My Favourite Movies: Nadine Labaki

Hot Corn’s column in which musicians, actors, artists, directors tell us about their favourite movies

With an Oscar nomination to her name for the profoundly moving drama Capernaum, it seems the making of this movie presented much challenges to Lebanese actress/director Nadine Labaki. But now she was presented with a whole new difficulty: taking part in Hot Corn’s ‘My Favourite Movies’ feature, tasked with going over the films that mean the most to her, and have inspired her to be the filmmaker she is today.

Labaki on set of her excellent drama Capernaum

What’s the first movie you ever fell in love with? Grease. When you grow up during the war and you feel like your life and your world is so clustered and so small. You know, we used to live behind sandbags and shelters, and our life was very small, there was no vision. Then we were very lucky because we lived right above a video store and used to rent those VHS tapes, and I rented Grease and all of a sudden the world opened up for me. It’s not only that, it was was music and dance and colours and beautiful people and then you just start dreaming of a different life, and you think that it’s possible to have a different life, and you live through those characters and you start memorising every single phrase, and I was in that phase. It was one of those moments that was enlightening.

What a movie

What’s the film you never get tired of watching? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I love it. I don’t ever get tired of watching this movie. I saw it again a month ago on a plane, I watched it again. I love it.

A teen classic – all around the world it seems

What’s your favourite soundtrack? Hmm… it’s difficult. You know, I’m touched by my husband’s music, obviously, so for me I love what he’s done in my films, what he did in Caramel, and Where Do We Go Now? and on Capernaum. I adore what he did. But I also love films like Cinema Paradiso, where the soundtrack is really amazing.

One of cinema’s greatest ever flicks

What’s your guilty pleasure? There are many! Pretty Woman, I love it. No, it’s a good film, I don’t think it’s a bad film, but it’s mainstream, a big Hollywood film, but I still love it.

Guilty pleasure? Yeah, us too.

What’s the one scene that always makes you cry, from any movie? Have you see Turtles Can Fly? It’s a beautiful film, a Kurdish film with real actors, and I remember very well a scene between two kids, a girl and a boy, and at some point they were in a very bad situation or something like that, and the boy puts his hand on his sister’s face and I remember this scene destroyed me forever, it shifted everything in me. It shifted the way I see films, it changed me forever and I understood the power of cinema that day, in that moment. I understand how a film can actually have a big impact on you. I came out of it shaking and I kept shaking for a week after seeing that scene.

We hadn’t seen this, but we sure as hell want to now

What’s your favourite ever film with a child at the core of the story? Can I say my film? Good – my film. No really.


You can include your own films if they’re this good

Capernaum is out in cinemas now

Leave a Comment

Let’s take a closer look at that Game Of Thrones trailer

One to Watch | Some Things You Should Know About Florence Pugh