At a time when millions of people are forced to remain home amid a strict social distancing lockdown, fans of cinema are dipping back into the archives for a moment of light relief.
With cinemas and theatres forced to close their doors, production sets ground to a halt and film releases facing severe delays, the film industry—like the rest of the world—faces the tough glimpse into the unknown.
However, while future projects face scheduling difficulties, some of cinema’s greatest ever masterpieces remain a guiding light. While lockdown measures bring their own unique difficulties, the prolonged period of time has also opened up a window to spend more time at home with loved ones and, in this case, to delve back through some of best cinematic pictures of all time.
Here, in a bid to add a little more guidance to your movie options, Far Out Magazine caught up with award-winning filmmaker, actor and comedian Judd Apatow who picked out a selection of his favourites to keep you going.
Apatow, the director behind projects such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People and more, is currently one of the aforementioned creatives affected by the current crisis as his upcoming film, The King of Staten Island, faces a delayed release.
The project, which stars the likes of Pete Davidson, Steve Buscemi, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr and more, is a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about Davidson growing up in Staten Island, including losing his father during 9/11 and entering the world of stand up comedy.
For Apatow, a cinephile with a rich understanding of the finer details that come when working for the big screen, has allowed his creative vision and passion for comedy run simultaneously and, perhaps most impressively, allowed both to work in harmony with one another. While stand-up has always been his source of joy, the director is one of a rare number of people to successfully transmit his own humour from stage to screen—and it arrives as a testament to his hard work and commitment to the craft.
“You have to have a dream before you can execute it,” Apatow once said. “That the people who succeed are the ones who think through what the next stages of their careers might be, and then work incredibly hard, day after day, to attain their goals. They don’t just flop around like fish. They have a vision, and they work their asses off to make it a reality.” It’s a quote the perfectly matches Apatow’s creative intuition and glaringly obvious source for his success.
While Apatow enjoys a clear vision of his own, the director has always ingested the stylistic nature of some of is peers. When naming his favourite films exclusively to Far Out, Apatow offered a wonderful mix of selections which range from Hal Ashby to Paul Thomas Anderson to Stanley Kubrick.
Asked about his selections, Apatow said: “I did it fast and did not review after. I assumed that was the best way to do it. By quick instinct.”
Like a lot of us scrolling through the endless list of cinematic options, the director wanted to act fast: “If I pondered for too long I would surely have changed most of it—then did that twelve more times.”
See the full list, below.
Judd Apatow’s 10 Favourite Films:
- Being There – Hal Ashby, 1979.
- The Jerk – Carl Reiner, 1979.
- A Prophet – Jacques Audiard, 2009.
- Punch Drunk Love – Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002.
- Terms of Endearment – James L. Brooks, 1983.
- Harold and Maude – Hal Ashby, 1971.
- Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe, 2000.
- Something About Mary – Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, 1998.
- Dr. Strangelove – Stanley Kubrick, 1964.
- Network – Sidney Lumet, 1976.
You can also see the trailer for The King of Staten Island, below.