Scott Walker’s latest LP Bish Bosch is cinematic in scope – a dense collection of arresting images and long-form storytelling.
As The Quietus report, streaming service Curzon On Demand have recruited the legendary singer to curate a season of online film screenings. Walker’s a famous cinephile, and the selections offer a telling insight into the singer’s tastes. Michael Haneke’s punishing 2009 film The White Ribbon and Paolo Sorrentino’s 2008 political thriller Il Divo both feature. Finnish absurdist Aki Kaurismaki is also repped twice – not surprising, given Walker’s predilection for mordant humour. Mizoguchi and Angelopoulos also feature.
In Walker’s words: “First of all let me say what a privilege it is to be asked to curate this mini season of films on Curzon On Demand for Curzon Cinemas. An invaluable establishment that has over the years offered and offers still to me and countless other ‘cinephiles’ the very finest of cinematic treasures in the most conducive surroundings. Though this choice hardly represents a definitive list of my all time favourite films and is conditionally drawn from the Curzon’s embarrassingly impressive catalogue, it nevertheless contains some unmissable glories and current works that have impressed.”
The playlist is available over at Curzon On Demand. Walker has provided blurbs for all of the films – peep below to read his rationale for each choice. Bish Bosch is out now on 4AD
The Travelling Players
“A film like Angelopoulos’ The Travelling Players, is a work I’ve not seen since it’s initial release in the 70s but have fond, if hazy, memories of, so the impulse here is re-acquaintance of which I’m very much looking forward.”
Le Quattro Volte
“A film that truly casts a spell. Extraordinary, as for stretches of time, seemingly nothing much is happening and there is virtually no dialogue. Still you find yourself utterly absorbed from beginning to end, only later to be left wondering quite how this magic was achieved.”
The White Ribbon
“A meticulous essay on the making of a Nazi. Haneke is one of the great film-makers of our time and The White Ribbon in my opinion is his finest.”
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum and Utamaro and His Five Women
“Those familiar with the legendary works of Mizoguchi like The Life Of Oharu or Ugetsu Monogatari,will be able to witness one of his greatest and most influential pre-war films, The Story Of The Last Chrysanthemum, as well as the later wonderful tale of a ‘floating world’ artist, Utamaro And His Five Women.”
“A work that has two outstanding central performances from Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Bonnaire. A compelling crime drama that Chabrol has joked is ‘the last Marxist film’ where once again the bourgeois get theirs in style.”
Match Factory Girl
“Possibly my favourite Aki Kaurismaki film though I am spoiled for choice as I find his work particularly appeals to my sense of humour. He’s Bresson with laughs. Not easy to pull off.”
Take Care Of Your Scarf Tatiana
“A must for caffeine addicts everywhere.”
“This is really what great cinema is all about. The director Paolo Sorrentino has taken a subject whose interest could easily find itself confined to Italy and the parameters of Italian politics and yet through amazing film making technique and fascinating use of sound, transforms into an unforgettable dream work that must be seen.
The Turin Horse
“Bela Tarr’s beautiful, spare, cinematic farewell,…… I wouldn’t hold him to it though. Enjoy.”