Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Cinemasparagus Film Poll of 2022

The First Entry in a Possibly Once-a-Decade Proposition

"I didn't mean to hurt you / I'm sorry that I made you cry"

—John Lennon, "Jealous Guy" (ur-version: "Child of Nature")

A couple months ago I had the idea to ask people to contribute to a poll. Another poll. Another-'nother poll. It would be just what the world needed, indubitably: Best Movies Ever Made. But — hear me out: I conceived it in contradistinction to the Sight and Sound poll that takes place on every xxx2 of a new decade. And so I thought I would tally up the results to make a top 12 or 19 list of the alternative greatest films ever made based on the submissions by bright friends and cinephiles to break the mould of the inevitable Sight and Sound poll aggregated results with Vertigo, Citizen Kane, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tokyo Story, et al leading the pack — all supreme masterpieces, however... these are known quantities, easy discoveries — even if crucial. Now, I pose all the above in some auxiliary hypothetical mode as though I ended up thinking better. I didn't. What you're about to read below is exactly what I had in mind in terms of the thinking-results of the prospective contributors. I'm not going to say these lists are meaningless or immature; I don't believe this one is. Like many other examples of the exercise it's an entryway, a map, especially intended for but not included to younger people — an aid (not cement) to explore a potentially already-established or budding love for the Cinema. I did end up rejecting the inclusion of a final aggregation of the list, probably to the disappointment of some for whom that's the money shot. Well, as Jean-Luc Godard once said: "The money will flow faster than the images."

We must speak of Godard. He died about two weeks ago from the time I'm writing this. In that span, the tributes and in some cases outstanding special editions (Cahiers du cinéma, Débordements, La Septième Obsession, the cover of the new Sight and Sound) and moreover Internet encomia have been launched en masse. Although the vast majority of these results came into my inbox in the days or weeks before JLG committed assisted suicide, they reflect the overwhelming influence that Godard has cast across generations of cinephiles, across the spectrum of active filmmakers and artists. 

The rules for submissions were simple: Either provide 15 favorite films alongside 15 favorite filmmakers, or do whatever you want.

I hope you enjoy this piece and that it provides some food for thought: arguing with the walls / contemplation.

This poll is presented in protest and (proxy) defiance of Iran's Islamic Republic and is dedicated to Mahsa Amini, Nika Shakarami, and all of the women in Iran and their supporters in the country and on Earth.

—Craig Keller



Twin Peaks: The Return [David Lynch, 2017]

Akira [Katsuhiro Ōtomo [1988]

Wavelength [Michael Snow, 1967]

Inherent Vice [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014]

Vertigo [Alfred Hitchcock, 1958]

Memoria [Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021]

DEVILMAN crybaby [Masaaki Yuasa, 2018]

Kairo [Circuits, aka Pulse] [Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001]

Fight Club [David Fincher, 1999]

Mononoke-hime [Princess Mononoke] [Hayao Miyazaki, 1997]

Le livre d'image: Image et Parole [The Image Book: Image and Word] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2018]

Zerkalo [Mirror] [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975]

Sho (w)o sute yo machi e deyō [Throw Away Your Books! Rally in the Streets] [Shūji Terayama, 1971]

Gerry [Gus Van Sant, 2002]

Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick, 1999]

Favorite Iranian Films:

مرگ یزدگرد / Marg-e Yazdgerd [Death of Yazdgerd] [Bahram Beyzai, 1982]

چریکه تارا / Cherikeh-ye Tara [Ballad of Tara] [Bahram Beyzai, 1979]

باشو، غریبه کوچک / Bashu, gharibeh-ye koochak [Bashu, The Little Stranger] [Bahram Beyzai, 1989] 

طعم گیلاس / Ta'am-e gilas [Taste of Cherry] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1997]

کلوز-آپ [Close-Up] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1990]

زیر درختان زیتون / Zir-e derakhtan-e zeytoon [Under the Olive Trees, aka Through the Olive Trees] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1994]

قهرمان / Ghahreman [A Hero] [Asghar Farhadi, 2021]

جدایی / Jodayi [A Separation] [Asghar Farhadi, 2011]

