Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Max Winkler

The writer-director of Ceremony on his favorite movies and making his feature debut.

by | April 8, 2011 | Comments

First-time writer-director director Max Winkler isn’t a household name like his dad, but that may very well change in the future. The 27-year-old son of Happy Days‘ star and producer Henry Winkler has several buzzed-about projects in the works, including the comedy The Adventurer’s Handbook, starring Jason Schwartzman, Jason Segel and Jonah Hill, the intriguingly-titled fantasy The Ornate Anatomy of Living Things, and a film he’s written with Jason Reitman attached to direct, Whispers in Bedlam.

Reitman also serves as executive producer to Winkler’s directorial debut released this week, the comedy-drama Ceremony, in which precocious fantasist Michael Angarano crashes a wedding to pursue his older ex, played by Uma Thurman. An impressive debut, the film exhibits the influences of Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby and Noah Baumbach — which is a good thing — and it’s something that Winkler is the first to admit.

The Squid and the Whale changed my life when I saw it,” Winkler says of Baumbach’s 2005 movie. “Just in how you could have these great characters and not be so easy on them all the time. The Jeff Daniels character is one of my favorite characters on film: he believes in the myth of himself rather than who he really is, and I think that’s apropos for [Angarano’s character].”

Winkler says he wrote the film, at Reitman’s urging, from a personal place. “He’s sort of the worst parts of myself,” he laughs, referring to Angarano’s protagonist. “It’s a really honest portrayal of what you’re like in that young, reckless part of your life; you feel everything almost too much, and you feel like you have the monopoly on all the world’s suffering and heartbreak and pain.”

The director likens his experience to that of Reitman, who also had to work in the shadow of a famous father. “I think that’s one of the reasons that we probably work so hard and produce movies at a young age,” he explains, “immediately trying to get past the misconception. We saw our fathers work that hard, and we wanted to get right out of the gate and make something that was particularly us.”

We asked Winkler to submit his Five Favorite Films… and here they are.

 


Paper Moon (1973, 90% Tomatometer)



Tremendously influential to me, especially in regards to Ceremony. The writing, the tone, the camerawork, the happy and sad moments; often playing against each other at the same time. Bogdanovich blows my mind continuously.

The Last Detail (1973, 92% Tomatometer)

 

Probably the seminal movie in regards to what it means to be a man in changing times. Hal Ashby is one of the great legends of tone and emotion without it ever feeling too forced. A movie that also argues the important point: “It’s just as easy to get it the way you want.”

Stardust Memories (1980, 71% Tomatometer)



I could choose any of Woody Allen’s movies and would be able to sleep well at night. A true master of cinema and way more of a director’s director than people give him credit for, especially in his collaborations with the great
cameraman Gordon Willis. With the exception of Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan, Stardust Memories has always left me the most emotional.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004, 53% Tomatometer)



When I was 13 years old my father took me to see the matinee showing of Bottle Rocket at the AMC Century City theaters. At our lunch following the picture, I proclaimed to my father with great certainty that all I wanted to do in life was to make movies. All of Wes’s movies have had a tremendous impact and influence on my generation but I believe his 4th film, The Life Aquatic, is perhaps his most underrated and in many ways the funniest. Everybody needs an Esteban in their life…

The Bad News Bears (1976, 98% Tomatometer)



In my humble opinion this movie is perfection. It’s a summer blockbuster for kids where the authority figure, played flawlessly by Walter Matthau, drinks beer with bourbon as he drives, like, 10 kids in his five seat car.

 


Ceremony is in select theaters this week.

