Today special for HF Norway multi instrumentalist Kathrine Shepard from Sylvaine project talks about her favorite films that have influenced life and creativity.
What a masterpiece! “Alien” has to be my all time favorite horror movie. Everything from the actual story line, to the cinematography, the actors and the incredible alien universe created by H.R. Giger is just perfect. I love how the story builds and the mystery remains thru most parts of the movie, never actually getting a clear view of the beautifully disturbing xenomorph creature. It’s iconic, and a real defining moment in movie history. Even in 2020, it’s still super unsettling to watch.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Hayao Miyazaki is a big favorite of mine, always bringing me so much inspiration when I have the pleasure to watch his work. It was difficult to only choose one of his movies for this list, but I ended up on “Princess Mononoke”, as the theme of this film is especially close to my heart. The duality between humanity and nature, and how humans have taken advantage of all the natural resources since forever, just resonates so deeply with me. A lot of my own music is inspired by this exact duality. In addition; you have the wonderful water color- based animation that Ghibli is so known for. It’s just too beautiful... It breaks my heart.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? This is a story about the prejudice that exists in human society and about how it can hinder all kinds of beautiful things and individuals from thriving, only based on the fact that they are different. Such an important subject, presented in the whimsically, dark world of Tim Burton. Not to mention the soundtrack by Danny Elfman, which is simply incredible and highly emotive. I fell in love with this film the first time I saw it and have watched it on a yearly basis ever since. The soundtrack especially, has brought me a lot of inspiration for choir parts in my own music and was probably the first score that really got me interested in movie music when I was a kid.
The Arrival (2016)
“The Arrival” was one of those movies that stayed with me for quite some time after watching it in the cinemas back in 2016. Can’t put my finger on exactly why this one became so special to me, but I just love the story, the feeling the movies gives me, the whole visual design, the sound design and the soundtrack made by Jóhann Jóhannsson. Everything just makes for a non-ordinary experience and also as a reminder that there’s more to life than what we as humans can perceive.
Let The Right One In (2008)
One of my favorite on-film love stories. “Let The Right One In” takes a rather usual, dark character from the horror world and brings some childlike innocence into the mix. To watch the story unfold between the two main characters and how their bond grows, despite their differences and despite the terror that little vampire Eli brings with her, is so beautiful to me. I also love the kinda dark vibe in the original Swedish version, sparse in music and bleak in color tones. It underlines the story in a very natural way.
Your Name (2016)
So beautiful, yet so heartbreaking, “Your Name” not only features inspiring visuals, but also a story made for a hopeless romantic like myself. I feel like this movie really holds the mix of immense beauty, yet constant melancholy, something I get from Japan as a country in general. That’s also a balance I’m inspired by a lot for my music. It would be a dream come true to do a soundtrack for a movie like this. Incredible illustrations in this one too.
American Beauty (1999)
Another masterpiece, accompanied by an incredible soundtrack made by Thomas Newman. I mean; that scene where Jane and Ricky watch the video clip with the dance of the plastic bag in the wind, paired with “Any Other Name”…. Who didn’t cry their eyes out while watching this beauty? The movie is a classic for a reason, and a great depiction of the struggles of being human, on all different levels.
The Perks of being a Wallflower (2012)
Being a rather nostalgic person, I always had a love for kind of “teenage angst/teenage struggle/90s teenage” type of movies (like “Virgin Suicides”, “The Craft”, “Donnie Darko”, “Juno” etc). I chose “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” for this list, as it was one of the most recent movies of this type that I really connected with. There’s something so pure, unique and defining about this part of everybody’s life. Made my heart warm.
The Tree of Life (2011)
Terrance Malik is a unique director and I especially love his approach to cinematography. Even the most simplest of shots are gorgeous. I admit that I had to watch “ The Tree of Life” a couple of times before I found my meaning in the movie, but when it became apparent, it hit me quite hard. The connection to the spiritual world, the after-life and our composition is really strong in this one, making it a very profound experience to me personally.
Lost In Translation (2003)
The fact that this movie was filmed in Tokyo, the whole Japan-connection, definitely contributed to my love for “Lost In Translation”. That and the shoegaze/dream pop soundtrack that fits so well with the color tones, the softness and vibes of the story. There’s something captivating in how relatable the insecurities of both Charlotte and Bob are, as well is their enchanting connection with each other. We’ve all experienced those moments when the right people just happened to walk straight into our life at the exact right time. Also; Bill Murray!
Almost made it onto the list: Interview With the Vampire, Contact, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Joker, Dead Poets Society, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Wall-E, Melancholia, It Follows, ET, The Silence of The Lambs, The Lovely Bones, The Shining and so on.