درباره الی / Darbare-ye Elly [About Elly [Asghar Farhadi, 2009]

خشت و آینه / Khesht va ayeneh [Brick and Mirror] [Ebrahim Golestan, 1964]

طبیعت بی‌جان / Tabi'at-e bi-jan [Still Life] [Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1974]

مغول‌ها / Moghol-ha [The Mongols] [Parviz Kimiavi, 1973]

 دونده / Davandeh [The Runner] [Amir Naderi, 1984]

ملخ‌زدگان / Malakh-zadegan [The Orthoptera Attack] [Naser Mohammadi, 1983]

 خواب تلخ / Khab-e talkh [Bitter Dream] [Mohsen Amiryousefi, 2004]

قیصر / Gheisar [Masoud Kimiai, 1969]

Top 15 Favorite Filmmakers:

David Lynch

Paul Thomas Anderson

Terrence Malick

Masaaki Yuasa

Alfred Hitchcock

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Wong Kar-wai

David Fincher

Shinichirō Watanabe

Robert Eggers 

David Cronenberg

Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hayao Miyazaki

Jean-Luc Godard

Park Chan-wook



critic and journalist, Les Inrockuptibles, Vanity Fair France, etc.

Toni [Jean Renoir, 1935]

La maman et la putain [The Mother and the Whore] [Jean Eustache, 1973]

L'Atalante [Jean Vigo, 1934]

Akasen chitai [The Red-Line District / The Red-Light District, aka Street of Shame] [Kenji MIzoguchi, 1956]

Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]

News from Home [Chantal Akerman, 1976]

Videodrome [David Cronenberg, 1983]

Les mains négatives [Negative Hands] [Marguerite Duras, 1979]

No quarto da Vanda [In Vanda's Room] [Pedro Costa, 2000]

Pépé le Moko [Julien Duvivier, 1936]

The Unknown [Tod Browning, 1927]

Vampyr: The Strange Adventure of Allan Gray [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932]

The Night of the Hunter [Charles Laughton, 1955]

Ukigusa [Floating Weeds] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1959]

à égalité — 

The Terrorizers (Edward Yang, 1986)

Tropical Malady (Apitchapong Weerasethakul, 2004)

 Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)



director, screenwriter, photographer

The Thing [John Carpenter, 1982]

Aa fei zing zyun [True Story of a Hooligan] / Days of Being Wild [Wong Kar-wai, 1990]

Call Me by Your Name [Luca Guadagnino, 2017]

Ai no mukidashi [Love Exposure] [Sion Sono, 2008]

Twin Peaks: The Return [David Lynch, 2017]

Adaptation [Spike Jonze, 2002]

Cure [Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997]

Donnie Darko [Richard Kelly, 2001]

Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick, 1999]

Lost in Translation [Sofia Coppola, 2003]

Kurenai no Buta [aka Porco Rosso] [Hayao Miyazaki, 1992]

Battle Royale [Kinji Fukasaku, 2000]

¡Átame! [Tie Me Up!, aka Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!] [Pedro Almodóvar, 1989]

The Matrix [Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, 1999]

Inglourious Basterds [Quentin Tarantino, 2009]

Office Space [Mike Judge, 1999]


Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Hideaki Anno

Hayao Miyazaki

Sofia Coppola

Pedro Almodóvar

John Carpenter

Hong Sang-soo

David Lynch

Mike Leigh

Quentin Tarantino

David Cronenberg

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Paul Thomas Anderson

Shinya Tsukamoto

Harmony Korine




Apocalypse Now [Francis Ford Coppola, 1979]

Manhattan [Woody Allen, 1979]

On the Waterfront [Elia Kazan, 1954]

Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

The Godfather [Francis Ford Coppola, 1972]

Casablanca [Michael Curtiz, 1942]

Rebel Without a Cause [Nicholas Ray, 1955]

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Michel Gondry, 2004]

North by Northwest [Alfred Hitchcock, 1959]

His Girl Friday [Howard Hawks, 1940]

Honorable Mentions:

Blue Velvet [David Lynch, 1986]

The Thin Blue Line [Errol Morris, 1988]

