We asked Kate Plays Christine and Actress director Robert Greene to pick five films that have influenced his work, in his words.
EDVARD MUNCH (Peter Watkins)
Peter Watkins’ experimental portrait of the great expressionist is a hybrid of ideas, featuring nonprofessional actors-in-character giving documentary interviews about their actual lives, while Watkins stitches together a dense psychological truth from fragments, fiction, visual quotations and historical facts.
NEWS FROM HOME (Chantal Akerman)
Minimalist, personal and affecting. Shots of New York, expressionistically out-of-sync city sounds and letters from Akerman’s mother. That’s it. Extension of time and space and depth of feeling; the personal as political.
A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (John Cassavetes)
Not a documentary, but of course it is. Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes collaborate to create a performance that is layered with fiction and the real. Masks are factual. Acting plus time transmits the expression of something deeply true.
THE KOKER TRILOGY (Abbas Kiarostami)
Fiction-metafiction-something else. Abbas Kiarostami is rightly celebrated for his mind bending CLOSE UP, but it’s this trilogy (WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOME, LIFE AND NOTHING MORE and THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES) that most breaks my heart while twisting my head into a pretzel.
GENERAL ID AMIN DADA (Barbet Schroeder)
Barbet Schroeder’s “self portrait" of the dictator is a geopolitical PORTRAIT OF JASON, revealing the performance of politics and the self-manufacturing nature of documentary character like nothing else.