Five Favorite Films with Fred Durst
RT talks with the Education of Charlie Banks director and Limp Bizkit singer.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said there are no second acts in American lives. Obviously, he never met Fred Durst. Best known as the lead singer for rap/rockers Limp Bizkit, Durst has always had a passion for movies. His debut, The Education of Charlie Banks (out this week on DVD), tells the tale of an uneasy friendship between Charlie (Jesse Eisenberg) and Mick (Jason Ritter), a tough kid from his old neighborhood. When Charlie goes to an elite college, Mick follows him there, and for a while it appears he's smoothed out his rough edges, before old tensions come back to the surface. (Charlie Banks was shot before, but released after, The Longshots, Durst's second film, which starred Ice Cube).
Durst (who spoke to RT from Poland while on tour with his band) reflected on five of his favorite films, as well as the differences between making music and making movies, and why he chose The Education of Charlie Banks to be his first film.
It's hard to have favorites because I just have so many that I like and I respond to them differently with different moods and different pieces of memory, but I tried to name five that just came to my head. So I came with Bicycle Thief
. It's amazing. It's very touching and so ahead of it's time, it seems, but so simple, yet so complex. Just a very, very unique film that someone turned me onto years ago and that I had no idea about.
I like The Shining
. There's just so many things about composition and breaking the mold, the innovative steady-cam work and the character and the performances, and the master behind it putting it together, Stanley Kubrick, who I love.
RT: I've read elsewhere that you're a big Kubrick fan. What is it about his work that you particularly enjoy?
Fred Durst: I dunno, I guess it's his perspective on the world, his eye that we're being able to experience the story through, his take on things. He's diverse; you see his collection and lots of different styles, but then again, they all just sort of seem to fall under the same umbrella somehow. It's pretty amazing. I mean, I love 2001: A Space Odyssey a lot, I love Dr. Strangelove. I just really love his movies, and The Shining had an effect on me when I was very young, and watching it as an adult, someone who is exposed to the magic of filmmaking, the technical aspect of different things, I think it's just a really wonderful piece of work. I just watch it anytime it's on, flipping through, or "I'm just gonna throw on a DVD." I mean, I've watched the movie quite a few times. I remember watching the making of it; he's just so brutal on Shelley. He's such a different type of director than I am, but that's just the way he worked. Powerful guy; it just seems like his mind's very complex. He had a wall up around him and only a few people got close, and that fascinates me.
I love Chinatown
. Great movie, I mean, it just is what it is. Unbelievable, just a classic. I just really respond to that movie. It's real; it has this heightened reality about it. Very powerful. It's something that sticks out in my head. Seeing it, and watching it again and again, then seeing it as an adult. Something I can continue to watch through the years and be inspired by, and get lost in, and just forget about everything and say, "I just had a movie experience."
I love Harold and Maude
. [Hal Ashby's] amazing. His characters, just the way he tells his story, the way he lets them breathe, the way he makes them so real. There's just something about it I identify with. All his choices seem to speak to me.
RT: One of the things I really liked about Charlie Banks was the way you integrated the music into it, and Harold and Maude seems to have that sort of thing too. It doesn't overwhelm what's going on on the screen, and it's not telegraphing the action.
: It sort of becomes a character in the film. It's sort of vital to the whole experience, but it doesn't take you out of the movie; it just enhances the experience, and telegraphing things I don't really believe in so much. Sometimes when it's just part of the process and that's what makes the movie fun, but not in the case of Charlie Banks
. You know, if I had Cat Stevens in my hands, it would have been amazing. Charlie Banks
, man, you should have heard the music before the studio bought it and took out all the music and made me replace most of it. You should have heard the original. Oh my God, I just felt so good about it. I mean, still, I love it; a lot of the original themes like Mick's theme [hums song]. But some of the source stuff that was timeless and classic, but they just didn't want to pay for it. I still love it, but I just thought it was better before they made me replace it. I mean, you know where they go, "Hey, we have $10,000 in music budget." You go, "Whoa, well that's definitely gonna be impossible." I'll call these publishers myself, I'll pull any favor I can, but we need a little more than that. But, you know, when it still has the music, the character, and Charlie Banks is still there, and it's the feel and overall tone and tension of those vibrations, I still think it works for it. The movie, personally, is a little long to me. I wish they would have let me finish editing it; I would have taken out 10, maybe 12, 15 minutes of it.
Next: Durst talks about how filmmaking was his first passion, how he identifies with the characters in Charlie Banks, and what kinds of stories he wants to tell.
Coming off my head, I could just go on, but... Taxi Driver
. I was really moved by the unraveling of this guy, and the interesting choices Scorsese made, the things he used to tell the story. You know, like zooming in to the bottle of Alka Seltzer fizzling, this guy's about to really cross over to the next layer of dementia. Just amazing choices, and for him to be so meant to be a filmmaker. Be it and feel it. And De Niro, just, oh man, I just get carried away. Every time, in the beginning of that movie, when he -- he's just so not self aware -- he goes in to ask the girl out at the campaign center, and the feeling's so uncomfortable. I loved him also as Rupert Pupkin in King of Comedy
. Man, I love the way De Niro can sorta just play a guy that's not aware.
So those are five. I wouldn't say they're my favorite movies of all time. I just say it if I had to, off the top of my head. It just came, and if you asked me again tomorrow, it might be maybe one of those, maybe a bunch of others.