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Dante's Pick: Director Joe Dante Selects His 13 Favourite Films
Ian Schultz , September 16th, 2016 08:40

To coincide with the release of his cult classic Matinee on Blu-Ray, the director of Gremlins, The Burbs and Explorers, Joe Dante, picks a Baker's Dozen of his favourite films for The Quietus


Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956)

Forbidden Planet, which is a touchstone of my youth—a movie I saw in 1956, for free, because there was a promotion for Quaker Oats box tops! If you had enough Quaker Oats box tops, you ate enough of that awful stuff, you could get in for free to see the movie. It was one of the rare big studio attempts at an expensive science fiction film, and they tended to not make a lot of money so there weren’t really a lot of Grade A-produced science fiction features. It was easier and cheaper to make them for second features and for double bills, and not have to incur the costs of the huge sets. I mean, here’s a movie that takes place entirely on another planet and has I don’t think any location shots - it was filmed in the studio. And it’s quite an achievement on that level. It’s actually a reworking of The Tempest, and Robbie the Robot, who I became rather fond of and used in a number of movies subsequently, is sort of the Ariel character. And the score is not a traditional movie score; it’s an electronic music score. It’s called 'Electronic Tonalities' and is by the Barrons, they were a husband and wife team who created this stuff just with synthesizers and stuff. It’s not a traditional music score, but it works great. It hasn't been duplicated in very many places, but I’ve certainly stolen a lot of tracks from it and snuck them into movies that I’ve done.