Five Favorite Films with David Cross

Comedian, Arrested Development actor and star of LA Film Festival premiere It's A Disaster gives us five of his movie favorites.

Actor, writer and comedian David Cross is perhaps best known (in certain circles, anyway) for his role on TV's Arrested Development, the cult show that will soon be resurrected, thanks to years of dogged fan enthusiasm, for a feature film. But his credits extend well beyond the role of Tobias -- Cross has featured in numerous TV and film projects, including Mr. Show, Tim and Eric, Kung Fu Panda and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to name but a few. He's also the only actor to play both Allen Ginsberg (in I'm Not There) and the beat poet's father, Louis (in the upcoming Kill Your Darlings, with Daniel Radcliffe). So now you know that.

This week, Cross stars in the ensemble comedy drama It's A Disaster, which features four couples holed up in a house as the end of the world approaches. Directed by Todd Berger, making his feature debut, the movie plays at this week's Los Angeles Film Festival en route to a theatrical release later this year.

We had a chance to speak with Cross recently, and asked him to pick his five favorite films. "These are not my five favorite movies," he explained. "They are five of my favorite movies (of which I have hundreds)."


Matewan (John Sayles, 1987; 100% Tomatometer)

This movie (like, Badlands a movie that's not on this particular list) is almost perfect. Not a wasted shot, piece of dialogue, moment, or frame. John Sayles has made some amazing movies but this is my favorite of his. A beautiful, forceful movie that tells a dozen different stories wrapped around one specific, true pivotal moment in American history. And every single actor is perfect and perfectly cast.




Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948; 96% Tomatometer)

Just watched this again the other night. About every five years or so I throw it on and enjoy it. Perhaps as some sort of antidote or palate cleanser for all the bombastic, inane crap that comprises 99% of the movies out there. For every Battleship and What To Expect When You're Expecting, or by-the-numbers, manufactured twee, Indie quirkfest you end up seeing, you should watch this movie to equalize your sense of what a "good movie" really is. As simple a story as one can conceive (an honest man in post-war Rome who needs his bicycle for work, has it stolen and he sets out to get it back before the end of the day) that's easily as compelling and truthful as any movie out there.




SalÚ, of the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975; 68% Tomatometer)

Easily, without hesitation, the most difficult, and disturbing movie I've ever seen. I knew after I watched it a second time (mostly to verify the feelings it instilled in me the night before when I initially watched it) that that would be the last time I ever saw it. In a culture crammed with "shocksploitation" movies that are really pornographic in their violence and depravity but empty of any symbolism or real meaning (Human Centipede anyone?), Salo is as bleak and depressing a movie for it's "Banality of Evil" truth that permeates every moment. There's no escape. This is the world we've created for ourselves.




Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam, 1979; 100% Tomatometer)

Of all the great (but few and far between) movies that truly capture the confusion, misplaced energy and anger of one's teenage years, this, to me, is the best. At least the closest to nailing what I was feeling at that age. Even though it takes place decades before I was that age and in a country that is 4,000 miles away. There isn't a false note in the whole movie. And it's driven by one of my favorite albums of all time, of course The Who's, Quadrophenia, which explores all those themes and more. And Phil Daniels does a supreme job at conveying all of those missed emotions.




Modern Romance (Albert Brooks, 1981; 85% Tomatometer)

Hey let's lighten it up a bit shall we? This isn't even my favorite Albert Brooks movie (that would be the amazing and prescient Real Life) but this is the funniest. Maybe one of the funniest movies ever. I'm not going to try to give written down examples as they will lose a great deal in that process. Just please go get it and watch it. The scene where he takes the Valium and then has to deal with a couple of -- f**k it, trust me, every scene is funny and smart.




It's A Disaster plays at the Los Angeles Film Festival this week.

Comments

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Damn, dude, who knew Dave was so deep? Sayles, De Sica and Pasolini. OK, brother. All great films. And I really wish he had chosen "Real Life", which I prefer to "Modern Romance", but hey. And a shout out to "Badlands" too. Why even bother arguing that "Kids Are Alright" is the greatest Who movie of all time. I'm glad those Carl Weathers acting classes are finally paying off.

Jun 18 - 02:21 PM

Seth McWhorter

Seth McWhorter

Lol heres to hoping the Arrested Development reboot will be wonderful

Jun 18 - 05:54 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll drink to that!

Jun 18 - 05:59 PM

Wil H.

Wil Huff

Not all that surprising; as a comedian Cross is very cerebral. It totally makes sense that he's a Sayles fan too.

Jun 19 - 07:45 AM

Tim Terrell

Tim Terrell

Took the words out of my mouth Wil H.

Jun 19 - 02:29 PM

DGates

First Last

Or just maybe he wants us to THINK that he's deep with this list?

Jun 19 - 11:53 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

How deep of you.

Jun 20 - 11:39 AM

Thomas Ungvarsky

Thomas Ungvarsky

Limbo, Lone Star, City of Hope... all interesting.

Sep 23 - 09:33 PM

Gordon Sr.

Gordon Sr.

SALO . . . that is FREAKING GROSS. The Sh't Eating Scene . . . its all real.

Jun 18 - 02:37 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Actually, "The Sh't Eating Scene" I read somewhere was really a chocolate bar! After the controversy, the director had to explain himself how the movie was done since audience members demanded an explanation assuming that what they saw was also real!

