Kyle Henry: Top Ten
Local filmmaker has a few films to put in your Netflix qeue
By Andy Campbell,
6:26PM, Sun. Aug. 16, 2009
You may have heard that Kyle Henry, local big-shot filmmaker and editor, is in the middle of his next big production, a series of shorts examining the emotional components of sex that Western society considers transgressive. Called FOURPLAY the project has already been garnering some buzz from the likes of independent film blogs like IndieWire and from the Austin Chronicle (we've even sent staff members to extra for the project). You can find out more, including an insight into Henry's creative processes and his collaboration with partner Carlos Trevino on the FOURPLAY blog.
Since we can't show you any of the FOURPLAY footage, we might as well try to get behind the cerebellum that gave us Room. To do so we asked Kyle Henry to send us his Top Ten films so that we could, you know, get in the mood. Here's what he sent.
1) Barry Lyndon (Dir. Kubrick) - His least understood, most critical, most fabulous, most heartbreaking work. I'd also include Eyes Wide Shut too. Two great tragi-comedies about capitalism's ruinous effects on human being's souls. Although I find EWS' ending to be quite hopeful!
2) Sunday Bloody Sunday (Dir. John Schlesinger) - Everyone sees Midnight Cowboy, no one sees this film, which for me is his most mature, heartbreaking, subtle, non-judgmental work. For tour-de-force Hollywood smack-down, though, you should also check out his surreal adaptation of Day of The Locusts
click the jump for the rest of Henry's list.
3) The Ruling Class (Dir. Peter Medak) - Peter O'Toole is rich and thinks he's Christ, and that is a big pain in the ass for all his upper-class compatriots in 1968 Britain. The family orders a "cure" and voila, he now thinks he's Jack The Riper and fits right in. With musical numbers! What's not to LOVE!
4) If... (Dir Lindsay Anderson) - I LOVVVVVEE this homoerotic anarchistic screed against abuse of power set in a boys boarding school in England starring Malcolm McDowell. Anderson is my ALL TIME favorite queer director. Surreal, fierce, uncompromising, anarchistic, human, sensual... the best!!!
5) Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (Dir Nicolas Roeg) - A real mess of a film staring Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel of all people! Harrowing, surreal, bizarre, and ultimately very honest about the fun-house/horror-show inner workings of binary romantic relationships. Also, one of the few "feminist" films by a male director that feels like there is enough blame to go around for everyone, not just another "woman as victim" film.
6) Don't Look Now (Dir Nicolas Roeg) - I know, two by the same director, but the editing in this film is MIND BLOWING. Almost by the end an installation/contemplation piece regarding the deathtrap of memory and nostalgia. The HOTTEST and saddest sex scene ever recorded in cinema at the center by two of my favorite actors: Julie Christie and Donald Southerland.
7) California Split (Dir Robert Altman) - We all know Nashville is his greatest work, but this shaggy dog about compulsive gamblers and part-time suburban barfly prostitutes has really wormed it's way into my heart. George Segal, at one time, was a very fine actor!!
8) A Time To Leave or Criminal Lovers (Dir François Ozon) Or really any film by Ozon. One of the smartest and warmest directors working in Europe today, and very queer.
9) Time of the Wolf or Cache or The Piano Teacher (Dir Michael Haneke) All best seen on the big screen, but a much warmer and forgiving version of Lars Von Trier, and ultimately someone trying to point the way forward with cautionary tales about the "booby traps" that lie beneath the surface of our bourgeois late-capitalist world instead of just smugly smacking us over the head. I feel like he also knows how much of a victim he is of the world he lives in, and feels it deeply, instead of just being the cold didactic theoretician he is often accused of being.
10) The Wire. What, that's a TV show, not a movie? Yeah, well it's better than the vast majority of the film's I've seen in theaters the past few years and I just try to sing its praises every chance I can get.