffles it around. I was in, you know? Using the Army to fight foxes, that kind of thing—it’s brilliant. There’s a problem with surrealism, people think it’s a go-to trope to make stuff that’s surreal, it’s almost kind of like the first place that students visit. But to do it intelligently and effortlessly, and without it feeling like it’s a put-on, it’s incredibly hard, and you have to go back to the people who invented it. Buñuel’s movies are full of impressionistic and difficult, strong imagery, and yet they feel emotionally true.