Nóź w wodzie [Knife in the Water] [Roman Polanski, 1962]

Billy Liar [John Schlesinger, 1963]

Rashōmon [Akira Kurosawa, 1950]

It Happened One Night [Frank Capra, 1934]

Chinatown [Roman Polanski, 1974]

Hiroshima mon amour [Hiroshima My Love] [Alain Resnais, 1959]

Straw Dogs [Sam Peckinpah, 1971]

After Hours [Martin Scorsese, 1985]

Jaws [Steven Spielberg, 1975]

The Purple Rose of Cairo [Woody Allen, 1985]

The Ice Harvest [Harold Ramis, 2005]

Der Himmel über Berlin [The Sky Over Berlin / Heaven Over Berlin, aka Wings of Desire] [Wim Wenders, 1987]

Popiół i diament [Ash and Diamond, aka Ashes and Diamonds] [Andrzej Wajda, 1958]

Diner [Barry Levinson, 1982]

Reservoir Dogs [Quentin Tarantino, 1992]


Woody Allen

Francis Ford Coppola

Alfred Hitchcock

Wim Wenders

Orson Welles

Director Honorable Mentions:

Roman Polanski

Frank Capra

David Lynch

Errol Morris




What follows is a semi-rando list of movies I enjoy and have returned to over the years. Nothing too deep, lol. However, if this WAS about “important” and “world-historical” cinema then I’d have no choice but to put Revenge of the Nerds [Jeff Kanew, 1984] in the top spot. That fucking film’s the single most influential artwork of my lifetime and an instructional manual for the sore winners that control and gatekeep our contemporary techno-feudal dystopia. It formalized the “bullied” outsider who’s good at computers getting back at the “jocks” and “Stacys” archetype and is the origin myth of the world’s richest and most powerful freaks, the ones who diabolically designed our jank streaming services, rage-bait “news” sites, and social media Skinner Boxes that keep us in a state of perpetual annoyance and ignorance. Everyone’s now a nerd (in their own mind). And everyone wants revenge! And it's all thanks to this 1984 comedy. Pretty funny movie though. Can’t lie! Anyway, my personal canon is… 

Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte [Beware of a Holy Whore] [Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1971]

Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams [Tommy Chong, 1981]

A Bucket of Blood [Roger Corman, 1959]

Liquid Sky [Slava Tsukerman, 1981]

Safe [Todd Haynes, 1995]

I’m Still Here [Casey Affleck, 2010]

Black and White [James Toback, 1999]

Bully [Larry Clark, 2001]

Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam [Nick Broomfield, 1995]

Madame Wang’s [Paul Morrissey, 1981]

The Blackout [Abel Ferrara, 1997]

Project X [Nima Nourizadeh, 2012]

Street Trash [J Michael Muro, 1987]

Female Trouble [John Waters, 1974]

Le diable probablement [The Devil Probably] [Robert Bresson, 1977]


Rainer Werner Fassbinder 

Abel Ferrara

Jesús Franco

Paul Morrissey

Todd Solondz

Oliver Stone

Werner Herzog

Jamaa Fanaka

Gregg Araki

Harmony Korine

Jean-Luc Godard

Paul Schrader

Joe D’Amato

Quentin Tarantino

Jon Moritsugu




My father was moving a few years ago and in going through old boxes found spiral notebooks I'd filled as a child with lists of movies, lists of actors, lists of directors. If hazy memory serves these would have been ranked (and re-ranked), my own personal awards show. Dad expressed admiration of their thoroughness and asked if I wanted him to send them along. No thank you. I couldn't imagine any emotion stirred but embarrassment.

