Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai have cemented their status as one of the most important bands in the current landscape through iconic albums such as Happy Songs for Happy People, Mogwai Young Team and more. Even after more than two decades, they have continued to produce works that have managed to garner unanimous critical and commercial acclaim.
Their tenth studio album – As the Love Continues – went on to top the UK charts in its first week and won multiple accolades, including the Scottish Album of the Year. Described by many commentators as another ambitious peak in Mogwai’s impressive trajectory over the years, their latest album has become yet another effective addition to their fascinating discography.
In an interview with Criterion, the band members were asked to list some of the cinematic masterpieces that influenced their own works and made them fall in love with films. With picks by each of them, Mogwai’s selection is truly eclectic and should be considered essential viewing for fans of different genres.
The list contains horror films like Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby which Stuart Braithwaite called “one of the greatest horror films ever made” as well as sci-fi gems like Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop. Drummer Martin Bulloch went with films by great visionaries like Guillermo del Toro and Akira Kurosawa.
“Deciding which Akira Kurosawa film to choose for this list was extremely difficult, as he made so many tremendous films. Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo are all amazing, but I love this version of Macbeth,” Bulloch said. “During the final scene, Kurosawa had trained archers fire real arrows at Toshiro Mifune. Brilliant.”
Check out the list below.
Mogwai’s 10 favourite films:
- Cronos (Guillermo del Toro, 1993)
- Don’t Look Back (D. A. Pennebaker, 1967)
- Fantastic Planet (René Laloux, 1973)
- Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
- Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
- The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
- RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987)
- Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
- Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
- Watership Down (Martin Rosen, 1978)
Dominic Aitchison expressed his love for the true cult classic The Night of the Hunter, citing Robert Mitchum’s central performance as one of his favourites. Aitchison said: “Robert Mitchum is incredible as a serial killer roving about in the guise of a preacher.”
Adding, “It’s the only film Charles Laughton directed, which, on the evidence of this film, is a real shame, as he seemed to have a real flair for it. There are a lot of great performances, and you can’t help but wonder if Laughton’s vast experience as an actor helped him get the best out of his cast.”