Justin Kurzel

Justin Kurzel

Snowtown; Blue Tongue
Voted in the directors poll

Voted for:

Fargo 1995 Joel & Ethan Coen
Gallipoli 1981 Peter Weir
Godfather: Part I, The 1972 Francis Ford Coppola
Hidden 2004 Michael Haneke
Jaws 1975 Steven Spielberg
Raging Bull 1980 Martin Scorsese
Step Brothers 2008 Adam McKay
Wake in Fright 1971 Ted Kotcheff
Withnail & I 1986 Bruce Robinson
Woman Under the Influence, A 1974 John Cassavetes


Jaws is still the reason I rarely go swimming. It put the absolute fear in me, especially living in Australia. I must have seen this 100 times, but I will always stop and watch it when it’s on. It’s a master lesson in how to create suspense on screen, even with a robotic shark.

I saw Wake in Fright only recently after completing my first film, and suddenly everything really clicked for me in terms of where the tough, muscular, Aussie film came from. It’s a masterpiece, still as shocking and relevant today as it was back in the 1970s.

Gallipoli is a beautifully composed piece of filmmaking. One of the most emotionally engaging films I have ever experienced about what it is to be a man. Sophisticated, intelligent and as scary as hell, Hidden is directed by the one of the bravest and greatest living directors today.

The Godfather is a classic, but I never tire of it. The screenplay is just so watertight, and Michael’s journey is one of the best protagonist arc’s ever created.

Raging Bull is such a gutsy and muscular film, but also so beautiful and delicate. The editing is extraordinarily bold. I love how the camera is used to express point of view in the fight sequences. The film is just pure cinema.

Withnail and I is just the coolest film I have ever seen.

Marge in Fargo is such an original character, and I love that she doesn’t come into the story until 20 minutes into the film. Again, it’s one I must have watched a hundred times and will watch a hundred more.

I can still be walking down the street and think of moments and scenes in Step Brothers and burst out laughing. The improvisation is incredible, and Will Ferrell is a genius.

A Woman Under the Influence just has the most beautiful performances. Gena Rowlands is exquisite, the scenes with her kids are heartbreaking, but despite its toughness the film is so tender and hopeful.