Of course well into middle age I remain deeply compulsive, and I may still, against higher spiritual aspirations, keep a list or two or twenty on hand... but the urge to rank has withered away. Not only does it seem clearly absurd to me to pronounce which movies, objectively, are the "best," but even a personal accounting ("This is just my opinion/experience") has come to feel poignantly pointless. Comforting perhaps, but the lists were always an attempt to possess the blessedly unpossessable. One might as well make a list of one's top ten sexual experiences — of course I'm certain many people do just that and I expect some make more compelling reading than others — but I've lost the impulse to try to express mastery over magic. Just grateful to have experienced some of it.



film scholar and educator

Here's what I did: I picked just a few movies I knew I had to have on my list, and because I couldn’t satisfy myself with picks beyond those, I chose the majority of the rest from a pool of several dozen feature-length masterpieces (one film per director) using a random number generator. These particular results skew very heavily toward the 1980s and minimize classic Hollywood, Japan, and other areas I would have guessed would (should) show up on a personal top ten list. But one thing is certain: these are ten incredible films.

La règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game] [Jean Renoir, 1939]
The Long Gray Line [John Ford, 1955]
Mēghē dhākā tārā [The Cloud-Capped Star] [Ritwik Ghatak, 1960]
Davdtsat' dney bez voyny [Twenty Days Without War] [Aleksei German, 1976]
Fanny och Alexander [Fanny and Alexander] [Ingmar Bergman, 1982]
El Sur [The South] [Victor Erice, 1983]
Kung-Fu Master! [Agnès Varda, 1988]
Une histoire de vent [A Story of Wind] [Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens, 1988]
Bâd mâ râ khâhad bord... [The Wind Will Carry Us...] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1999]
Nainsukh [Amit Dutta, 2010]




A League of Their Own [Penny Marshall, 1992]

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Michel Gondry, 2004]

When Harry Met Sally... [Rob Reiner, 1989]

Inside Out [Pete Docter, 2015]

Promising Young Woman [Emerald Fennell, 2020]

My Cousin Vinny [Jonathan Lynn, 1992]

This Is 40 [Judd Apatow, 2012]



15. Arnulf Rainer [Peter Kubelka, 1960]

14. The Big Lebowski [Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1998]

13. Tangerine [Sean Baker, 2015]

12. Punishment Park [Peter Watkins, 1971]

11. Blow Out [Brian De Palma, 1981]

10. Magic Mike XXL [Gregory Jacobs and Steven Soderbergh, 2015]

9. Paris, Texas [Wim Wenders, 1984]

8. Medium Cool [Haskell Wexler, 1969]

7. Decasia [Bill Morrison, 2002]

6. Magnolia [Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999]

5. Cosmic Ray [Bruce Conner, 1962]

4. Je tu il elle [I You He She] [Chantal Akerman, 1975]

3. PlayTime [Jacques Tati, 1967]

2. Close-Up [Abbas Kiarostami, 1990]

1. Cameraperson [Kirsten Johnson, 2016]

Top 5 Directors:

5. Jacques Tati

4. Arthur Jafa

3. Hollis Frampton

2. Joann Elam

1. Les Blank



I’m somewhat of a delormien: one needs to be in touch with our times, be able to see its good and its bad, but also maintain a certain distance towards it, and find a certain strength to speak out against complacency and injustices. 

Pedro Costa doesn’t think the internet is a real place, and it’s somewhat embarrassing that much of our interactions takes place on these corporate-owned social media platforms that treats communication as a game with the reward of dopamine-infused “likes”. It’s hard to even understand or want to participate in what is described as “Film Twitter” – a recent article from Gawker against Richard Brody is just one recent ludicrous example of this dumbing-down and division.

I used to blog, and that’s one reason I like this Cinemasparagus film poll, but I’ve long decided that the most rewarding encounters and conversations that I have take place in real life among friends, family and strangers. Who needs the stress of trying to figure out how to navigate social media?

Having been born in ’88, and growing up in the nineties and two-thousands, notably before the pre-innocuous era of Twitter, there was Ebert’s Great Movies, Rosenbaum, Sarris, the Dave Kehr forum, and they all had lists. I loved them, found them a useful learning tool; as an auto-didact, they became springboards to discover obscure titles of film history and watching them felt like a form of initiation in a symbolic and dispersed cinephile community.

That said, moving to Toronto in 2010 introduced me to a plethora of different folks and cinephiles, all of whom offered different perspectives and friendships, which I think helped me grow and mature. I bring all of this up because I feel like the selections on this list really grew from all of these peers and external influences. 

