In the Cinéma Club of… Antonio Campos

Antonio Campos is the director of Buy It Now (2005), Afterschool (2008), Simon Killer (2012), and the producer of Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), directed by Sean Durkin, and James White (2015), directed by Josh Mond. Alumni of the Tisch Film School, Campos, Durkin and Mond together founded the New York-based production company Borderline Films in 2003. Rotating the roles of writer, director and producer, the three filmmakers have earned acclaim around the world for their stylish and original films.


Antonio Campos shares five films he loves.

CODE UNKNOWN, Michael Haneke, 2000

It’s the first of Haneke’s film I saw. When we were in film school, Sean [Durkin] called me and said, "You've got to see this film." We went to the NYU library and he first showed me two scenes: the one on the train where Juliette Binoche gets spit on and the red room scene where she gets directed off screen by Haneke. It was one of these moments where I had been waiting to see a film language that really spoke to me and this film had it, it made so much sense to me. From there I fell in love with Haneke.

PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, Samuel Fuller, 1953

I love the noir universe. There’s a certain freedom that Samuel Fuller has. He creates those unsympathetic characters that you still care so much about. He also does a great job at creating peripheral characters that only have two or three scenes, but are still so rich.

THE RITE, Ingmar Bergman, 1969

Another very formative movie. It’s a film that Bergman initially made for television with the beautiful Ingrid Thulin – a lesser known Bergman actress but my favorite. It’s a very claustrophobic film. It uses scene/chapter headings and that’s where I stole the structure for Buy It Now. I had never seen a film that dealt with sexuality in such an honest way, without being overly graphic, and with a very sensual feeling.

LAW & ORDER, 1990-2010

It’s amazing how much story they fit. It’s extremely efficient. You feel that, with some episodes, if they had time to make them into movies, they could be great movies. But they don’t have that time and for that, it’s also great to watch and understand what you shouldn’t be doing in a movie. Viewing it, it’s just like candy.

FARGO, Joel & Ethan Coen, 1996

I could watch and rewatch it. To me, it’s the most perfect of the Coens' movies. As a filmmaker, you’re trying to figure out how they pulled it off – it’s such a simple story. Every moment in that film is perfect, there’s not one bad one.