Hope you have had a wonderful dark star Christmas. Some of you might be back at work as I am. I’m a tiny bit heavier after eating all the trimmings. It was like I was making up for lost time especially after battling my epic illness (evil virus-flu-thing) leading up to Christmas.
All the food.
All the drink.
All the movies.
Which brings me to the reason for this post. I love films. I actually don’t watch enough of them – maybe two a week. It’s where I find most of my inspiration for lyrics and the particular cinematic dark sound. This year has seen the release of some the most original and stunning cinematography as well as acting. So I thought I would share five of my favourite films. Each picture should take to the film’s trailer.
This exceeded all my expectations of what two fans of Nick Cave could deliver. I saw this drama-documentary in April 2014 and was totally blown away by direction of both Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. They weaved parts of Nick’s life, music and love into a unique visual splendour. Against a background of my own seaside city, Brighton, Nick drives his big black Jaguar with a film noir narration about his musical comrades and adventures. I particularly loved the scene when Nick rocks up to Warren Ellis’s for lunch. The two sit around and discuss the transformative show of Nina Simone. Overall this was a revealing but very respectful film of the life of one of my musical heroes.
If this play was to ever come to England, let me know! The film is an adaptation of Tracy Lett’s play that explores the tension that builds when strong-willed and dysfunctional women come together. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts gave performances that were so heart-wrenching and real that you can’t help but love and hate them all at the same time. Look out for Abigail Breslin. Remember the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine? Also on a sad note, I was so shocked to hear of the death of Misty Upham who was also in an amazing film called Frozen Lake.
The first time I attempted to watch this film I was on date with my husband that started very civilised at Côtes in Brighton. However, we managed to knock back a few whilst waiting for the film that when the lights went out and the opening scene started to roll, we too were out. We woke up towards the end. Needless to say we had to go and see it again. This is an all-star cast and the performances of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were sublime. The film is loosely based on a true story from the late-1970s. FBI agents coerced a notorious New Jersey conman into helping them entrap corrupt politicians with the offer of bribes from a “fake sheikh”, a scam later refined by British red-top newspapers. Expect the glamour, the hair and the soundtrack of the seventies.
This gem from 1986 was directed by Jim Jarmusch. It made on this list because it was only this year I managed to watch it. The film stars another musical hero of mine Tom Waits who plays a DJ who gets kicked out of his girlfriend’s apartment. He winds up in prison along with a pimp played by John Lurie. Thrown in the mix is the wonderful Italian actor Roberto Benigni. Their escape takes them all on unexpected turns and twists. I particularly loved the swamp scenes Louisiana and of course the streets of New Orleans.
I’ve left the best for last.
I have slightly fallen for this actor especially after devouring the first season of True Detective; Matthew McConaughey is my favourite actor for 2014. Mud is essentially a true romance with Mud (McConaughey) pining for his girlfriend played by Reese Witherspoon. One of the lines from the film stood out – ‘you got to know what’s worth keeping and what’s worth letting go’. These words were buried deep in my subconscious and resurfaced when I was writing Drive A Nail.