Andrew Hook’s RoosterVision title has been getting a lot of good press, including a shout out in Black Static magazine.
Here’s what they had to say about Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel: A Personal Analysis:
“The personal stories that he adds, showing how the film affected his writing and remembrances of catching it on late night terrestrial television (as did I myself, back in the day), all help to ground the work and illuminate why it is so important to the writer. It is this personal slant I feel that puts clear water between books like this and the more objective Auteur volumes. At the end, for anyone who has seen the film, their appreciation will almost certainly be deepened by the light Hook shines on unfamiliar corners of the screen, while those who have never encountered Buñuel’s work will probably be encouraged to seek it out, which is a big part of what books like this are really all about, but either way you will have been entertained and enlightened.”
Because he is such a good sport, Andrew has agreed to put together a personal top-10 movie list for Rooster Republic. This will (hopefully) be a recurring item as authors lend their work to the RoosterVision line of books.
Read on to find out what Andrew considers his personal top-10!
“It’s always difficult listing a top ten of anything, and often comes down to memory and moment. Films which might seem wonderful when first viewed can easily be forgotten, likewise others not technically great can get under your skin and linger. I’ve decided to pick films which have resonated and which I’ve seen multiple times. I’m limiting the list to one film per director, and I’m not including Bunuel’s Exterminating Angel considering this is the book RoosterVision have published. So here is my current top ten, bracketed by the first and last films I’ve seen at the cinema.
First film: This was either Disney’s The Jungle Book or the animated version of Robin Hood. I can remember seeing both on the big screen and loving them. If it was The Jungle Book then it was on re-issue as I was only a few months old when it first showed.
1. Pierrot le Fou (1965, directed by Jean-Luc Godard) – Godard’s work always resonates with me, and this film about a couple on the run is full of quirky cool and disjointed editing. I always want to write after watching Godard and his films have been a major influence on my work.
2. Vertigo (1958, directed by Alfred Hitchcock) – Identity and reality are big themes in my writing and I’m immediately drawn to films which examine and manipulate these.
3. Annie Hall (1977, directed by Woody Allen) – I feel a great kinship to Woody Allen, and watching this movie as an impressionable teenager had a lasting effect. As well as a great story, the variety of techniques used from breaking the fourth wall, subtitles and animation really appeals to me.
4. Way Out West (1937, directed by James W Horne) – I adore Laurel & Hardy, but rarely did they work well in full-length motion pictures. This film, however, proves that they could and is a classic of visual and verbal gags married to a great storyline.
5. Donnie Darko (2001, directed by Richard Kelly) – I consider Donnie Darko to be the dark side to It’s A Wonderful Life, showing how different and worse existence would be for Donnie’s family and friends should he live. It’s such a poignant film, I cry at the end every time.
6. The Children’s Hour (1961, directed by William Wyler). An absolute heartrending classic, where two teachers accused of lesbianism in small town USA find their lives torn apart. The ending destroys me. It’s an incredibly powerful film.
7. El Topo (1970, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky). This insanely anarchic, visually disturbing, violently beautiful film is a brilliant cinematic assault on the senses. The Russian roulette church scene remains one of my favourites.
8. The Tingler (1958, directed by William Castle) – A truly great b-schlock film with a killer premise and a pivotal colour scene in an otherwise b&w movie. Vincent Price brings his usual sincerity to a role involving utter madness.
9. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, directed by Steven Spielberg) – this film had a major impact on me in my youth. I love that it examines the possibility of alien life without descending into xenophobic fears or invasion scenarios. There’s joy in this movie. Get me on board that spaceship!
10. The Vanishing (1993, directed by George Sluizer) – Another film which has me in tears during the final scenes. This genuinely terrifying film has a terrific denouement which is perfectly logical and utterly chilling. I adore it.
The last film I saw at the cinema was Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande a Part which was part of a mini Godard retrospective at my local arthouse cinema (I also saw the excellent Le Mepris as part of this series). To be honest, it’s rare I see new films at the cinema and it’s much more likely I’ll revisit older movies. The audiences tend to be more respectful.”
So, there you go! Lots of interesting titles on his list. Vertigo would certainly be on my list, and there’s plenty of contenders among the rest.
If you’d like to hear more from Andrew, he recently appeared as a guest on the radio show Hannah’s Bookshelf.
BUÑUEL’S THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL: A PERSONAL ANALYSIS: