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Top Ten Movies with... Lindsay Williams


Lindsay Williams is a knowledgeable and well-respected financial broadcaster, who started as a freelancer for the then new FHM and then moved onto broadcasting business on Radio 702, Classic FM and a lengthy stint as senior anchor on Summit TV.

He currently broadcasts Fine Business Radio for Fine Music Radio and CNBC Africa and according to his Twitter bio is all about football and fish, broadcasting and beer, wine and whining, writing and wronging.

Spling was lucky enough to get his Top Ten Movies interview. Listen to the podcast of the interview, or read on, for an insightful, entertaining and funny chat about all things movies with the one and only, Lindsay Williams.

I can't watch movies without...

- I'll tell you what I would rather do, I can't watch movies with is the easier thing to do. I can't watch movies with anyone else, I can't watch movies in a cinema anymore unless it's Monday morning or usually the 9:15 or 9:30 show and I have to sit right next to the fire exit because I'm a claustrophobe and I don't like the idea of a fire gutting the cinema. I cannot sit in as you would call a movie house I would call it a cinema with people masticating popcorn and their phones going off.

I think the cinemas of the future because of what's happening now and buying films online and watching them at home I think that there will be a niche for a cinema club for example, you're still getting the mainstream movies but you have to be a member, you have to be vetted, you can have drinks and the seats will be slightly bigger but if there is anyone stepping out of line they get kicked out of the club that's my vision for the future cinema.

In the old days when I first started going to the cinemas as a kid to there would be because of the that they had to change the reel they would be a half-time break and then the usherette would come round selling cigarettes and choc ices and things like that... very civilised, and you could all go off to the loo and stuff like that, but today it's all a bit cold and soulless I find.

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Galileo, far too brainy for me. I wouldn't go on a walking tour of the Drakensberg with him. Matt Groening - I was watching a Simpsons episode last night and how they've churned out 500-600 episodes and almost hundred percent consistently have a few laughs in them and also some clever stuff here what a genius the Simpsons probably one of the defining moments of cartoon history. Jane Seymour - sort of an English rose, sickly sweet. It wouldn't be the sort of person you sit down and say "goodness me she's good looking", I'd like her to come round for a glass of wine and watch one of her films with me. I think she comes from Bristol or something like that, from the west of England, but no not my favourite. (15 February)

"I'd love to to get Wall Street done by the Coen brothers..."

What is the first film you remember watching?

- The first film I remember watching... my brother took me to see That'll Be the Day with his girlfriend, a film with David Essex who was a pop singer from the 1970s and it had an R-rating... there was a little bit of drugs and a hint of sex... that sort of thing.

I also went to watch The Sting with my mother at Staines Cinema. Staines is famous for Ali G. I suppose my first memory would be Saturday morning pictures at that very same ABC cinema in Staines where kids under the age of 10 would go there you'd queue for about I suppose two and six or something like a shilling you would go and watch cartoons and westerns for 2 or 3 hours. It was a massive part of your week, you would look forward to getting on the bus and going to see Saturday morning pictures as we called it.

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

- Worst film I've ever seen and I have to say it was a very recent one, it was called Noah. It was the worst film I've ever seen it went on and on and on and it was a sort of a sci-fi biblical epic. Russell Crowe was terrible, the whole thing, I had to watch because it was so bad.

There are also a lot of Owen Wilson films you just can't watch. Midnight in Paris was quite good. The one thing I like about Woody Allen is that not matter what character he has in his films whether it's Scarlett Johansson or Owen Wilson they take over his persona, they all become paranoid and if you close your eyes you think you're watching Woody Allen. The reason I said Owen Wilson is because he's made some shockers recently.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- E.T. stands out, when he says goodbye, when the little boy says goodbye to E.T. and he goes off into the universe, I'm sorry I can't watch it, it's a tearful thing.

There's a film in my top 10, I have to lie down for about 3 or 4 hours afterwards and bathe my temples in eau de cologne and put cucumber on my eyes because they're so swollen from crying... it's called Manon des sources.

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

- I met Claire Danes the other day just outside this studio and she completely ignored me. I asked her for an interview, she looked me up and down like I was chopped liver. I used to work on yachts in the south of France and there was a chap, George Hamilton, an American who has always got a tan and he rented the yacht that I was on, it was like a gin palace and it was at the time $20,000 a week, which is an enormous amount of money. He was quite famous, had a lot of hookers on the boat and really fancied himself.

What's your favourite movie line?

- My favourite movie line is "we've got no food, we got no jobs and our PETS' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF", which is from Dumb & Dumber with Jim Carrey when their budgie had just been whacked by some mafia bloke and he was lying in his cage with no head and they had both lost their jobs and it was just so beautifully delivered and was so bizarre that I still rent that film occasionally and watch it just for that line.

There was Casablanca, which is in my top 10 as well where Humphrey Bogart is talking to the Police Commissioner who asks him "what in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?" and he said "My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters." and he said "The waters, what waters? We're in the desert." and he said "I was misinformed."

