Five Favorite Films

Garth Davis' Five Favorite Films

by | February 9, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)

Garth Davis is only getting started. With just a few credits to his name (including some TV work on Top of the Lake and Love My Way, as well as a documentary called P.I.N.S.), Davis directed Lion, a drama based on a true story about an adopted Indian man living in Australia who uses Google Earth to track down the small village where he grew up. The film has become a critical darling and an awards favorite, earning six Academy Awards nominations, and it has launched Davis into the big time. With the Oscars arriving shortly, we took the opportunity to speak with him and find out what movies make him tick. Here are Garth Davis’ Five Favorite Films:

A Woman Under the Influence (1975) 93%

This is my favorite. It’s A Woman Under the Influence by John Cassavetes. What I love about his movies — especially this film too — is just the performances are so brave. The characters are so unpredictable. They’re so full of life. Also, there’s such a social commentary in this movie about how society doesn’t allow people to be who they really are, and I just find that a great metaphor for so many things in one’s life. I thought, “Through this one relationship, I’m moved in such a deep way.”

I also love how Cassavetes pushes the performances so far that it finds this kind of amazing poetry at a certain point. I particularly remember this scene where Gena Rowlands is basically just so misunderstood and so cut down and beaten down that she finds this physicality. It was almost like a moment of ballet. I just think there’s something very genius going on in that film and very brave and I love it. It’s a beautiful film.

Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge) (1999) 85%

Actually, I just thought of another one which really affected me. I don’t know if I’m going to pronounce it correctly. It’s Les Amants du Pont-Neuf — Lovers on the Pont-Neuf [aka Lovers on the Bridge]. It has Juliette Binoche in it and Denis Lavant. He’s very good. I was a university student when this came out. It’s kind of a love story of a privileged girl who’s going blind and she kind of runs away from her privileged life to live on the streets. And she falls in love eventually or creates this friendship with this homeless man. It’s an extraordinary film. It just blew my mind. Again, the filmmaking was incredibly brave and just committed and front-foot and so unique. Again, a film that looks at relationships and has a life in the characters — very alive. I don’t know. It was just an experience to watch that film. I just love it.

Seems you’re into deep character studies and human drama.

Yup. The human condition. Otherwise I’m not watching it [laughing].

The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) (1959) 100%

I love 400 Blows. [François] Truffaut is just a genius and, again, just there’s a total Cassavetian quality in his performances as well. I know that story was close to his own story, so that was very moving and just a totally immersive experience. I like him and a lot of the French filmmakers, obviously, for the exact reason we’re talking about. That last scene in 400 Blows where he escapes the children’s home in that really, really long tracking shot was just astonishing, just such an astonishing end to that film. That and when the kids steal a typewriter too, and they’re struggling with the weight of it; that was great. It’s just great, great fun.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) 91%

Okay. I’m going to say a weird one here — but what an amazing performance in that film. When I was a kid I just loved these kind of movies that just took me to another world. I still like watching it today. I watch it with my kids. Gene Wilder. What a performance. It’s just extraordinary. It’s just a film that’s always stayed with me and I still love it today. It’s still fascinating to look at. Gene Wilder is just wild and kind of lonely and mad and so unhinged. It’s a fantastic film.

My Name Is Joe (Mein Name ist Joe) (1999) 88%

Maybe My Name Is Joe, to mix it up a bit. At the time when I saw this, I was just wanting to get into filmmaking and I was really fascinated by Ken Loach — and Mike Leigh — because, again, they were social realist films. Loach is more politically based. My Name Is Joe was just such a moving film and it basically portrayed a portrait of a man that basically didn’t have a choice in the choices he made because of his political situation, and then, just how that wasn’t really enough. It was a really tragic, moving film. I just love that film.

Lion is now open in limited release.

Tag Cloud

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