I know that the cinematheque regular Scott – even though he has seen practically everything – would probably make a more traditional list. I like to highlight rarities and hopefully show a Canadian cinema different than its more traditionally advertised and promoted form.

For this particular exercise I chose to highlight just Canadian films, all of which mean a lot to me, and for the most part I can still remember where I first saw them, where I was sitting in the theater, what I thought about them and how they made me feel, who I saw them with, and even the weather outside. It’s not just a list, but moments in my life.

I doubt any of these titles (or at least very few of them) would show up on the more official Sight & Sound poll.

So here are the 36 entries:

Café de Flore, Dallas Buyers Club, Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects (Jean-Marc Vallée)

nirvana the band the show, The dirties, Operation Avalanche, nirvanna the band the show, and Matt and Bird Break Loose (Matt Johnson, Zapruder Films)

Acres, A woman’s block, Ripe, and Eve Parade (Rebeccah Love)

Blood Quantum (Jeff Barnaby)

Crime Wave (John Paizs)

Dreamland: A History of Early Canadian Movies 1895-1949 (Donald Brittain)

Nobody Waved Good-bye, A Further Glimpse of Joey, The Ernie Game, Holstein, and Unfinished Business (Don Owen)

Crash, Dead Ringers, and Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg)

Due South (Paul Gross), Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan), and Unfinished Business (Gross and Egoyan)

Nunavut: Our Land and One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (Zacharias Kunuk)

Christopher’s Movie Matinee (Mort Ransen)

Goin’ Down the Road, Rip-off, and Between Friends (Don Shebib)

Dracula, Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (Guy Maddin)

Mourir à tue tête (Anne Claire Poirier), Loyalties (Anne Wheller), Sonatine (Micheline Lanctôt)

La Région Centrale and Rameau's Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (Michael Snow), The Far Shore and Reason over Passion (Joyce Wieland), Artist on Fire: Joyce Wieland (Kay Armatage), and Picture of Light (Peter Mettler)

Death Weekend (William Fruet), Kissed (Lynne Stopkewich), When Night is Falling (Patricia Rozema)

Foster Child (Gil Cardinal), and Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (Alanis Obomsawin)

The Pose (Kevin Dempster) and Lessons Injustice (Karen Chapman)

Vic and Flo Saw a Bear and Ghost Town Anthology (Denis Côté), All You Can Eat Buddha (Ian Lagarde), Genèse (Philippe Lesage), and Nelly (Anne Émond)

Anne at 13, 000 Ft. (Kazik Radwanski), The Maiden (Graham Foy), Queens of the Qing Dynasty (Ashley McKenzie), and Sleeping Giant (Andrew Cividino)-

- The Body Remembers when the World Broke Open (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn), and Edge of the Knife (Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown)

Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n'ont fait que se creuser un tombeau (Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie), and Laurence Anyways, Ma vie avec John F. Donovan and Matthias et Maxime (Xavier Dolan)

The Wire: Cleaning Up and Old Cases (Clement Virgo), and Luke Cage: Step in the Arena and In the Tall Grass (Vincenzo Natali)

A Cool Sound From Hell (Sidney J. Furie), and The Mask (Julian Roffman)

Pour la suite du Monde and La bête lumineuse (Pierre Perrault)

Fields of Endless Day (Jennifer Hodge) and Home Feeling: Struggle for a community (Hodge and Roger McTair)

Solange dans nos campagnes, La vie heureuse de Lépold Z, le Viol d’une jeune fille douce, La vraie nature de Bernadette, La Mort d’un bûcheron, La tête de Normande St.-Onage (Gilles Carles)

King of Kensington (Al Waxman), and Glenn Gould’s Toronto (John McGreevy)

Roadkill (Bruce McDonald), Twitch City (Don McKellar), and Dream Tower (Ron Mann)

À tout prendre (Claude Jutra), and Le Vieux Pays où Rimbaud est mort (Jean-Pierre Lefebvre)

Sweet Yoyo (Mark Cira), and Plea Bargain (Mitch Greenberg)

Neighbours (Norman McLaren), Universe (Roman Kroitor), Palace of Pleasure (John Hofsess), and The Hart of London (Jack Chambers)