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- The tallest, best-looking, most intelligent, vibrant person... they would be required to be quite tall. I would have to ask George Clooney to cut his honeymoon short and have a go at it, I mean I've got the grey hair, I mean I may not have the chiseled looks but the geezer could do a great representation of me.

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

- If the Coen brothers could do a film on financial services and rip financial services to shreds I would love to collaborate with them on that short of thing. I'd love to to get Wall Street done by the Coen brothers with Lindsay Williams as an Executive Producer, something like that, would be fantastic. They really could do a number on it... making financial services people look like the twits they are mainly... sometimes.

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

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ...Jack Nicholson and a very young Danny DeVito and a couple of other people that have now joined our cinema consciousness. It was absolutely extraordinary: the acting, the direction, the photography, the story, the way that they exposed the treatment of mental illness in the 1960/70s. It's unbelievable, very sad as well right at the end when he was lobotomised.

- The Outlaw Josey Wales ...I've got to have a Western and it's got to be Clint Eastwood. It's either Pale Rider or The Outlaw Josie Wales. All his films are the same, there's someone who is under pressure, there's someone who has been done an injustice and he goes and sorts it out. Pale Rider I like, because the first word in the film was the word 'Lindsay'. It's the only film in the world that has that name in it and secondly, it was the first word. He comes up against those deputies with the long coats and he shoots them all and it's just fantastic, but I think I have to go with The Outlaw Josey Wales just because it was like a spaghetti Western and again he sorts everything out and rides off into the sunset, brilliant.

Goldfinger ...I've got to have a Bond film and Dr. No was fantastic because of Ursula Anders getting out of the sea with that extraordinary bikini and she really was a dish but I think I must go for Goldfinger and another great line "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." and it still had that '60s charm about it and also some lovely girls... it was just wonderful, beautifully acted, very simple and the whole thing was quite enigmatic.

An American Werewolf in London ...I don't normally like horror or sci-fi but I think An American Werewolf in London because of that scene where he turns into a werewolf the first time in her flat and you can see the spine coming out and it wasn't digitally mastered. This was a proper special effect, one of the top ten special effects ever, and of course the scene in the pub in Yorkshire where they send them out onto the moors and they get savaged by this werewolf.

The Party ...with Peter Sellers set against the 1960s where he accidentally gets invited to a party at a Hollywood studio despite the fact that he had blown up the whole set of the film-maker host, and a whole series of mishaps by Peter Sellers. I can remember that "birdie num-nums" scene and I was watching it the first time I lived in London. I rented this movie as a video in those days I sat down and watched it, I had to turn it off because I was rolling on the floor, my stomach was aching so much when he said "birdie num-nums".

Notting Hill ...Love, Actually or is it Notting Hill? Maybe it's Notting Hill with Julia Roberts. Love, Actually has got so many different stories and threads and it's got Rowan Atkinson in Selfridge's, wrapping up that present for the infidel who was married to Emma Thompson in the film. Brilliant, quite sad, quite funny but I think Notting Hill takes it, lots and lots of charm in there and despite the fact that Hugh Grant is such a fop... some people hate him, I think he's brilliant.

The King's Speech ...I could see nothing wrong with that film, historical, beautifully shot, fantastic actors with Colin Firth, amazing, just a brilliant English film.

Blood Simple ...No Country for Old Men, I like that very much of course Fargo, The Big Lebowski but I want to go back to the roots and Blood Simple that scene where the chap's hand gets stabbed and stuck to the window sill and the pain on his face on the screen and the whole story and the way it was shot. It's very raw, not as sophisticated as the new stuff, but I love Blood Simple.

Jean du Florette/Manon des sources ...this is probably my top film, but it's two films that come from a book called Water of the Hills by a Frenchman, who invented cinema in Europe called Marcel Pagnol. They go together, so I'm going to have to have this as one, Jean du Florette and Manon des sources. Jean du Florette was populated by Gerard Deparidieu, Yves Montand and Daniel Auteuil and it's set in a provincial village and I've spent a lot of my life in Provence. I lived there for a couple of years so it rang true to me and it's about village life, petty jealousies and nastiness... whether your chickpeas are bigger than mine and how many apples you've got in your shed and all that sort of thing, so it's fascinating.

Jean du Florette was followed by Manon des sources without telling too much because you have to go and rent both these films is the saddest moment in cinematographic history and the acting at the end, the last 15 minutes... as I say, you have to lie down or up to 3 hours afterwards. Beautiful French countryside, it's got subtitles and afterwards actually Daniel Auteuil who acts in both of them became obsessed with Marcel Pagnol and he made all his lesser known books because he's French as well and comes from that area and it is a personal topic.

Casablanca ...not because I want to be mainstream, but simply because of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and all the bit players, again a perfect film. The King's Speech and this one I think are two perfect films.

Crimes and Misdemeanours ...I have to mention it as my 11th, because of when Mia Farrow rejects Woody Allen for Alan Elder at the end. They show his face, and you know he's quite a lugubrious looking geezer anyways, and his face just drops and you've never seen such a sad face in all your life, brilliant film.

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.