Pop culture’s been a lifesaver in These Times, with our mandated indoor hours giving us the opportunity to catch up on the movies, prestige shows, and horny trash we may otherwise have overlooked. If you’re looking for more recommendations to round out your consumption, an impressive array of famed directors are currently convening on Twitter to unpack what they’ve been watching and reading.
The Shape Of Water’s Guillermo del Toro organized the chat, which will also include Jordan Peele, Edgar Wright, James Mangold, Rian Johnson, and Scott Derrickson, as well as Ava DuVernay, Brad Bird, Joe Dante, Ari Aster, Issa López, and Lexi Alexander. In other words, this is basically a meeting of our generation’s greatest purveyors of cinematic genre.
Del Toro invites one and all to join in, but to “keep talking about films to a minimum,” so, please, no harping about fish-fucking. Del Toro adds, “I hope this can be about things we love. Not about things we hate or things we are weighed down about.”
Del Toro kicked things off by riffing on Aldous Huxley’s The Devils Of Loudon, which he describes as “INCREDIBLY pertinent to what we are going through” for its exploration of “how autonomy can be destroyed in times of crisis.” He rides for work by William Lindsay Gresham, who wrote the source material for Del Toro’s next film, Nightmare Alley, and also recommends films by Gustaf Molander, Ermanno Olmi, and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’s Céline Sciamma.
- Johnson’s thoughts on his revisiting of Robert Altman’s 3 Women. “I had always imagined this was an impenetrable artsy slog... it is insane and hilarious, and ultimately touching,” he says.
- DuVernay hopping between the Béla Tarr’s punishing The Turin Horse and the frothy Notting Hill. For all its explorations of death and decay, however, DuVernay says The Turin Horse has become a movie she plays over and over again. “I find it comforting,” she says. “Like we’re all in the house together. Wild.”
- Hereditary and Midsommar director Ari Aster revealing he’s been rewatching the third season of The Sopranos, which he describes as “a supreme work of art.” He also recommends Reds on Amazon Prime, which, he says, “as a single person makes me want to cut off my hands and replace them with my feet (also a comfort in these trying times).”
The conversation continues to rage on, with more and more filmmakers popping in to say hello and shoot the shit. Hop onto Twitter to join in.
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