Each week we invite music lovers to share the songs that have soundtracked their lives. This week it's Ant Timpson, director of dark comedy-thriller Come to Daddy, which premieres at the Film Festival next Friday.
Trouble – Cat Stevens
I grew up listening to Cat Stevens. His albums were always in the household ever since I was a young kid. Trouble is a song I found via the film Harold and Maude. I made my own hodgepodge version of the soundtrack because I couldn't find it to buy. Trouble plays at a really key, pivotal moment in the film and it has deeply and emotionally affected me over the years. I always thought I'd use the song in a film somewhere along the line but I haven't been able to pull it off. Yusuf Islam probably isn't wanting it on the sorts of films I'm creating.
Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand
It was the first pop hit in a foreign language I ever heard. It's this French oddity and it was really weird to hear the rapid-fire lyrics in French. It's very new wave but with a punk edge. It was popular around the globe but at my intermediate it was just a monster. It was also the defining moment of having that first dance at what they used to call a school social. I was about 10. The school was lined up with boys on one side and girls on the other and then they played that song and it was the first banger, or whatever. It has warm meaning from that time and being the first time dancing in public with a big group of friends.
Space Oddity – David Bowie
This song and Tubular Bells were my go-to "put on headphones and lie on the carpet" songs. They let me divorce whatever was going on in my world and absolutely transform into particles in the cosmos and be one with the musician. There was other high-rotate stuff - I was addicted to listening to comedy records around the same time - but nothing like Space Oddity. It's a haunting story that you get drawn into. It's that alienation and isolation that resonates powerfully with teens around the globe. I have really vivid memories of lying down and escaping into it with Bowie's voice and always loving him from that point on.
White Lines (Don't Do It) – Melle Mel
I remember buying this on a 12-inch record in Dunedin. It was freaking cold and I was stuck in a place called Helensburgh House, which was the New Zealand equivalent of that fraternity in the John Belushi film Animal House. It was a disastrous hostel, there was a 50 per cent failure rate, which was a horrendous New Zealand record. I used my bursary money to buy a huge stereo system instead of spending it on study materials. I had a room on the third floor and just blasted this track. With 12-inch records you tend to just replay the same track over and over. It's great for you but like water torture for everybody else on the same floor.
It's a Wonderful Life – Sparklehorse
This song's an ode to a wonderful life but it absolutely feels like a heart breaking at the same time. It's a song that does the antithesis of what you expect it to do from the tone of it. I always keep coming back to this song. It's from the first time I'd been to Austin and was going around a really cool local music scene there. I think it'd be a beautiful end credits song for a movie after you've gone through hell.
Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
Scott was a dude I met back in 88. It was one of those friendships where you bond over music really heavily. He was the quintessential Ramones fan. We used to do crazy road trips together and just blast this track continually. He was the kind of guy who would put Blitzkrieg Bop on and say "Let's go to Vegas!" and that'd be your day. He really waved the flag.
You go through periods where you evolve with what you listen to but Scott remained the same dude. His apartment was always exactly the same. He was like a time capsule, a guy who said, "78 was cool, I'm gonna hang here." I loved that aspect about him. He passed recently and there were lots of celebrations of his life and music played a huge part of that. I was really affected. There was a heavy association of a loss of innocence because he hadn't changed. It suddenly felt like, "I'm getting old". I've lost lots of friends unfortunately. It starts happening when you get older but when you have a guy who feels like he's perpetually young . . . when they go it really feels like a sledgehammer to the gut. It's horrible because you feel like they will live forever. But also it's just a sad reminder that things do pass.
Crazy in Love – Beyonce
This song was always played back at friends' houses after a night out and we'd all cut loose and jam it up. There's photos of the time when I first met Rebecca, who became my wife. You know with still images they never capture how f***ing cool you thought you were in the moment. Especially when you're dancing. They just can't. The harsh flash, the high angle . . . it just looks like you're having a conniption. It's never very cool. But I don't care because these photos show two people bonding over that song in general but also at the same time falling in love. They're stark photos, they look like crime-scene photos. They're appalling and shocking and are going to be hidden forever but they have a beautiful imprint in my mind.
- As told to Karl Puschmann