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James Macbeth Dann’s Top Five Favourite Movies

James Macbeth Dann is the Labour candidate in Ilam, running against earthquake recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.  Here are his five favourite movies.



Stalker (1979)

As a film I first watched after the quakes, it’s hard not to see a few parallels between “the Zone” and the red zone in Christchurch. The rain, forests and remnants of industry also reminded me of time I’ve spent on the West Coast. Tarkovsky’s use of pacing and isolation can’t be matched.



Southland Tales (2006)

Despite being a big fan of Donnie Darko, I didn’t get round to seeing Richard Kelly’s next film until I had read a bunch of absolutely scathing reviews. They made it sound amazing, and when I did get round to watching it, I wasn’t  disappointed. Yup, it’s over the top, has cheesy dialogue and often makes no sense – but as a vision of an America in terminal decline, it’s kind of prefect. Plus, the Justin Timberlake dance scene.



Aguirre: Wrath of God (1972)

I used to love reading the stories of the conquistadors rampaging their way through south and central America when I was a kid, and this is the only film I’ve seen that captures the simultaneous feelings of wonder and claustrophobia that I used to get when I tried to put myself in the Spaniard’s shoes.



Clerks (1994)

This was a bit of a cult film for me and my friends when we were at high school, but after re-watching it again a few years back, it’s held up well (unlike some of the other films I thought were amazing when I was 14).



Come and See (1985)

I watched this the night before the February quake, a chilling foreshadowing of the horror I’d see the next day. No other cinematic experience has made me feel as frightened, as alone, as terrified. Klimov’s story of a Belorussian boy who joins the Soviet forces is harrowing and powerful – and I hope, the closest I ever get to witnessing the atrocities of war.


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