Incident Reports (Mike Hoolboom)

Masala (Srinivas Krishna), and Tough Bananas (Keith Lock)

The Bitter Ash (Larry Kent) 

La última película (Mark Peranson, Raya Martin), and Carnet de voyage (David Davidson)



filmmaker, playwright, writer


  1. Key & Peele, The Substitute Teacher, Hawthorn’s School

26. Morvern Callar [Lynne Ramsay, 2002]
25. Sweetie  [Jane Campion, 1989]
24. La pianiste [The Pianist, aka The Piano Teacher] [Michael Haneke, 2001]
23. White Material [Claire Denis, 2009]
22. Mauvais sang [Bad Blood] [Leos Carax, 1986]
21. Mysterious Skin  [Gregg Araki, 2004]
20. Nous ne vierillirons pas ensemble [We Won't Grow Old Together] [Maurice Pialat, 1972]
19. The Apartment [Billy Wilder, 1960]
18. Shadows [John Cassavetes, 1959]
17. Guerillere Talks [Vivienne Dick, 1978]
16. The Souvenir [Joanna Hogg, 2019]
15. Breaking the Waves [Lars von Trier, 1996]
14. Sodium Fox [Jeremy Blake, 2005]
13. Belle de Jour [Luis Buñuel, 1968]
12. Jollies [Sadie Benning, 1990]
11. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One [William Greaves, 1968]
10. Greetings [Brian De Palma, 1968]
9. Petulia [Richard Lester, 1968]
8. Television Spots / Monodramas [Stan Douglas, 1987-1991]
7. Mulholland Dr. [David Lynch, 2001]
6. Safe [Todd Haynes, 1995]
5. Rois et reine [Kings and Queen] [Arnaud Desplechin, 2004]
4. La maman et la putain [The Mother and the Whore] [Jean Eustache, 1973]
3. Nashville [Robert Altman, 1975]
2. Viskningar och rop [Whispers and Cries, aka Cries and Whispers] [Ingmar Bergman, 1972]

These teach me how to see:

1. Kustom Kar Kommandos [Kenneth Anger, 1965] + Puce Moment [Kenneth Anger, 1949]



Escape Reality Artist / NYC

23. Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam [Nick Broomfield, 1995]

22. Last Days [Gus Van Sant, 2005]

21. Desperately Seeking Susan [Susan Seidelman, 1985]

20. France tour détour deux enfants [France Tour Detour Two Children] [Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, 1978]

19. Eyes Wide Shut [Stanley Kubrick, 1999]

18. Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]

17. Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

16. Neige [Snow] [Juliet Berto and Jean-Henri Roger, 1981]

15. Mixed Blood [Paul Morrissey, 1985]

14. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence [Steven Spielberg, 2001]

13. Obsession [Brian De Palma, 1976]

12. Le casse [The Heist, aka The Burglars] [Henri Verneuil, 1971]

11. Qianxi mambo / Millennium Mambo [Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001]

10. Perfect Strangers [Larry Cohen, 1984]

9. Tess [Roman Polanski, 1979]

8. Le locataire [The Tenant] [Roman Polanski, 1976]

7. The Blackout [Abel Ferrara, 1997]

6. Stromboli [Roberto Rossellini, 1950]

5. La belle noiseuse [The Beautiful Troublemaker] [Jacques Rivette, 1991]

4. Jisatsu Circle [Suicide Circle, aka Suicide Club] [Sion Sono, 2001]

3. Sauvage innocence [Savage Innocence] [Philippe Garrel, 2001]

2. The Gambler [Karel Reisz, 1974]

1. Nappeun yeonghwa [Bad Movie] [Jang Sun-woo, 1997]


15. Gérard Blain

14. Paul Verhoeven

13. Steven Soderbergh

12. Héctor Babenco

11. Sion Sono

10. Benoît Jacquot

9. Jacques Rivette

8. Philippe Grandrieux

7. Larry Cohen

6. Brian De Palma

5. Steven Spielberg

4. Stanley Kubrick

3. David Lynch

2. Roman Polanski

1. Jean-Luc Godard




Victoria [Sebastian Schipper, 2015]

