2001: A Space Odyssey

Zach and I saw a 70mm screening of 2001 in Boston this past summer. Neither of us had seen the film before, nor did we really know anything about it apart from "open the pod doors, Hal" and the looming soundtrack of Strauss' 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'. It would be entirely accurate to say that we were both stunned after those three hours, which included the overture and intermission. Nothing about this film is obvious. Nothing about it is handed to you on a platter. Instead, this movie might not make sense. It's a completely surreal and otherworldly experience. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the perfect film to provide a looking glass through which we view our culture in 2018. It reminds us to take our time. Breath.

In addition, the meticulous attention to detail of every shot and every sound is something we strive for in everything we create. Often we'll spend hours fine-tuning the arrangement of a single verse. I promise it's worth it.

Blade Runner

The beauty, optimism, and sadness that we live through in Blade Runner are profoundly inspiring. Ridley Scott's approach to a dystopian society is nearly palpable.

Though we're about to release a record, we've also been working on a completely different project which I can't say too much about, but it takes place in the year 2080. The idea of artificial intelligence gaining sentience is something we've been thinking about a lot.

Star Wars

This isn't a massive inspiration to me, but Zach and Ray are obsessed. In the months leading up to and following Episode 7 they wouldn't talk about anything else. That level of fanatical interest in a fictional world, though it seems slightly compulsive, is beautiful in the sheer amount of joy it brings these young men. It's like listening to them talk about live versions of Yes songs versus studio versions. It's real, innocent bliss.

E.T.

This is a perfect feel-good adventure film. It's not too man-centric (looking at you, Daniel Craig). It's cute but not overly cute (looking at you, Ewoks). Sometimes in these troubling times, you need a nice happy ending. I think it's important to write optimistic songs even when it feels like our world is crumbling.

Phantom Thread

I'm sure many musicians look up to Jonny Greenwood for his work as a film composer, so I'm probably not being entirely original here. This movie, in my opinion, is Greenwood's best. He clearly listened to a lot of Debussy, Faure, and Ravel which tugs tightly on my little heartstrings.

Arc Iris' new album Icon of Ego is out Octover 12th via Ba Da Bing Records. Check out 'Turn It Up' below.