Top 10: Camilo Restrepo

Camilo Restrepo, director of Los Conductos, shares his top ten films.

Here is a list of 10 films that have had the greatest influence on my filmmaking. There is no specific hierarchy. I regret not having enough space to list films by Agnès Varda, Luis Buñuel, Straub & Huillet, Godard, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Tsai Ming-liang, Fassbinder, Mizoguchi, James Benning, Bruce Baillie, Deborah Stratman, Peter Hutton, Barbara Loden, Luis Ospina…

The Trial of Joan of Arc (Robert Bresson, 1962)
With the formal and narrative treatment of his films' subjects, Bresson’s austerity has always been an example. Florence Delay, as Joan of Arc, is a wonderful model of how a non-actor can become the vector of great  passions. 

Sans Soleil (Chris Marker, 1983)
The same Florence Delay, who will become a well-known writer, gives her voice to this film by Chris Marker. Certainly, one of the best voiceovers in film history. I learnt from Marker the importance of text when interacting with images. 

Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964)
I remember reading that Antonioni once said to the painter Mark Rothko that Rothko's paintings were like his films. That they were both about nothing, but with precision. I admire Antonioni’s precision on Red Desert. This search for precision led him to think that for this film, his first in color, he needed "to change the very face of reality, the color of the water, the roads, the landscapes."  

Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
Changing the very face of reality. This is also what comedy is able to do. In Modern Times, the exaggeration reveals how serious fiction can be, when reality itself is so delirious.  

The Perfumed Nightmare (Kidlat Tahimik, 1977)
A comedy about the idea of progress and the development of societies. For once, western society is seen from above, by the inquisitor eye of a non-western. Tahimik as an actor plays the perfect clown who innocently shows the global disorder of the world. 

Antonio das Mortes (Glauber Rocha, 1969)
Grand guignol, street theater, western, political film… There’s a mixture of genres in this film. They all operate with the same purpose: magnifying, as a magnifying glass, a socio-political reality in south America that governments refuse to admit. 

Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, 1989)
This is just one example of the intelligent cinematography of Harun Farocki. Without doubt, I’m still learning from this master the incisive power of documentary. My short film Impressions of a War is an humble homage to Farocki’s work. 

In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, 2000)
In this film, Pedro Costa demonstrates that modest cinematographic tools, when used by a great artist, are more powerful than any huge production.  

Rodrigo D: No Future (Victor Gaviria, 1990) 
My first experience with my home country’s cinematography. My film Los Conductos is in a way a response to this film. Both were filmed in Medellín, the city where I was born, and both are about the expectation of the youth in a violent social context. 

Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000) 
A film that breaks the conventional narrative. More and more I wish to watch film that are like puzzles. How exciting is to be lost in a film, to feel the freedom of watching without knowing! Following Apichatpong’s inspiration with the Surrealist’s “exquisite corpse" to write this film, I feel that new narrative ways can be explored that pay attention to art history, and not only to film history. 

Camilo Restrepo's Los Conductos is currently playing in theaters.