Medena zemja [Honeyland] [Tamara Kotevska and Lujbomir Stefanov, 2019]

Tangerine [Sean Baker, 2015]

Creep [Patrick Brice, 2014]

Agassi [Lady, aka The Handmaiden] [Park Chan-wook, 2016]

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [Michel Gondry, 2004]

Memento [Christopher Nolan, 2000]

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain [The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, or Amélie] [Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001]

Edward Scissorhands [Tim Burton, 1990]

Boogie Nights [Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997]

Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

Gisaengchung [Parasite] [Bong Joon-ho, 2019]

Shichi-nin no samurai [Seven Samurai] [Akira Kurosawa, 1954]

Persona [Ingmar Bergman, 1966]

Cléo de 5 à 7 [Cléo from 5 to 7] [Agnès Varda, 1962, slightly revised in 2005]


Christopher Nolan

Sean Baker

Alfred Hitchcock

Sofia Coppola

Agnès Varda

Julia Ducournau



former cineplex cashier / canola oil burn victim

15. Only Angels Have Wings [Howard Hawks, 1939]

14. The Tree of Life [Terrence Malick, 2011-2018]

13. Shaolin sanshiliu fang [The 36th Chamber of Shaolin] [Lau Kar-leung, 1978]

12. Yi yi [One One / Individually] / A One and a Two... [Edward Yang, 2000]

11. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles [Chantal Akerman, 1975]

10. Ta'am-e gilas [Taste of Cherry] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1997]

9. L'argent [Money] [Robert Bresson, 1983]

8. The Long Day Closes [Terence Davies, 1992]

7. Éloge de l'amour [Eulogy for Love, aka In Praise of Love] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2001]

6. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [F. W. Murnau, 1927]

5. Mauvais sang [Bad Blood] [Leos Carax, 1986]

4. La passion de Jeanne d'Arc [The Passion of Jeanne of Arc] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928]

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968]

2. The Searchers [John Ford, 1956]

1. Il conformista [The Conformist] [Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970]


Abbas Kiarostami

Claire Denis

Terrence Malick

Leos Carax

Jean-Luc Godard 

Robert Bresson

Johnnie To

Charlie Chaplin

Orson Welles

F. W. Murnau

John Ford

Edward Yang

Tsai Ming-liang 

Alfred Hitchcock 

Kiyoshi Kurosawa



author, critic, editor of Socrates on the Beach

I would argue that to list the greatest works of any art is often to list those works which have personally torn one and taken them into awe or despair. There is no science at play. No one has seen every film ever made. I’m suspicious of people who would choose Tokyo Story or Vertigo simply because so many others do and not because the films have changed how they themselves see the world.

15. Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]

14. Crimes and Misdemeanors [Woody Allen, 1989]

13. The Godfather: Part II [Francis Ford Coppola, 1974]

12. Muriel, ou le Temps d'un retour [Muriel, or: The Time of a Return] [Alain Resnais, 1963]

11. Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris [Jacques Rivette, 1974]

10. Vertigo [Alfred Hitchcock, 1958]

9. The Tree of Life [Terrence Malick, 2011-2018]

8. Tōkyō monogatari [A Tale of Tokyo, aka Tokyo Story] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1953]

7. L'eclisse [The Eclipse] [Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962]

6. Le diable probablement [The Devil Probably] [Robert Bresson, 1977]

5. Zerkalo [Mirror] [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975]

4. Gertrud, et tidsbillede fra århundredets begyndelse [Gertrud: A Portrait from the Turn of the Century] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964]

3. Barry Lyndon [Stanley Kubrick, 1975]

2. A Woman Under the Influence [John Cassavetes, 1974]

1. Persona [Ingmar Bergman, 1966]


Carl Theodor Dreyer

Robert Bresson

Ingmar Bergman

Yasujirō Ozu

Alfred Hitchcock



critic and educator

15. Road to Nowhere [Monte Hellman, 2010]

14. As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty [Jonas Mekas, 2000]

13. Easter Morning [Bruce Conner, 2008]

12. Llora cuando te pase [Cry When It Happens] [Laida Lertxundi, 2010]

11. Byez solntsa / Sunless / Sans soleil [Chris Marker, 1982]

10. Sud pralad [Strange Creature] / Tropical Malady [Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004]

9. Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris [Jacques Rivette, 1974]

