John Grant’s Top10
John Grant is an Iceland-based musician who has sold out Royal Albert Hall and performed at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, and elsewhere. Following the demise of his first band, the Czars, Grant left music entirely for over five years, only to achieve greater success as a solo artist (his acclaimed 2015 solo LP Grey Tickles, Black Pressure went top five in the UK). Born in Michigan to a devoutly religious family, Grant has lived in Iceland full time since 2011, the same year he was diagnosed HIV-positive. Grant’s most recent album, Love Is Magic, is now available via Partisan Records.
Wings of Desire
I thought for years that Wings of Desire was my favorite film. It might still be; I’m not sure. It’s filled with so many beautiful images, and the score by Jürgen Knieper is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever heard. I went to the movie theater alone and was high for days after seeing this. Peter Falk is incredible in this as well.
This movie made me fall even more in love with Ruth Gordon. I think it’s perfect from start to finish. The score is one of the most beautiful. Horror movies are my favorite, especially psychological ones like this one.
Scanners is another film I remember from childhood. The ad for it in the newspaper horrified me, but I couldn’t stop looking at it. I was too young to go see it back then, but I saw it as soon as I could. It’s an amazing combination of score and story. Of course the scene is one of the most memorable and fantastic in horror movie history.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Fassbinder was an incredible filmmaker and made at least one of my all-time favorites. Brigitte Mira is so moving as the woman who is not doing what society says she is supposed to. The colors are amazing in this film as well. I also love the music by Peer Raben.
This Is Spinal Tap
This is simply one of the funniest movies ever made, and it never gets old. I don’t know what else to say.
Harold and Maude
I was surprised that they showed us this movie in high school in suburban America. Ruth Gordon gives one of the greatest performances of all time. This is another one that never gets old.
Guillermo del Toro
This is definitely the most interesting take on the vampire genre I’ve ever seen. It’s such a beautiful film and has so many amazing images in it. Definitely my favorite thing Guillermo del Toro has done so far. Nice and disturbing, just the way I like it.
There are so many great performances in this movie, it’s hard to pick just one, but the choice for me is obvious. I fell so hard for the character of Tootsie, I guess I never got over it. Definitely my favorite thing Dustin Hoffman has done besides Marathon Man. The scene where Tootsie and Les both have something to tell each other is one of the funniest scenes ever. Teri Garr, Jessica Lange, Dabney Coleman, Doris Belack, Bill Murray, Sydney Pollack, Geena Davis. Sheesh.
Carnival of Souls
This has always seemed to me like a long episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s so eerie and beautiful and once again, the music is key for me. I wish someone would release a remastered version of this score. Unsettling organ music is all the rage currently. At my house, anyway.
Lars von Trier
This film by Lars Von Trier is another of my all-time faves. Jean Marc-Barr is wonderful in this, and I have always thought it was very interesting what kinds of roles he chose to take on after The Big Blue. Most of the movie takes place on a train after the war in Germany. Barbara Sukowa is wonderful as are Udo Kier, Max Von Sydow as the narrator and the incredible Ernst-Hugo Järegård (hilarious in The Kingdom).