He’s a director we’ve long been a fan of, and in a chat we had recently with Jamie Adams, to discuss the release of Balance, Not Symmetry – we took the opportunity to put the spotlight on him, and ask about his very favourite movies of all time. Now while he’s a director who wears his influences like a badge of honour in his work, what has always come through in his unwavering love for cinema, and with that in mind, we knew it was going to be an enjoyable conversation…
What’s the first movie you ever fell in love with? Jurassic Park. I didn’t get to go to the cinema very much, and I loved films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Ghostbusters, but we didn’t have a cinema, it was just video shops around us, and my parents didn’t like going to the cinema, so it was a real treat to go. And this was a film I remember seeing in the cinema. I was 12 years old and I went to see Jurassic Park with my mate and his parents, and I was madly in love with that film and with cinema. I enjoyed films, I went to the video shop every day, but yeah in terms of loving films, that was it. That connection was there and I wanted anything to be a part of this craft.
What’s the one film you never get tired of watching? My own films. Nah I’m kidding. Annie Hall I can watch over and over again, then there’s some random ones like Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. Another one I watch constantly is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. They’re flooding back to me, but Police Academy 5 as well. I was a film lecturer for a while, when I was 27, and every Christmas I made them watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I couldn’t believe they didn’t even know what it was! But it’s a beautiful film.
What’s your favourite ever movie soundtrack? Oh, Jesus. It would be something like Three Colours Blue, which isn’t really a soundtrack it’s a score, but I loved that at University. But then you’ve got Pulp Fiction as well. But the best soundtracks are the ones you don’t really remember because they work so well in the movie. The Graduate too, that’s an incredible soundtrack. I’m missing the one I don’t want to talk about… Quadrophenia. I mentioned it once as being the film we looked to for Balance, Not Symmetry, but it was never that. It’s just an example of an album coming out and then the film comes afterwards. But it’s an amazing.
What’s your guilty pleasure? I mean, come on, my list is already full of guilty pleasures! But I don’t see them as guilty pleasures. It would be like Howard the Duck or something like that. But every movie is cool. I don’t think you can have a guilty pleasure that’s a movie. I’m not quite sure what that would be. This question is more for people who answer the other questions with anything by Fellini and then their guilty pleasure is Back to the Future. But I’m not like that.
What’s the one scene that always makes you cry? This is tough! When you have children you don’t watch films any more, it’s all just Disney stuff that I tend to be watching and crying at. Oh, I know. Father of the Bride – when they’re playing basketball for the last time in their house, that whole growing up montage and she leaves home. Both of those films make me cry.
What’s your favourite mumblecore movie? There’s the Duplass brothers, there’s Lynn Shelton. I mean, there’s so many great films they’ve all made. I don’t even know if you can call it mumblecore really, but Drinking Buddies is one of my all time favourite films, it’s absolutely incredible. I love Puffy Chair, that was formative in the idea of just making a movie and knowing it could be done. I love that film. Like Crazy I don’t think is mumblecore but it was made in a mumblecore way and it was entirely improvised, and that had a big effect. Hannah Takes the Stairs, Tiny Furniture, which isn’t really mumblecore, but people still put it in there because they’re playing themselves. But they’re all incredible, there isn’t one movie, it’s a movement. They’re all such heartfelt, sincere and honest movies, I couldn’t choose one they’re all really important films.