Tag Archives: Robbie Studsor

Nakatomi Profile: Robbie Studsor, Screenwriter

7 May

Nakatomi Profile is a new section in which we will be interviewing collaborators and artists we have worked with.

Who are you? What is your background?

My name is Robbie. I was born the year Octopussy came out and Luis Bunuel, Dennis Wilson and Gloria Swanson died! It was also a month before Slayer released Show No Mercy and on the same day Charles Manson and Roland Barthes were born. I Grew up in a town that looked like a set from Mad Max spending lots of time playing in old car wrecks and mineshafts before I saw the movie Jaws.

I’m currently trapped in an ongoing PhD thesis that falls somewhere between the ideas of Georges Bataille and the films of Mario Bava.

What is your process?

Similar to the scene in Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen smashes the mirror in a drunken haze, except with MORE nudity.

Where did the story come from?

Caffeine, a segment from a Stanley Kubrick documentary, the photography of Weegee, the music of Bohren and the Club of Gore and the director’s last minute decision NOT to make a Western!

What are some of the influences?

For the most part – 60s & 70s European crime cinema (Giallo, Krimi), Film Noir, Hitchcock, Lynch, 70s neo noir (Polanksi, Pakula, De Palma etc), Val Lewton and Boileau-Narcejac

Do you have a favourite scene?  Why?

I’d love to say a scene pertinent to the plot, but let’s go with the kid in a cage bit. There’s something about Pyjamas and chainsaws…

What is good screenwriting?

I don’t think anyone really knows.

What type of stories do you want to tell?

I hope that one day I could tell a story like Roger Vadim’s sexual conquest autobiography titled Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda.

Give us your top ten films and why.

My top ten list always changes, but today it goes something like this, in no particular order:

Rear Window

The critics agree! And how can you argue? For me Rear Window, The Birds and Vertigo are equally perfect, but the day I did this list Rear Window kept coming to mind as being particularly perfect (if that makes sense).

The Devils

Being a ladies man is really funny if you’re Jerry Lewis in a women-only boarding house, not so much when you’re a Catholic priest accused of bewitching the convent in France during the Renaissance. Add a sexually bitter, deformed mother superior and a depraved, masochistic inquisitor and you know things are gunna get hot!

You don’t make a film like The Devils unless you’re really angry and whatever Russell was channelling (maybe even Urbain Grandier himself) it comes off the screen with so much energy you can almost feel the heat coming off the burning stake. Fearless!

12 Monkeys

Though I love Brazil, for me, this is the perfect Gilliam film.

Jaws

Jaws is more important to me than both my kidneys and simultaneously made me realise both movies are sharks are awesome. You’re kidding yourself if you think there is a better film of its kind, absolutely kidding yourself. Oh, but the shark looks ‘so fake’, if you’ve ever said that you have a heart of stone and DESERVE all the CGI in world. ‘But it also started the trend of movies being summer blockbusters and…’ ZZzzzzz.

Danger: Diabolik!

Mario Bava is my favourite director and it was hard to pick only one of his films. For some reason this list looked better with Diabolik on it than Black Sunday, The Whip and the Body, Black Sabbath or Kill, Baby, Kill! If you’ve never seen it, try to think of a comic-book, candy-coloured, surrealist spy film where the bad guy always wins… what more do you want? People who love this movie because it’s camp have NO idea.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Imagine if the playboy mansion was under the sea…except Hugh Hefner has an unhealthy obsession with murderous revenge and instead of women there is a pet seal, underwater burials, and a giant squid. Fun, dark Disney at its live-action best. “Eat your pudding Mr Land”

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

This film is deep, beautiful and mysterious…oh, and it has more visual kinetic energy than the Evil Dead! An “art film” that requires a fucking seatbelt.

Woman in the Dunes

A wonderful Japanese existential nightmare about a young entomologist trapped down a sand pit (don’t worry he’s not alone, a woman also lives there…in a house!) An absurdist classic I find strange, sexy and sandy.

Smiles of a Summer Night

Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Ingmar Bergman. At the moment I’m obsessed with this film in particular. A clever, romantic masterpiece.

Sunset Boulevard

Norma Desmond descending the staircase, explaining that is there is ‘nothing else, just us, and the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark’ then briefly looking straight at the frame always chills my blood.