Simon Ogston is an Auckland-based producer, director and camera-operator. Among other things, Simon has made a number of feature-length films about New Zealand bands. These include Rumble & Bang, Gone With The Weird, Antarctic Angels and the Unknown Blues and Sheen of Gold. His latest film is about Bill Direen, A Memory of Others and it screens at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival. Here are Five Films That Have Stayed With Him…
1 – 2001: A Space Odyssey: I was 16 when I first smoked pot and watched Space Odyssey, and things haven’t been the same since. The longer I make films the more I am in awe of Stanley Kubrick – he was a creative and technical master and it’s a shame he didn’t get to make even more movies. What would another Arthur C. Clarke adaptation have looked like? I love good sci-fi on the big screen and Space Odyssey 2001 looks and sounds incredible. Not to mention a story that continues to blow minds all over the planet.
2 – Cherry 2000: Call it B+ Grade. A low-budget post-apocalyptic Blade Runner-knockoff about a guy, his broken sex-robot and a female bounty-hunter (Melanie Griffith). I haven’t watched this in years but Cherry 2000 really stood out to me as a genre movie that did a lot with relatively little. Not a classic, but worth watching just for Tim Thomerson’s performance as the golf cart-driving crossbow-wielding motivational-speaking villain Lester. “You need to work on your personality”.
3 – Back To The Future: I went to a Back to the Future-themed party and this was playing in the corner. I couldn’t look away – every shot is so familiar, so memorable. I must admit to large amounts of nostalgia with this one – as a child Back to the Future set the benchmark for how great a movie could be, and to a large extent it still does. At the film’sheart is Michael J Fox’s terrific performance as a bloke whose mother fancies him. This clever conceit is delivered in a script so tight it’s still taught to film-school students all over the world. One of very few films that just about everybody loves.
4 – Raising Arizona: The Coen Brothers are my favourite directors, I really enjoy and admire their razor-sharp scripts, visual flair and goofy humour. Raising Arizona is a wonderful comedy with hugely memorable performances from all of its cast, notably John Goodman, Holly Hunter and Nicolas Cage. This was the movie that first got me seriously interested in filmmaking – I used to rewind and rewatch its deceptively simple stunts, and hopefully some of Ethan and Joel’s sense of timing also sunk in. But there’s no point in trying to emulate the Coens, they are true originals with a distinctive (not to mention politically subversive) style that is all their own.
5 – The Trump Presidency: Reality TV meets the White House in this gripping, scarcely believable crime-drama. The Trump Presidency appears to be rapidly spiralling towards itsconclusion in Shakespearean fashion, equal parts tragedy and farce. Will Don Jr’s sins bring down his father? And what did the daughter and son-in-law know? Unfortunately we already know who the losers are in this bizarre spectacle, but I still can’t look away.
Here are five albums Simon Ogston was loving back ‘then’