Tag Cloud

concert VH1 DGA 2016 slashers TruTV Turner unscripted TV renewals technology finale comedies casting Christmas NBC zombies Travel Channel Video Games Esquire Fantasy 2019 Discovery Channel book canceled teaser TBS psychological thriller cooking DirecTV Certified Fresh Fall TV ABC Family Spectrum Originals 2020 joker social media singing competition X-Men best Toys 20th Century Fox Epix YouTube PaleyFest sports science fiction stoner Brie Larson Mindy Kaling Marvel Studios Reality Character Guide OWN canceled TV shows YouTube Red talk show Family directors Classic Film a nightmare on elm street 2018 doctor who Crackle cops Stephen King Rom-Com television independent 4/20 Universal Comics on TV die hard Logo Thanksgiving Pet Sematary hist adaptation parents reboot series Nat Geo elevated horror cartoon RT21 Hear Us Out Pop TV Paramount Marvel Television Ovation Lionsgate Schedule composers Apple TV+ cars Apple TV Plus SXSW A24 theme song Trophy Talk transformers halloween The Witch Spring TV Comedy DC Universe Marvel BBC aliens TNT animated Mary Tyler Moore toy story Calendar space spider-man comic revenge Year in Review spanish language binge Showtime latino Sundance TV children's TV movie TCA FX on Hulu Mystery Mary poppins Walt Disney Pictures dragons medical drama Pride Month Sneak Peek LGBTQ Amazon Prime Video Turner Classic Movies Film Festival Funimation miniseries crossover Sony Pictures rotten movies we love Awards Grammys justice league ghosts Black Mirror CBS New York Comic Con Elton John 2017 Box Office travel zombie dceu romantic comedy dogs werewolf quibi Cannes Comedy Central TCM what to watch Hulu CBS All Access cancelled TV series BBC America Teen Awards Tour mockumentary stand-up comedy cancelled television true crime Baby Yoda YA documentary franchise Food Network Black History Month Western game show Paramount Network Lucasfilm Oscars 71st Emmy Awards facebook comics harry potter politics historical drama Trailer 007 Heroines Cosplay witnail tv talk Rocketman award winner criterion Superheroe Tubi batman game of thrones Ellie Kemper Tomatazos serial killer LGBT GLAAD First Look spy thriller Sundance Now universal monsters richard e. Grant Apple Infographic foreign Valentine's Day Academy Awards war Quiz E3 Ghostbusters spinoff PBS period drama Peacock See It Skip It diversity Masterpiece political drama Tumblr Starz cancelled robots Amazon Watching Series Dark Horse Comics Emmys discovery police drama Music asian-american festivals kids renewed TV shows chucky 21st Century Fox Martial Arts Amazon Studios GoT Disney streaming service anime Hallmark Christmas movies Extras Cartoon Network American Society of Cinematographers Disney Plus Emmy Nominations Film Warner Bros. Horror Super Bowl christmas movies GIFs mutant RT History hispanic anthology San Diego Comic-Con Musical Acorn TV sitcom APB Spike Lifetime Christmas movies USA Network Netflix A&E movies spain blockbuster sag awards Columbia Pictures Song of Ice and Fire screenings biography nature vampires Britbox Countdown ITV Women's History Month psycho VICE Creative Arts Emmys Rocky Country MTV FOX WGN Writers Guild of America Vudu Mary Poppins Returns DC streaming service Television Academy Arrowverse Musicals Premiere Dates Opinion ABC strong female leads President Kids & Family TV Land TIFF Fox News Nickelodeon crime thriller Sci-Fi National Geographic NYCC SundanceTV El Rey supernatural Mudbound History Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MSNBC Photos USA Tarantino Disney+ Disney Plus CW Seed Holiday romance Bravo Comic Book Pop based on movie Summer SDCC golden globes The Arrangement sequel MCU IFC Films CNN blaxploitation screen actors guild TCA 2017 IFC Netflix Christmas movies Podcast Lifetime cinemax south america green book Hallmark The CW comiccon crime drama cancelled TV shows Sundance adventure Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt AMC Amazon Prime ESPN Election Winners Disney Channel Crunchyroll FXX natural history Nominations Polls and Games Animation TV WarnerMedia Pirates 2015 HBO HBO Max disaster child's play Action Reality Competition Anna Paquin ratings E! FX free movies cults dc Set visit TLC Holidays Syfy TCA Winter 2020 Interview Chernobyl versus Shondaland docudrama dark Disney Biopics name the review CMT dramedy Pixar First Reviews Drama streaming breaking bad Red Carpet thriller DC Comics Endgame Best and Worst YouTube Premium Avengers scary movies Captain marvel Marathons 24 frames jamie lee curtis Star Wars Adult Swim mission: impossible boxoffice cats BET Rock Shudder OneApp indie The Purge crime Freeform video Star Trek reviews zero dark thirty 45 Trivia Binge Guide Winter TV The Walking Dead Superheroes