10 Movies That Inspired Aisha Tyler's 'Axis'

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 8 months ago

"A lot of influences came into play as I was developing Axis. Single-setting films, ones that used music innovatively, had a unique or surreal visual aesthetic, or that used judicious doses of silence and isolation to connect audiences to the interior life of characters all helped frame my approach." — Aisha Tyler

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Min-sik Choi in Oldboy (2003)


"A majority of this film is just a man in a single room, confronting his own demons and the mystery of his captivity. By the time he is freed and other characters come into the story, you are so beguiled by his time in isolation that it’s almost a disappointment. Chan-Wook Park is a master of storytelling discipline."

Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim in A Prophet (2009)

A Prophet

"A Prophet follows an illiterate Algerian youth as he transforms from naive urchin to venal criminal. Like a French Scarface, but imbued with the additional subtleties of race, class and religion in a rapidly evolving France. This film is extraordinary."

Mads Mikkelsen in Valhalla Rising (2009)

Valhalla Rising

"Set in ancient Scandinavia, this film is all images with barely any dialogue. Haunting and melancholy, it is an incredibly disciplined use of silence, and almost brutal in its beauty."

Billy Bob Thornton in Friday Night Lights (2004)

Friday Night Lights

"I have watched this film dozens of times. It is emotionally affecting without being manipulative, masculine without being off-putting. Peter Berg’s use of music in this film is elegant — never maudlin or overbearing, just elegiac and absolutely perfect."

Reese Witherspoon in Wild (2014)


"This is not a single-setting film, but it does focus on a single character for most of the film. Jean-Marc Vallée is able to make a highly flawed character deeply sympathetic, which was my challenge with Axis. The end of the movie always reduces me to tears."

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch (2015)

The Witch

"So much beautiful silence in this film, and so much beautiful isolation. This is a movie in which the space between the characters is more frighting than the monsters that lie beyond. You don’t know where you are in this movie until it is far too late, which is half the fun. Bewilderingly spooky."

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House (2012)

Safe House

"Daniel Espinosa's handheld camera work during the driving sequences is aggressive and gripping, dizzying without being disorienting. I love watching this film and marveling at how they did it. The camera work in this film helped me be brave with my choices in Axis."

Michael Fassbender in Macbeth (2015)


"Five minutes into this film I remarked to no one in particular, "this is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen." Director Justin Kurzel does radical things with color and time that make this old and oft-told story feel as visually and emotionally radical as it must have felt to audiences who first saw it centuries ago."

Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The Bourne Supremacy

"I love everything Paul Greengrass does. His ruggedly honest approach is to let the action unfold naturally and allow the camera to find the subject rather than forcing the subject to accommodate the camera's gaze. The result is a feeling that you are an active participant, there in the car with the driver or inside the fight. I strove to impart this same feeling in my film."

Ryan Reynolds in Buried (2010)


"This film is just Ryan Reynolds in a box. For the entire movie. It works beautifully, and once you surrender to the concept, the film is transporting and completely emotionally effective. Buried was proof I could make a movie about a guy driving through Los Angeles compelling. I reminded myself of that whenever my creative resolve started to waver."