Top 10s

Tunde Adebimpe’s Top 10

Tunde Adebimpe’s Top 10

Tunde Adebimpe is the lead singer of the Brooklyn-based band TV on the Radio. In addition to his music, he is also an animator, visual artist, and actor. His film credits include Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married, Sebastián Silva’s Nasty Baby, and Bob Byington’s 7 Chinese Brothers.

  • Alphaville

    1.
    Alphaville

    Jean-Luc Godard

    Lo-fi sci-fi detective noir from 1965. Special agent Lemmy Caution is sent on a secret mission to Alphaville, a city run by an evil professor who’s built a supercomputer that specializes in mind control and strips the city’s inhabitants of all real emotion. No real special effects or futuristic props. So lean. So clean. Also, any time someone can potentially destroy a supercomputer with a poem, I’m down.

  • The videos are fantastic. Groundbreaking, even. Soundtrack is pretty good too. Astonishing work from Nathaniel Hornblower, who I’m told helped invent almost everything we now refer to as “primitive, modern and future cinema.”

  • Black Orpheus

    3.
    Black Orpheus

    Marcel Camus

    The Greek legend, updated to take place in a favela in Rio during Carnival. Beautiful. The soundtrack by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfá is incredible. Good for the eyes and ears and soul. Any time someone goes into the underworld to get a dead lover back to the tune of a samba, I’m at least a little interested.

  • Do the Right Thing

    4.
    Do the Right Thing

    Spike Lee

    One of Earth’s best. Classic New York movie. Holds up. Makes me miss New York. It made me miss New York even when I lived there. It’s a masterpiece, and due to its depiction of race relations and police brutality in the U.S., the paint is still very warm and wet on it.

  • Eraserhead

    5.
    Eraserhead

    David Lynch

    Beautiful and brilliant. One of my all-time favorites. Do not watch if you’re expecting a child or are opposed to the low, ever-present hum of nonspecific industrial machinery. Or do. It’s your life. Live it.

  • Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

    6.
    Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

    Akira Kurosawa

    Most people don’t want to hear about the weird dream you had. It may be interesting or bewildering to you, but really no one else cares. I would say that unless you’re Akira Kurosawa and can get Martin Scorsese to play van Gogh in the weird dream you had about van Gogh, you should knock it off because you’re only losing friends. This whole list could have been Kurosawa films.

    Tied with (in preferential order): Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Rashomon, High and Low, Throne of Blood, Ran, Stray Dog, Yojimbo, Red Beard

  • Great collection of Blank’s films. I love them all. His deep love and respect for people, their lives and their art (whether it’s music, cooking, living, whatever), shine through in these portraits. Pure eye/ear/time machine.

  • Louie Bluie

    8.
    Louie Bluie

    Terry Zwigoff

    Terry Zwigoff’s movie about blues musician and visual artist Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong. Just like Blank, Zwigoff simply lets you spend a lot of time with a truly unique artist.

  • Onibaba

    9.
    Onibaba

    Kaneto Shindo

    In fourteenth-century Japan, amid a civil war, a mother and daughter trap and kill soldiers, steal their possessions, and trade them for food. Then it gets weird. Hikaru Hayashi’s sparse soundtrack is all taiko drums, horn blasts, and guttural yelling. Perfect.

  • Touki bouki

    10.
    Touki bouki

    Djibril Diop Mambéty

    Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 film about a young man and woman in a modern African city who don’t fit in. So they get out. They get far out. The raw energy and often hyper-experimental nature of the music, visuals, and editing make this a favorite. Beautiful. Fully punk.