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From one movie fan to another, we explore cinema as a means to explore emotion through acting, music and direction. SCAN spoke to Lauren Banks about her preferences in film.
What’s your favourite movie and why?
That’s a tough call, but I’d have to say Inglorious Basterds. I think it’s Tarantino’s best one yet (sorry Kill Bill), with such a fascinating story, made even better by the incredible actors. Christoph Waltz is such a compelling villain as Hans Landa. The very first scene of the film makes me incredibly tense – and Brad Pitt is incredible as Lieutenant Aldo Raine. But my favourite has to be Melanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus. I love how the dialogue in French and German, and English is used as a plot device, and it has my favourite ending of any film. Who doesn’t want a cinema full of Nazi’s burned to the ground by a Jewish woman and her black lover?
Would you say you’re more of an indie buff or a mainstream lover?
I would have to say mainstream. Indie cinema is excellent, and I love Wes Anderson films, but I find most indie cinema unbearably pretentious and flowery. I prefer the movie I watch to have an actual story rather than just aesthetic shots and monologues from weird boys who think they’re artsy and their two-dimensional manic pixie dream girlfriends.
What’s the most memorable movie soundtrack you’ve heard and why; how does it make you feel?
Without a doubt, the Lord of the Rings soundtracks. There’s something magical about every score, and you can feel yourself be transported to Middle Earth, or Mordor, or Rivendell. It makes me so happy when I hear the start of Concerning Hobbits. It’s so cheerful and yet peaceful. You can tell Howard Shore knew what he was doing, especially when he composed The Grey Havens – I can’t listen to it without tearing up. So much attention and passion were put into this music that I can’t imagine the series without it. It’s just perfect.
Also, an honourable mention to the Baby Driver soundtrack. How the film was moulded to every song was unforgettable, and every song fit just perfectly. How the gunshots lined up with the songs that were playing was insane.
In honour of Black History Month, shine a light on filmmakers/directors/actors/composers in film or tv who inspire you.
Top of the long, long list has to be Jordan Peele. He is a master of horror, altogether redefining the genre with only two films. I’m usually not good with horror (throwback to me running out of Hereditary, thanks to Ari Aster), but Peele’s films are something beyond sole horror. Get Out, and Us are in turns funny, deeply disturbing, and profound. Peele uses his movies to comment on themes such as racism and privilege in a way that sticks with you. Us is so well crafted, strange, and compelling; I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks afterwards.
Lupita Nyong’o has to be here as well. As well as being the best part of Us, she, along with Letitia Wright, was my favourite part of Black Panther. She’s so versatile and talented; she makes any film that she’s in a good one.
What’s one movie you’re looking forward to seeing?
Oh, Joker. I was intrigued, to begin with when I saw the first trailer. It didn’t strike me as a typical DC film, and Joaquin Phoenix looked completely and utterly insane. I don’t usually go in for gritty origin stories because they all look so samey, but Joker is something else. The reviews are all amazing, and I’m so excited to see what it has in store.