Okay, to be fair, Jodie Foster isn't singlehandedly to blame for turning Ben from a quiet church boy into a tattooed pierced atheist with a husband and a boyfriend. But her influence didn't hurt.
Ben's family moved a lot, and after a childhood of making and then losing friends, he was starting to feel lonely and sad. At the same time, school were becoming oppressive. When Jodie Foster appeared in Contact, playing an aggressive scientist who challenges the assumptions of everyone around her, he realized that he didn't have to just sit back and keep going to the classes and church services that were slowly eating him away.
These days, his tastes verge toward the decidedly more unusual: music like Loreena McKennitt, which he describes as "hippie folk," or the kind of music you play to set the mood in a Dungeons and Dragons game. He likes weird movies like Titus, The Fifth Element, and Run Lola Run. And he has a soft spot for She-Ra.
His favorite musicians and movies and characters all have a strangeness, an outcast quality, and a willingness to try something new (even She-Ra, a rare female action character who managed to go mainstream). Trying something new is risky, but it can also be just the dizzying nudge you need to break out of a bad routine.
Looking for something different yourself? Look no further than Michel Gondry, whose incredibly bizarre videos you can watch over and over and over and over, never realizing you have become trapped in a recursive loop with Kylie Minogue.
Some of Ben's favorite movies are extremely weird. How about that Titus?
And just try explaining The Fifth Element to someone who's not familiar with it. They'll never believe you.
Even Run Lola Run, which takes place in a familiar universe (well, okay, Europe, but that's not as exotic as whatever The Fifth Element is) is a little hard to wrap your head around.
And although Contact was made for a mass market, it's pretty amazing how daring and unusual the film treats the subject matter.
We also talked about some pretty distinctive music, including Loreena McKennitt:
And the difference between Björk and Joanna Newsom grows difficult to discern:
I asked ben for some musical suggestions, and he provided some excellent pointers:
- Sankyoku http://www.discogs.com/Ishikawa-Kōtō-Ikuyama-Kengyō-Mitsuhashi-Kōtō-Sankyoku-Yaegoromo-Shō-Chiku-Bai-Hagi-No-Tsuyu/release/2233186
- Japan: traditional vocal & instrumental music, 1976 http://www.allmusic.com/album/japan-traditional-vocal-and-instrumental-music-mw0000198957 (a sample of track 3 of this album is used a lot in the city scenes of Blade Runner)
- Urban Music of the Edo Period http://www.allmusic.com/album/urban-music-of-the-edo-period-mw0000348224
And finally, here's She-Ra. I couldn't write this post without including She-Ra.
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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