Five Favorite Films with Moby

Plus, the musician on the Oscar-nominated Waste Land, composing soundtracks, and collaborating with David Lynch.

One of the most accomplished and successful electronic musicians of the past two decades, Moby has also created a body of work synonymous with the world of film soundtracks. His 1991 techno hit "Go" sampled Angelo Badalamenti's "Laura Palmer's Theme" from David Lynch's Twin Peaks, and his music has since accompanied dozens of films and television shows, from 007 to Michael Mann to Danny Boyle and beyond. (Not for nothing was his 1997 movie music compilation entitled I Like To Score.) He even came something of a full circle when Lynch directed the music video for his 2009 single, "Shot in the Back of the Head."

Moby's tracks provide the musical foundation for Lucy Walker's Oscar-nominated documentary Waste Land, which is being re-released in select theaters this week ahead of the February 27 Academy Awards. An unexpectedly moving piece, it chronicles the journey of Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz as he returns to the favelas of Rio and engages the local "garbage pickers," who work in a literal city of trash, to become a part of his art project. More than simply an eco-themed documentary, it's a surprising human story that captures the transformative effect that art can have on peoples' lives.

Read through for our full conversation in which Moby discusses Waste Land, the issue of licensing his music, his impetus to compose original soundtracks... and what it was like to DJ his friend David Lynch's wedding.

But first, we got him to talk about his five favorite films.

INLAND EMPIRE (2006, 72% Tomatometer)

Well, in no particular order, and not to be sycophantic, number one would be INLAND EMPIRE, the last David Lynch movie. I saw it four times in the theater, at the IFC theater on Sixth Avenue in New York, and I loved it because it plays with a lot of narrative conventions but then disposes with them. It made of lot of more traditional filmmaking seem sort of adolescent to me. And I might be alone in my opinion, but I think it's the best movie David Lynch has ever made.

Fireworks (Hana-bi) (1997, 94% Tomatometer)

Number two is Fireworks by Takeshi Kitano. I remember when I saw it, I love the way he marries in that movie... it's emotional and impressionistic but it still has these amazing outbursts of violence. I can't think of a single movie [like it] that goes from, in one instance, being very delicate and poetic, to being almost obscenely violent. I think he's remarkable.

Man Facing Southeast (1986, 83% Tomatometer)

Number three, I don't know the name of the director [Ed. note: Eliseo Subiela], unfortunately, but it was a movie made in the '80s called Man Facing Southeast. It's an Argentine film. I should really find out who the director is, 'cause I saw it a bunch of times in an art theater in the mid '80s when it was released. I fell in love with it and I dragged all of my friends to go see it, and of course none of them liked it as much as I did, but something about it I just found incredibly powerful and it really resonated with me.

Dead Man Walking (1995, 94% Tomatometer)

And four... oh, this is tricky. I'm just trying to go through them in my head. It's probably easier to pick 30 favorite movies as opposed to five. It might seem like an odd choice but I really loved it, the Tim Robbins movie Dead Man Walking. I just thought it was such beautiful, emotional, thoughtful filmmaking, and I'm surprised it hasn't taken a bigger place in the western film canon.

Them! (1954, 100% Tomatometer)

Okay, so I can think of about 300 to possibly choose, but this was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up. It's a movie called Them!; it's about giant ants that invade Los Angeles. My friend Paul and I, when we were growing up, we had a videotape of it and we just watched it obsessively over and over again. Especially like the first 20 or 30 minutes of it, it's so apocalyptic and quiet and disconcerting. And the sound design [of the ants] is amazing. I was gonna pick Godfather II or something a little more predictable, but I'll go with Them! 'cause it truly is one of my favorite movies.

Next, Moby talks about the score for Waste Land, licensing and composing music for soundtracks, and his friendship and collaboration with David Lynch.



dethburger hates Flixster

Now thats a completely cool and different list.

Feb 17 - 08:07 PM


Matt St. John

No it's not. Moby's a pretentious asshole (I've met him) and just loves throwing out art films/obscure music references to people just so he can think he's better and smarter than every last being on the planet.
Fucking vegetarians!!!

