Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Experimental Film Society has invited its members, friends and associates to submit lists of their twelve favourite filmmakers. The resulting lists make for a fascinating browse:

My own contribution:

The only possible way to approach making a list of a dozen favourite directors, with so many dozens equally deserving to be on the same list, is to narrow it down to the ones that inspire me most at this point in my life, the live sources of energy. A sort of self-portrait through cinema. Didn’t quite make it to 12, but 13 isn’t too bad considering.

In alphabetical order:

Michelangelo Antonioni
Carmelo Bene
Marguerite Duras
Philippe Garrel (specifically, the ‘70s and ‘80s films)
Jeff Keen
Jean Rollin
Werner Schroeter
Paul Sharits
Josef von Sternberg
Andrei Tarkovsky
Luchino Visconti
Frans Zwartjes
Andrzej Zulawski

Three brief notes:

Silent cinema is here also, always important to me and increasingly so, breathing through the work of at least half of these filmmakers, those who carry its trace forward.

I have made the decision not to include films by such collaborators and comrades as Esperanza Collado, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins. The feverish immediacy of the inspiration I get from seeing their splendid works appear is of a different order to that which the more distant figures on the list provide. However, I will mention that Rouzbeh’s HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a cinematic talisman for me, a film that expresses a vision of cinema than I share in a way that is far more powerful and eloquent than anything I have ever been able to achieve.

And, although it is a work of commingled authorship, mention must also be made of the cut-up film Ghosts at Number 9, which is a crucial point of reference for me these days.


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