Trawling through the list of musical names that will undoubtedly be etched into the annals of pop culture history there is one more ever-present idol that deserves some attention. Trent Reznor may well have become an icon of alt-rock with Nine Inch Nails, promoting an industrialised vision of grunge’s most terrifying moments, but the singer and songwriter has excelled further to become a mainstay in Hollywood, providing countless scores and soundtracks to his canon of work. It makes finding out his favourite films of all time all the more interesting.
Trying to pick one’s five favourite films is usually a task left to a day without a schedule. Such is the warren of cinematic tunnels most of us have woven through our experience that a day free of any other task is an essential component of compiling such a list. However, artists such as Trent Reznor are usually asked on the spot and without a moment’s notice. It can lead to their choices being a little bit off the mark. Reznor, however, hits the target every time.
One thing that is worth noting, for a musician who has spent the majority of his creative life working on the peripheries of socially acceptable art, Reznor’s choices are, shall we say, a little safe? That’s not to say that they aren’t great movies, but they’re certainly the more secured side of leftfield.
Speaking with Graffiti, Reznor opened up about his favourite movies, picking out some classics: “That’s another tough question but some of my favourites would be [David Lynch’s] Blue Velvet, [Stanley Kubrick’s] 2001: A Space Odyssey and [Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic] Taxi Driver.”
However, Reznor picked out one film which not only acted as a perfect piece of cinema in his mind but the tone of which would inspire him to write two whole e albums. “David Cronenberg‘s Dead Ringers is a Five Star Film though,” Reznor told Graffiti. “That just popped into my head. The tone of Cronenberg’s films are amazing, particularly that one. It was very inspirational to me in the writing of a couple of albums – The Downward Spiral and The Fragile.”
It’s not the first and it won’t be the last time that a movie can inspire a song. Reznor shared his thoughts on why the film wove so much influence throughout his work: “It’s as well as that sense of dread when you’re not sure what’s going to happen but you can tell it’s just not going to work out. It’s not going to have a happy ending and I related to that. His sense of body horror really touched a primal instinct in me. I almost said [Cronenberg’s] Videodrome but that’s more of a guilty pleasure… I love that movie as well.”
There’s no doubt that Trent Reznor’s name will be inextricably added to the large stone tablet of rock’s greatest icons. But as his movie career continues to grow, he may well find himself on two separate mantels. If you’re looking for the films that Reznor himself loves the most, then you can add them to your essential watching list below.
Trent Reznor’s five favourite films of all time:
- Blue Velvet – David Lynch
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick
- Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese
- Videodrome – David Cronenberg
- Dead Ringers – David Cronenberg