Jun 18 - 03:51 PM

A.W.E.S.O.M.E.-O

Franz Walsch

The director died before the films premiere; but, you are correct about the chocolate. Actors revealed that it was expensively imported chocolate.

Jun 19 - 10:43 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I knew it was something along the same lines as that, and appreciate for the correction!

Jun 21 - 04:03 PM

jimb14red

Michael Sullivan

No it isn't, stop making things up. If you want real shyt eating watch Pink Flamingos or Sweet Movie.

Jun 18 - 06:28 PM

Patrick Hancock

Patrick Hancock

i think it's awesome that people swiftly jump to it being real, like there's no ways to make fake sh't.

Jun 18 - 07:50 PM

This comment has been removed.

Christopher Creasy

Christopher Creasy

Haaahaha! Stellar reference, my friend. And appropriate.

Jun 19 - 11:43 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Nice selection Dave; only one I haven't seen is BICYCLE THIEVES. Also, nice shout out to Albert Brooks, glad people still watch his movies. Although many point to his first 2 as being the best, I actually prefer LOST IN AMERICA, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, MOTHER, and THE MUSE. Oh, and Brooks got robbed of an Oscar nomination for DRIVE.

Jun 18 - 03:11 PM

Chris Bacon

Chris Bacon

Guy's a legend. I remember Small Soldiers and I'm going through Arrested Development for the first time at the mo (I'm nearly halfway through). Great actor.

Jun 18 - 03:14 PM

Tanisha Washington

Tanisha Washington

Same here. Can't believe I just started watching this show.

Jun 19 - 06:14 PM

Dan Parr

Dan Parr

Mr Show is vital viewing.

Jun 19 - 10:30 PM

Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Lucky you. I wish I was going thru the Arrested Development series for the first time again. I think I'm on my 5th or 6th.

Jul 18 - 06:27 AM

Dave J

Dave J

Actually, "The Sh't Eating Scene" I read somewhere was really a chocolate bar! After the controversy, the director had to explain himself how the movie was done since audience members demanded an explanation assuming that what they saw was also real!

Jun 18 - 03:51 PM

A.W.E.S.O.M.E.-O

Franz Walsch

The director died before the films premiere; but, you are correct about the chocolate. Actors revealed that it was expensively imported chocolate.

Jun 19 - 10:43 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I knew it was something along the same lines as that, and appreciate for the correction!

Jun 21 - 04:03 PM

Anthony Bianca

Anthony Bianca

The Bicycle Thief is one of my favorites, but I would substitute Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion for Salo. Grand Illusion is an almost perfect film. Matewan is brilliant, and set the stage for Sayles to direct Eight Men Out; Lone Star might be his best film though.

Jun 18 - 05:13 PM

Ken

Kenneth W.

Albert Brooks and "Salo"...I dig it.

MMAAAAANNNGIIAA!

Jun 18 - 05:52 PM

Simon DW

Simon DW

Great choices. Cross is a wicked stand-up comedian and Arrested Development is boss. I personally wouldn't have put Salo as i failed to see the value in that film. I loved his points on Bicycle Thieves (Glad to see it regained its original italian title), of it being a palette cleanser for our current market over-saturated with hyped shit. Great list.

Jun 18 - 05:54 PM

Seth McWhorter

Seth McWhorter

Lol heres to hoping the Arrested Development reboot will be wonderful

Jun 18 - 05:54 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll drink to that!

Jun 18 - 05:59 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'll drink to that!

Jun 18 - 05:59 PM

Julien B.

Julien Bavoil

So wait, "Salo" is the "most difficult and disturbing movie" he's ever seen?

Did he even WATCH "Alvin and the Chipmunks"???

Jun 18 - 06:00 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

He didn't just watch it, he LIVED it.

You should of heard the interviews he did to "promote" the Alvin and Chipmunks movies.

Jun 18 - 07:14 PM

justjoustin

Joshua G

well played

Jun 19 - 04:44 AM

jimb14red

Michael Sullivan

No it isn't, stop making things up. If you want real shyt eating watch Pink Flamingos or Sweet Movie.

Jun 18 - 06:28 PM

Timmy Breidenstein

Timmy Breidenstein

Ugh, I had just got Salo out of my memory and now it's back. I guess I should just get it over with and actually watch that movie.

Jun 18 - 06:31 PM

uniform

David Michael Kurt

One of the more interesting "5 Favorite" lists I've read on this site. I'm a long time fan of Mr. Cross. I'm happy both him and Bob are working today as opposed to just fading from the public's eye. Speaking of which..I'd also like to see an Odenkirk 5 favs list. Here's hoping he does something film-related in the near future.

Jun 18 - 06:40 PM

Ted A.

Ted Amos

Brilliant taste.

Jun 18 - 07:01 PM

Kiera

Kiera Maloney

"manufactured twee, Indie quirkfest you end up seeing" --fucking brilliant man.

Jun 18 - 07:02 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

He didn't just watch it, he LIVED it.

You should of heard the interviews he did to "promote" the Alvin and Chipmunks movies.

Jun 18 - 07:14 PM

justjoustin

Joshua G

well played

Jun 19 - 04:44 AM

What's Hot On RT

Total Recall
Total Recall

Nine Movies That Bring the Funk

Weekly Binge
Weekly Binge

Watch Arrested Development

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 350 Comic-Con Costumes!

24 Frames
24 Frames

Photo gallery of great movie spaceships

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile