Our Selects: Series is an interview format we run with film and video directors. We ask directors to name key and influential works under the film, campaign, and music video categories. The series aims to broaden horizons of reference and acknowledge works from the back catalog.
You can check out Oscar’s latest music video below:
‘Ottolenghi’ Loyle Carner feat. Jordan Rakei (2018)
Directed by Oscar Hudson
Below are Oscar’s picks and what he had to say:
I can’t pick a favourite film the same way I can’t pick a best friend. But since you’re asking…
The Act of Killing (2012)
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
This film floored me when I saw it… despite the fact I went into it with countless superlative-laden reviews echoing around my head- a sure-fire way to set yourself up for a disappointment. But not here. If you ain’t seen it, it’s a doc that allows Indonesian war criminals to direct films that recreate their memories of murder in whatever glitzy cinematic style they desire. It is a terrifying, surreal and extremely powerful window into the vanity & brutalism of humanity as well as a critique on the very idea of fiction, storytelling and narrative-control. It’s also the most cutting & effective political expose I’ve ever seen. I’m just of in awe of this film really. So there ya go. Go watch it now with those superlatives echoing around your head. Sorry.
You, the Living (2007)
Directed by Roy Andersson
I love Roy Andersson. His work has been very influential on my own- maybe more than anyone else. I think a large part of my interest in set-design, practical effects and physical comedy started after watching his films. His universe is so wilfully sad and downtrodden that it paradoxically goes full circle and becomes hyperreal magic again. Paint my face white and put me in a Roy Andersson set and I’ll happily be miserable forever.
Festen (The Celebration) (1998)
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
I’m often just as interested in the form of a film as I am in its storyline and as the first Dogme 95 film I ever encountered I found Festen fascinating. Sometimes over-slickness is a real turn off for me so there’s something about the rejection of high-end aesthetics in Dogme that I love. But the reasons Festen is better than all the other Dogme films are just the same old reasons as usual- great story, great characters, well acted and masterfully put together. So there we go… get rid of form by making strict rules about form which actually reveal that form doesn’t matter despite form being the first thing you noticed.
Very honourable mentions to Burden Of Dreams, There Will Be Blood, Evil Dead 2, Under The Skin, Annie Hall, Days Of Heaven, The Square, Stalker, The Matrix and My Winnipeg.
Essential: Music Videos
I’m afraid this list is going to be very predictable… I wanted to include some newer stuff too but the classics have won out I’m afraid.
‘Let Forever Be’ Chemical Brothers (1999)
Directed by Michel Gondry
All-time favourite here. So clever and so fast-paced, never gives you enough time to you wrap your head around the genius and craft of what you’re seeing. It’s real sensory overload- always shifting and changing and blurring and evolving but always somehow moving in the same direction. On the Gondry-o-meter I think this could be the Gondriest video of them all.
‘Virtual Insanity’ Jamiroquai (1997)
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
A classic. Obviously its a brilliant and compelling visual conceit… but it’s also the perfect idea for the perfect artist. Imagine Ronan Keating trying to pull off this video… it just wouldn’t work… and don’t even get me started on that beautiful Patagonia fleece. Bonus points for the ubiquitous 90s music video crow too.
‘No Surprises’ Radiohead (1998)
Directed by Grant Gee
I love simplicity and I love it when reality and fiction get a bit mixed up. This video contains all of that and duly the tension and sense of spectacle in it is palpable. You just can’t fake some stuff. It is what it is and what it is is Thom Yorke’s sort of drowning. Why wouldn’t that be good to watch?
All the ads I remember actually liking are the dark, strange ones. They also mostly seem to be from the early 00s when I lived at home and watched TV.
‘So Good The Cows Want It Back’ Cravendale (2006)
Directed by Jason Smith
Absurd. Turns out cows make quite good baddies.
Any and all Roy Andersson
Directed by Roy Andersson
Bit of a safe choice really.
‘Belly’s Gonna Get Ya’ Reebok (2000)
Directed by Traktor
Even better than I remembered. Turns out bellies make quite good baddies.