Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Once in a while, a film comes along that holds a power over me I can’t quite describe. Such films tend to deeply influence me as a filmmaker. I think of Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, Todd Field’s In the Bed Room, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront, Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure, and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (that’s the original, not the Soderbergh remake, which I admittedly haven’t had the heart to watch yet). These are films that unexpectedly floored me. Some grew on me slowly, and I kept coming back to them and re-watching them because scenes kept getting stuck in my head and playing there in the background of my mind. That was the case with The Thin Red Line, one of the few remakes that is simply astounding, and completely overshadows the original. In other cases, I walked into something I knew nothing of, as is the case with In the Bedroom and Solaris. These films, and many others not mentioned here, reached inside and touched aspects of my personality, my spirituality, that have affected me ever since.