For anyone still wondering what took Frank Ocean so long to release his follow-up to Channel Orange, a new theory lies within the pages of the R&B angel’s recently released "Boys Don't Cry" zine to accompany his new album Blonde: perhaps he was blowing through his conscientious Blu-ray collection. Demonstrating an eye for the visionary and the visually dazzling – and inadvertently challenging the hot buzz on that BBC critics’ poll and last week’s #7favfilms on Twitter – Ocean scribbled down a list of his 100 favorite films of all time, and his choices make it clear that he’s as much a student of the cinema as he is a singer of stirring emotionality.
A few standout selections. He’s clearly got love for the go-for-broke auteurism of Herzog and Jodorowsky, reflected in his own sonic adventurism, but he flexes his sensitive side and interest in rehashing the past with a Bergman classic like Wild Strawberries. As a David Lynch devotee, his inclusion of the polarizing and patriotically perverse (and, for my money, perfect) Wild at Heart makes me want to paint the town as red as Diane Ladd’s face. A small smattering of silent films make the list but the absences are just as compelling. PTA makes three appearances on the list but Ocean opts for Hard Eight over the far more beloved Boogie Nights. And despite its undeniable genius, it’s a relief to see a Best Of list with a Hitchcock mention that isn’t Vertigo. Mostly, though, I'll take the obvious crossover omission of Boys Don't Cry in favor of including American Beauty as a sly hint that he, too, is a fervent member of Team Bening.