"Beginners" Director Mike Mills Shares His Cultural Diet

The Beginners director shares his music taste, what made him want to direct, and more.

2011 Focus Features

This Friday his hotly anticipated odd coming-of-old-age tale Beginners with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer opens in limited release — but today, director Mike Mills shares with us his favorite music, movies, and fashions.

Last album I recommended

"Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity."

My favorite clothes

"SmartWool socks and Band of Outsiders shirts and suits. I like to wear at least a suit jacket — makes me feel 'ready.'"

Style icon

"It all started with the Professor from Gilligan's Island. The Clash circa London Calling. T.S. Eliot (black suits!), F. Scott Fitzgerald (high-waisted trousers!), John Muir (vests and hats!)."

Album I would take to a desert island

"That question makes me crazy. It's like Sophie's Choice-hard—actually depressing just to think about. The piano works of Erik Satie?"

Guilty pleasure

"The graphic design site Ffffound."

Cultural trend that needs to go away

"Who am I to say?"


Art work I would most like to own

"An early-sixties Rauschenberg? A Pierre Bonnard painting of his wife in the tub? One of those really big Robert Delaunay pieces?"

Last meal


Greatest building I've ever visited

"The Centre Pompidou in Paris."

The one place everyone should visit during their lifetime

"A forest, a truly wild forest, where humans are not the controlling force."

What made me want to direct

"A strange intersection of Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line and Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law."

The one actor, living or dead, I wish I could work with

"Humphrey Bogart. My mom would be so proud."

Also on Details.com:

Q+A: Beginners Director Mike Mills

Idris Elba's Cultural Diet

The 25 Greatest Male Grooming Moments in Movies

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