Curated Diary – Ben Wheatley

Ben Wheatley, director of new film High-Rise, picks his top events for spring, including new TV shows, headsets and computer games


1 The Nice Guys
Icon Film Distribution
In cinemas 3 June

Nice Guys
Photo: Icon Film Distribution

I don't know much about this film beyond the trailer, but I don't feel I need to. For starters it's written and directed by Shane Black, a filmmaker of legend in many ways. I'm a big fan of his scripts for the last boy scout and the long Kiss Goodnight. Funny, clever, violent and mainstream, he writes within Hollywood tropes but tweaks and turbo-charges them. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang saw him direct and breathe new life into the detective genre. The Nice Guys looks like a return to that style, a mismatched-buddy violent comedy.

2 Vinyl
From 14 February

Courtesy of HBO

I was reading the ladybird book of the Mid-life Crisis that features a man in his forties who starts to collect vinyl. I scowled as I looked over to my shiny new record player. They are right of course. It is a sickness. Last week I found myself and a friend listening to Assault on Precinct 13 really loud; I haven't just sat and listened to music on its own for years. I was lucky enough to see a preview of Martin Scorsese's new TV show Vinyl. It's like a lost film between Mean Streets and Goodfellas. the equation is different though, less crime, more drugs, more rock 'n' roll.

3 Oculus Rift
Release date 28 March

Courtesy: Oculus

I've been thinking about this since reading Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash in 1992: a headset that allows you to literally sink into another world. I experienced the Samsung version of a VR visor built out of a mobile phone at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was the first time in a long time that I've felt like I was in the future. This technology will change image-based media forever.

4 Uneasy Listening: An Evening with Clint Mansell
Royal Festival Hall, London
24 March

Clint Mansell

I'm a big fan of Clint's music and i was lucky enough to work with him on the soundtrack for my new film High-Rise. He's touring with a selection of his scores at the moment; big favourites from Requiem for a dream and Moon will be rubbing shoulders with newer pieces. I caught his last tour at the Barbican and it was great. It's worth it alone for Clint's one-finger keyboard technique and his bashful commentary. Hear the themes big and loud!

5 Rust
Facepunch Studios
Available now

Courtesy Rust

Rust is a computer game. You wake up on a beach naked clutching a rock and have to survive in a wilderness. You chop down trees and forage for food, then you meet the real danger: other people. I've been playing this for a year or so, but it qualifies for this article because Rust is always being updated, always new. It's a humanity simulator, you meet real strangers from the wilds of the web and they decide to kill you or help you. It's emergent gaming at its best, like Minecraft's psychotic brother. There's no real winning, just being.

6 Cass Sculpture Foundation
Goodwood, Chichester

Cass Sculpture Foundation
Photo: Barnaby Hindle © Cass Sculpture Foundation, Eva Rothschild, 2013

I live in Brighton and work in London. The prospect of going into town to see an exhibition fills me with dread; what I do enjoy immensely is a trip to the Cass Sculpture Foundation. It's set in a wood that houses a changing collection of large modern pieces, a sort of Jurassic park for art. You push through some bushes and find an abstract bronze squatting in a clearing, see something glinting through the leaves and stumble upon a gently chiming collection of steel and glass. The whole experience is very Secret Garden, I've rarely seen anyone in there... in fact, I don't know why I am telling you this.

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