Seven years ago, Ben Sinclair and cocreator Katja Blichfeld released the first episodes of High Maintenance, an anthology series in which Sinclair plays a scruffy pot dealer known only as “the Guy.” Since its humble beginnings online, the show—which chronicles the protagonist’s interactions with clients across New York City—has taken on a life of its own and is now in the midst of a fourth season on HBO. Considering the slices of absurd urban experience that make the series so compulsively watchable, it was no surprise that Sinclair’s trip inside our closet last month sort of unfolds like a sketch comedy. As he makes his way through a list of favorite movies ranging from highbrow to Hollywood, the actor-writer-director reminisces about a miserable roommate situation that led to his first awkward encounter with Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing, jokes about how he’d torment Michael Haneke if he happened to find himself on a road trip with the Austrian auteur, and opens up about watching Robert Altman’s Short Cuts with an ex-girlfriend pre-breakup. To hear these stories in full, press play on the above video, which also includes some insight into a couple Criterion releases that have had a direct influence on High Maintenance.
Leslie Harris’s Closet Picks
With her groundbreaking debut film, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., now on the Criterion Channel, the director stopped by to talk about the movies that loom large in her personal canon.
John Sayles’s Closet Picks
During the production of our release of Matewan, the first Sayles film in the collection, the director paid us a visit and talked about some of his formative moviegoing experiences.