Feb 19 - 10:04 AM


dethburger hates Flixster

Doesn't change the fact that its a cool and different list.

Let it go dude.

Feb 19 - 02:06 PM

jason j.

jason jasoned

You angry at him for being vegetarian? How do you make yourself calm down from there? Torturing some puppies help?

Your anger at Moby probably stems from the realization that any girl you lust over is more interested in Moby than your frat boy basketball infatuation.

Feb 20 - 12:46 AM

The Anticritic

peter gallo

I'm a vegetarian too! So fuck you back!

Feb 20 - 06:38 AM


Matt St. John

Look, Moby really is a pretentious asshole. I know this cause I've met the dude. All you people above who wanna rag on me for putting the truth out there about this douchebag, I don't know, therefore cannot make any characteristic judgements toward you. You've never met me, so your quick judgements of my personality carry no merit. So fuck off, and yeah Anticritic, vegetarians are mostly ignorant since they don't understand the health benefits of eating meat so FUCK YOU!

Feb 22 - 11:54 AM

Terry Tetherball

Terry Tetherball

GUYS. SERIOUSLY. This guy met Moby. And he wasn't that cool that day. That means that this article is bad. And vegetarians are ignorant. So just drop it.

Apr 19 - 01:11 PM

Colin C.

Colin Chapman

This ones been taking too many of mummy's pills.

Feb 25 - 11:37 AM


Jon Jonson

Fuck off.

Feb 28 - 06:28 PM


Jon Jonson


Feb 28 - 06:29 PM

Yoni G.

Yoni Gottlieb

Thank God he wasn't predictable like everyone else (ahem James Cameron), the only reason i like to read these is to read up on different and personal choices that these artists or filmmakers choose

Feb 17 - 08:14 PM


Jeffrey Cooperhouse

Sorry James Cameron happens to like the classics

Feb 18 - 07:11 AM

Judd N.

Judd Nelson

You're SO cool, hating on James Cameron! SO COOL!!! CHeck this chick out, everyone, she's such an INDIVIDUAL, she thinks for herself - and she thinks she don't like Avatar!

Feb 18 - 11:06 AM

Movie Guy

Movie Guy

What's wrong with hating on James Cameron? He completely deserves it! The guy hasn't done anything worth watching in 20 years!

Feb 18 - 04:08 PM

The Film Father

Steven Mihaljevich

HAHHAH JUDD N = i was thinking the exact same thing. Let's be soooo pretentious thats it's freaking me an emo - please or something. I want some attention...
Anyone who bags James Cameron to that extent is just a plain ignoramus. Hasn't made a good film in 20 years you say? Maybe he hasn't made as many movies as you would like because he makes epics that require a huge amount of detail, time, etc. So knock him for wanting to create special epics - sorry that you don't like them though

Feb 19 - 06:47 AM


Eli Thomas

Look at these dorks so far up James Cameron's arse, they can't even have a real discussion.

One person says: "James Cameron's list was kinda doo doo."
Two people come back with: "Leave his doo doo alone! His doo doo smells good!"

Alternate praise for James Cameron's doo doo:
"His doo doo has made more money than your doo doo ever will!"
"Let's see you make doo doo like his, and then you can talk!"
"His doo doo is the highest grossing doo doo ever! Therefore, it's not actually doo doo! But even if it was..."
"Oh, you're so cool calling his doo doo 'doo doo'!"

Feel free to add any doo doo praise I may have missed.

Feb 21 - 12:39 AM

Jeff S.C.

Jeff Caffey

His doo doo is more attractive to women than your doo doo!

Feb 22 - 11:58 AM


Joshua Dinsmore

Never heard of him, but he has a very unexpected and interesting list. I think I'll check him out and see what he has made.

Feb 17 - 08:19 PM

Judd N.

Judd Nelson

Never heard of him?? Child, go to bed.

Feb 18 - 11:07 AM


Philip Z

Moby? You've seriously never heard of Moby? Go watch the movie Heat and pay particular attention to the music.

