Top 10s

Douglas Hart’s Top 10

Douglas Hart’s Top 10

Douglas Hart is a filmmaker, video director, and founding member of the Jesus and Mary Chain. As a video director, Hart has worked with My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, the Stone Roses, Baby Shambles, Paul Weller, the Horrors, and the Pet Shop Boys. His autobiographical short film Long Distance Information premiered at the 2011 London Short Film Festival. His latest short film, Anywhere Out of This World, starring Samantha Morton, is screening as part of the exhibition Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick at London’s Somerset House.

  • If....

    1.
    If....

    Lindsay Anderson

    This film was an obsession among the four of us in the Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain, so much so that we would quote lines of dialogue to each other: “The thing I hate about you, Rowntree, is the way you give Coca-Cola to your scum and your best Teddy bear to Oxfam, and expect us to lick your frigid fingers for the rest of your frigid life.”

  • Zéro de conduite

    2.
    Zéro de conduite

    Jean Vigo

    The film that inspired If…. I grew up in the concrete new town of East Kilbride in the early 1980s, and it was almost impossible to see such films. I had to make do with a few tantalizing stills in library books, so this and Věra Chytilová’s Daisies were at the top of the list of films I wanted to see when I moved to London. Neither film disappointed. Zéro de conduite was of course shot by Dziga Vertov’s brother Boris Kaufman, who would later shoot the next film on this list.

  • The Fugitive Kind

    3.
    The Fugitive Kind

    Sidney Lumet

    Sidney Lumet’s film version of Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending, with a script by Meade Roberts (who later played Mr. Sophistication in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie). I love Brando in this, especially that opening speech to the judge, and when he recounts the story of meeting Leadbelly.

  • Dont Look Back

    4.
    Dont Look Back

    D. A. Pennebaker

    I first saw this on a ghostly, fifth-generation Betamax bootleg bought from a record fair in Glasgow in the early 1980s (the same way I first watched Eat the Document, A Clockwork Orange, and the films of the Sex Pistols’s U.S. tour). As much as the bleached-out, mysteriously forbidden images on my copy of this film had a degraded beauty all their own, seeing and hearing the film now in its full glory is a thing of joy.

  • Billy Liar

    5.
    Billy Liar

    John Schlesinger

    I came from a small town, with parents whose only wish for my future was a factory job, so this film, and the novel it was based on, felt close to home. My only desire was to somehow escape my surroundings, so when I first watched this movie in my early teens, I found the ending truly agonizing. Beautifully shot in black and white by Denys Coop, who also shot This Sporting Life for Lindsay Anderson that same year.

  • 3 Women

    6.
    3 Women

    Robert Altman

    Before the segmentation of TV brought on by cable, I first saw this on one of the UK’s four channels. Back then, you could always stumble upon strange and wonderful movies like this . . . and the whole family would watch. Often this made your enjoyment all the sweeter if a parent or sibling didn’t get it. I watched 3 Women with my first girlfriend and her mother. When the movie finished, the Ma said, “I couldn’t make head or tail of that, but I do know it was sick and perverted.” I said to her, “It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen.” She didn’t much approve of me as a beau for her one and only daughter before we watched the movie, but afterwards she thought I was the anti-Christ.

  • Kes

    7.
    Kes

    Ken Loach

    As Gil Scott-Heron said, “Home is where the hatred is.” . . . School is too. You need an escape. David Bradley’s performance as Billy Casper is incredible. There is something magical about the fringes of a town where it meets the country, where space opens out and a different kind of solitude becomes possible.

  • L’eclisse

    8.
    L’eclisse

    Michelangelo Antonioni

    We see this same edge space in this film, especially in the sequence at the end . . . new buildings facing barren open space and roads leading nowhere. I saw this at the Cinémathèque française recently. I was a little late for the screening, so I had to sit in the front row, in front of the sixty-foot screen, in the main cinema. An intense experience to be totally dominated by the images of this film. The last shot of Monica Vitti, where she stares into the camera, actually pinned me to my seat!

  • The American Friend

    9.
    The American Friend

    Wim Wenders

    Every time I hear the Kinks’ “Too Much on My Mind,” I see Bruno Ganz as Jonathan in his little framing shop. Ganz is incredible in this, as is Dennis Hopper. Wonderful cameos from Nicholas Ray and Sam Fuller too. Wenders and cinematographer Robby Müller capture perfectly the light and color of a northern European city in winter . . . You can almost feel the damp cold in your bones.

  • Simon of the Desert

    10.
    Simon of the Desert

    Luis Buñuel

    Buñuel’s last Mexican film has it all: miracles, temptations, Silvia Pinal, and a dance called “Radioactive Flesh.”