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The classic films that influenced the music of Kate Bush

It is no revelation that Kate Bush has drawn inspiration from cinema and television to a great extent. Many of her works directly reference masterpieces that are loved and revered by film fans as well as filmmakers all around the world, with Bush citing these influences on multiple occasions in order to explain her artistic process.

Bush has used unconventional lyricism and an obsession with the literary domain to construct a brand of music that has often been described as “musical surrealism” by cultural commentators. Due to her elusive artistic vision, Bush’s work has resisted definite categorisations and has carved out a unique, instantly identifiable space for itself.

Thanks to her love for cinema, Bush has played around with genre constructs in music as well. Her songs contain elements of horror as well as comedy, with the latter playing a huge part in the development of Bush’s sensibilities. In fact, she has even claimed that she learnt a lot from the likes of Woody Allen and Monty Python.

“I love comedy,” Bush said. “I like to think that there’s a sense of humour in some of my music—obviously not all of it. But I think comedy and music are both things that we need as human beings. I think that both art forms can touch people. Comedy is a very big part of the English culture, the sense of humour; it’s a very dominant trait.”

In addition to comedy, Bush was also moved by iconic horror films such as Night of the Demon which was referenced in her ‘Hounds of Love‘ as well as Jack Clayton’s The Innocents which went on to become the primary source of inspiration for ‘The Infant Kiss’. She even cited François Truffaut’s 1968 crime drama The Bride Wore Black as the film that sparked ‘The Wedding List’.

Bush has also displayed her love of cinema through her music videos, collaborating with acclaimed pioneers like Terry Gilliam on projects such as ‘Cloudbusting’. While Bush was familiar with arthouse cinema from around the world, she also referenced popular classics like Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Check out the full list below.

Kate Bush’s favourite films:

  • Wuthering Heights (William Wyler, 1939)
  • The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
  • Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
  • Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
  • The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
  • The Bride Wore Black (François Truffaut, 1968)
  • The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  • Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)
  • The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
  • Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980)
  • She’s Having a Baby (John Hughes, 1988)

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