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(Credit: Anna Calvi)

Film

Anna Calvi names her three favourite films of all time

Often described as a virtuoso guitarist, celebrated English singer-songwriter Anna Calvi is one of the most unique artistic voices in the contemporary landscape. The winner of several accolades and now an icon in the queer community, Calvi’s music has been gaining traction since her debut album, but it reached a wider audience when she released her third studio LP, Hunter, in 2018.

In an interview, Calvi spoke about the things that inspired her to make Hunter: “I came across these records that I’d done as soon as I had written the songs, and I liked the rawness and the vulnerability that they had,” she said, adding: “It felt very different from the album that I had fully recorded. Hunter was very much a galvanising, strong record, but the whole idea of my record was that we are multifaceted and we don’t just have to be strong or vulnerable”.

Calvi went on to explain the duality of her music, adding: “I find it important to express those sides – the strong and the vulnerable in music-making. It’s most interesting to work in opposites, and particularly for an album that’s about trying to be more fluid, and seeing the world in a more fluid way. It just felt like the right thing to write about and be inspired by.”

Calvi has also worked on films and television shows as a composer, most notably the hit show Peaky Blinders. Her work on that set the mood for the entire season in which it was featured and she even called herself a “Peaky artist”. Since then, Calvi has also worked with other acclaimed collaborators like Joanna Hogg whose 2019 drama The Souvenir featured her song ‘Julie.’

In addition to drawing inspiration from Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Nick Cave and other illustrious figures in the music industry, Calvi’s work is influenced by cinema. She has often mentioned that the films of pioneers like Wong Kar-wai and David Lynch have had a monumental impact on her music. According to Calvi, she is moved by “people [who] make beautiful films where the cinematography tells the story”.

Check out a list of Anna Calvi’s favourite films of all time below.

Anna Calvi’s favourite films:

  • Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)
  • My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)
  • Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991)

When she was asked about the three films she could watch on repeat without getting tired of them, Calvi immediately said: “Paris, Texas, I find really beautiful; I love the shots and find it very mysterious. My Own Private Idaho because I love River Phoenix and Point Break, with Keanu Reeves, because it makes me want to surf even though I never will”.

However, her favourite cinematic masterpiece of all time is the brilliantly tender My Own Private Idaho which has become a landmark of New Queer cinema. Calvi once revealed: “Gus Van Sant is one of my favourite directors of all time, and My Own Private Idaho has this genuine sense of humour. I also think if River Phoenix is really incredible in it.”