Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Starlet Director Sean Baker

The writer-director behind this week's indie drama offers a glimpse into his favorite movies.

by | November 7, 2012 | Comments

One of the buzz films at this year’s SXSW festival, writer-director Sean Baker’s Starlet explores the unusual friendship between a 21-year-old actress (Dree Hemingway) and an 85-year-old woman (Besedka Johnson) when their lives cross paths in California’s San Fernando Valley. Featuring breakout performances — especially from Hemingway, the daughter of actress Mariel and great-granddaughter of writer Ernest — the movie is getting early praise from critics ahead of its release in New York and Los Angeles this week. We caught up with director Sean Baker recently, who shared with us an interesting list of his five favorite films.

Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrera, 1992; 77% Tomatometer)

This is torture. It was very difficult to leave off so many of my favorites from this list but I decided to go with my favorites that don’t get as much attention as others so that hopefully it leads to people seeking them out. So these aren’t in order — love them all equally. Abel Ferrara’s masterpiece Bad Lieutenant. I love NYC films and this truly captured the city’s vibe of the early ’90s. I could watch Harvey Keitel screaming, crying and smoking crack all day. Besides his amazing performance and Ferrara’s vibrant realism, Zoë Lund wrote one of the tightest screenplays ever written. We only got one film from her as she tragically passed away in 1999. Thank you Zoë… this is an important film.

Oasis (Chang-dong Lee, 2002; 89% Tomatometer)

Chang-dong Lee’s Oasis. Very little exposure in the States, however it was released on DVD and you can find it. An extremely daring film that made me cry about a “forbidden” love affair. I consider Chang-dong Lee to be one of the most important living directors. All of his films
are worth checking out.

The Idiots (Lars von Trier, 1998; 70% Tomatometer)

Lars von Trier’s The Idiots aka Idioterne. This was the 2nd Dogma 95 film and didn’t get nearly the attention or acclaim as The Celebration. But I feel this is the quintessential Dogma film… combines scathing social commentary, laugh-out-loud, daring comedy and ultimately an extremely emotional and cathartic ending. This is von Trier’s masterpiece.

Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993; 88% Tomatometer)

I love all of Mike Leigh’s films but this is the one that had a big impact on me. Like all of films above, it beautifully combines comedy and drama. It was also a stylistic departure for Leigh, who still held on to the British social-realism vibe but delivered it in a very
cinematic and calculated way. Also should be seen for Katrin
Cartlidge who had a very bright but tragically short career.

Used Cars (Robert Zemeckis, 1980; 76% Tomatometer)

Robert Zemeckis’ Used Cars. One of the most underrated and under-appreciated films of all time and my favorite comedy. Kurt Russell is genius in this film and I wish he would return to comedies because his delivery and timing are to die for. Excellent supporting cast including the wonderful Jack Warden who plays two characters — dueling brothers. And kudos to Zemeckis and [co-writer] Bob Gale for writing a biting, social satirical and very un-PC script. “Jesus Palomino!”

Starlet plays the AFI fest in Los Angeles and opens in LA and New York this week.

Tag Cloud

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