Feb 18 - 11:33 AM

zain h. -  movies guy

zain hashmat

watch "Aamir Hashmat singing Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai" you will be blown by his vocals and wait till the end for the best part.

Feb 17 - 08:25 PM


Val Mordas

This list blows and I'm pretty sure Moby does too.

Feb 17 - 09:17 PM

Helge B.

Helge Beck

Yeah this list blows, especially since I haven't seen any of these movies, but I've seen Avatar and loooved it! And Moby does blow too, like, that bullshit track that was put over the ending of Heat was just too ridiculous, but then again that movie sucked huge balls, so I guess it was a good fit! Oh and Koreans are *#+*'ng weird.

Feb 18 - 10:18 AM


Val Mordas

To "Mess' with someone you must first presume they care. I know there's enough bad taste going around. Hell my dog like eating cat turds. Doesn't mean they tatse good, though.

Feb 18 - 08:10 PM


Big Brother

All this talk of blowing and not one Moby Dick joke...disappointing, very disappointing.

Feb 20 - 12:10 PM

swithin c.

swithin charottes-burg

This list "blows," but you haven't seen any of the movies? Hmmmm....

Feb 25 - 08:12 AM

Stephen P.

Stephen Pagnucco

Very interesting list I must say. Inland Empire was expected as he is very good friends with David Lynch. Great musician and fantastic top 5 as well :)

Feb 17 - 09:48 PM


Andreas Babs

Moby's album Play is really good. I grew up on that album. It's definitely got some jamming tunes. Not a big fan of him now, but I always appreciate his ethic and efforts.
This is a pretty cool list. I kind of want to see Them! now. INLAND EMPIRE is a brilliant movie but I don't know if it's Lynch's best. Then again, it's a matter of opinions and that movie is in Lynch's top 5 for sure (maybe even 3).

Feb 17 - 10:19 PM

Reza T.

Reza Trikurnia

just yesterday watching Hana-bi. it's great movie...
great list.
i like inland empire and hana-bi.
great moby.
whether he had made another album?
the last album i know is hotel.

Feb 17 - 10:22 PM


sly sly

he recorded Wait For Me and Last Night since Hotel and has new album called Destroyed coming out in May.

Feb 23 - 01:39 AM

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Judd N.

Judd Nelson

You're cute, doomzdavo or whatever, using grown-up words! I guess it's good practice as you prepare for your GED test.

Feb 18 - 11:14 AM

Henry O.

Henry Owens

Good list
Them! is a brilliant choice.

Feb 17 - 11:52 PM


Alsan Ali

Never would I have thought that Moby would have such good taste in film. Well admittedly I haven't seen most of these but a) Inland Empire, in my opinion, is one of the top 5 films of this decade and b) even if he did choose them just to break from the norm, he provides a lot of good reasoning behind his choices.

Feb 18 - 01:19 AM


Hans J. Eišisgarš

I really love Dead Man Walking.

Feb 18 - 04:20 AM

Helge B.

Helge Beck

Finally, someone put a Kitano film on his list!

Feb 18 - 04:33 AM

Dave J

Dave J

"Yeah this list 'blows', especially since I haven't seen any of these movies"
Hey! Helge, you just contradicted yourself. What's up with that because "Sonatine" was one of the best films Kitano has ever done!

Feb 18 - 12:27 PM

Helge B.

Helge Beck

Haha, I was trying to mess with Mr. Valmordas, thought that would come across clearly. I guess sarcasm just never translates well into written form. And Sonatine is my favorite Kitano film, although that's Fireworks on the list there;)

Feb 18 - 01:08 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Sarcasm are not often used here all the time, especially on a movie forum so it was because of that reason I may have failed to recognize it!

Feb 18 - 01:42 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Oh Yeah! And I agree with you about Fireworks!

Feb 18 - 02:35 PM

John T.

John Taylor

I expected a list of films that I would not recognize or never found interesting enough to see. Imagine my surprize to find Them! on the list. A great, old science fiction film. Not much by todays high tech standards, but still a classic from the early 50s.

Feb 18 - 05:25 AM

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