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Top Ten Movies with... Hanneke Schutte


Hanneke Schutte is a writer/director from Johannesburg, who is trailblazing a name for herself at home and abroad. While her story may sound like an overnight success, it's been more like a ten year overnight success. After completing a BA at the University of Pretoria, she lectured for four years at Vega, The University of Johannesburg and Big Fish School of Filmmaking, before rounding off with a post graduate diploma in Film and Dramatic Art at Wits University.

Hanneke's screenplay Talk Sheep was chosen as part of the NFVF's Sediba script development programme. Her short film Superhero won two SAFTAs for Best Short Film and Best Cinematography. She won the NFVF and UK Film Coucil's 25 Words or Less Competition in the fish-out-of-water category.

This offbeat comedy drama concept went on to become her first feature film, Jimmy in Pienk, starring Louw Venter and Gys de Villiers. Schutte was the script supervisor for Leon van Nierop's Wolwedans in die Skemer and co-wrote Bakgat 3. She went on to direct Willem Dafoe in Saving Norman, a short film produced by Kevin Spacey, which won the Jameson First Shot competition earlier this year.

One thing's for sure, Schutte's career as a writer/director is taking off. We thought it was a great time to find out a bit more about what movies have shaped her love for film over the years with her Top Ten Movies.

"I've been working on some plans for
my own cult for many years now."

I can't watch movies without...

- Whispers and a Freezochino I snuck into the cinema.

Which famous people share your birthday?

Oh dear, best I start with Charles Manson. But in my defense there's also Grace Kelly and Ryan Gosling. They all seem to have a cult following, so I've been working on some plans for my own cult for many years now. It will definitely involve dogs and those lawn mowers you can ride on - I'm still working on a mission statement that sensibly encompasses those two elements. It might take a while. (12 November)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- I'm almost certain it was one of the Bond movies, I think Moonraker. My parents were huge fans. Their sophisticated method of parental control was to make us close our eyes during the kissing scenes. So naturally we missed most of the movie.

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- It's probably a toss up between Gigli and Swept Away.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Anything where an animal is hurt or dies makes me do the ugly cry. But the most recent film I cried in was Terence Malick's The Tree of Life - I felt bad cause I think my crying woke up the rest of the cinema.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- Kevin Spacey and Willem Dafoe. How? Chloroform.

What's your favourite movie line?

- It's actually a few lines and they're from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:

Clementine: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon.
Joel: I know.
Clementine: What do we do?
Joel: Enjoy it.

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Danny DeVito. Like me he's short and he doesn't take himself too seriously.

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- I'm tempted to say dogs and lawn mowers you can ride on, but I'd just be pushing my own agenda. So I'll go with a ghost story set during the Groot Trek - those 'kappies' the women wore really lend themselves to some scary hollow face shit.

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- In the Mood for Love ...this movie was a feast for the eyes. Beautiful, quiet, moving and understated.

- The Spirit of the Beehive (El espiritu de la colmena) ...probably one of my all-time favourites. Again, quiet and beautiful with incredible child performances.

- Lost in Translation ...I lived in Prague for two years in my mid-twenties, so I could really identify with the main character's sense of isolation and alienation. I also spent my days wandering around trying to figure out my place in the world. It felt like she wrote the movie just for me. (I'll ask her once the chloroform wears off.)

- The Shining ...I was blown away by how a director could use performances, location, sound, colour and the camera to create such an eerie and deeply disturbing film. It still does my head in.

- Spirited Away ...one of the most magical, strange and imaginative movies ever made.

- Ferris Bueller's Day Off ...since 1986 I've lived by the motto - "What would Ferris Bueller do?"

- Tokyo Story ...moving and beautiful with an unmistakable Japanese subtlety.

- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ...only Charlie Kaufman could come up with something that original.

- Edward Scissorhands ...man I loved this movie the first time I saw it. Like Ferris Bueller's Day Off it's just one of those movies that made a huge impact on me as a teenager. Up until then I never knew movies could be that beautiful and whimsical and strange.

- Jules et Jim ...it was one of the first French New Wave movies I saw. And again I was surprised by how inventive and fresh it felt.

Darn it, I have at least twenty more!

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.