In the last decade, Scott Derrickson has emerged as one of the most exciting and successful genre filmmakers around. He directed the immensely lucrative horror features The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, as well as the globally profitable sci-fi remake The Day the Earth Stood Still, and recently he joined the very big leagues with Marvel tasking him with bringing Doctor Strange to the big screen.
As a screenwriter, he has worked with the likes of Wim Wenders, for the war drama Land of Plenty, and he co-wrote Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, which gives new perspective on the events surrounding the West Memphis Three, whose case was brought to public attention by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost trilogy and Amy Berg’s West of Memphis.
Derrickson’s movies tend to be visceral and raw, evoking a verisimilitude that speaks to his love of nonfiction cinema. Recognizing that appreciation, we asked him to list his favorite documentary films, and his picks prove as eclectic and interesting as his own work.
Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)
“David Byrne, an undeniable genius working in his prime, presented through pure cinema by a visionary director. The only documentary I repeatedly re-watch.”