8. Xia nü [aka A Touch of Zen] [King Hu, 1971]

7. Fantômas [Louis Feuillade, 1913-1914]

6. Cavalo Dinheiro [Horse Money] [Pedro Costa, 2014]

5. Mr. Arkadin [Orson Welles, 1955]

4. Uwasa no onna [A Much Talked-About Woman, aka The Woman in the Rumor] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954]

3. The Quiet Man [John Ford, 1952]

2. La nuit du carrefour [Night at the Crossroads] [Jean Renoir, 1932]

1. The Wedding March [Erich von Stroheim, 1928]

Top 15 Directors, Unranked:

Chantal Akerman

Pedro Costa

Sergei Eisenstein

John Ford

Jean-Luc Godard

King Hu

Buster Keaton

Fritz Lang

David Lynch

Kenji Mizoguchi

Jean Renoir

Jacques Rivette

Erich von Stroheim

Dziga Vertov

Orson Welles



head of Factory 25

15. Friends Forever [Ben Wolfinsohn, 2001]

+ tie

15. Another State of Mind [Peter Stuart and Adam Small, 1984]

14. Wanda [Barbara Loden, 1970]

13. Ciao! Manhattan [John Palmer, 1972]

12. Benjamin Smoke [Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen, 2000]

11. Buffalo 66 [Vincent Gallo, 1998]

10. 24 Hour Party People [Michael Winterbottom, 2002]

9. The Decline of Western Civilization [Penelope Spheeris, 1981]

8. River's Edge [Tim Hunter, 1986]

7. Wild at Heart [David Lynch, 1990]

6. À bout de souffle [Breathless] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1960]

5. Jubilee [Derek Jarman, 1978]

4. Medium Cool [Haskell Wexler, 1969]

3. Frownland [Ronald Bronstein, 2007]

2. Withnail and I [Bruce Robinson, 1987]

1. Repo Man [Alex Cox, 1984]

Directors List in Alphabetical Order:

Hal Ashby 

Jem Cohen

Hal Hartley

Jim Jarmusch

David Lynch



actor / DJ

The Thin Red Line [Terrence Malick, 1998]

Belly [Hype Williams, 1998]

Boogie Nights [Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997]

Groundhog Day [Harold Ramis, 1993]

Streetwise [Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark, and Cheryl McCall, 1984]

Beau travail [Nice Work] [Claire Denis, 1999]

Sud pralad [Strange Creature] / Tropical Maladay [Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004]

Short Cuts [1993]

The Passenger [Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975]

Opening Night [John Cassavetes, 1977]

Ratcatcher [Lynne Ramsay, 1999]

Fargo [Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1996]

Nebraska [Alexander Payne, 2013]

Trees Lounge [Steve Buscemi, 1996]

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation [Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1989]

Directors List:

Bob Fosse

Wong Kar-wai

Paul Thomas Anderson

Wim Wenders

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Agnès Varda

Andrei Tarkovsky 

Robert Altman

Abbas Kiarostami

Terrence Malick 

Nicholas Ray

John Cassavetes

Claire Denis 

Sergio Leone 

Paul Schrader 



associate producer at The Criterion Collection

20 Favorite Films:

20. Happy Hour [Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, 2015]

19. « Un jour Pina a demandé... » ["One Day Pina Asked…"] [Chantal Akerman, 1983]

18. Un amour de jeunesse [A Youthful Love, aka Goodbye First Love] [Mia Hansen-Løve, 2011]

17. Un condamné à mort s'est échappée, ou le Vent souffle où il veut [A Man Condemned to Death Has Esaped, or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth, aka A Man Escaped] [Robert Bresson, 1956]

16. News from Home [Chantal Akerman, 1976]

15. Tesis [Thesis] [Alejandro Amenábar, 1996]

14. Two-Lane Blacktop [Monte Hellman, 1971]

13. Ni neibian jidian [What Time Is It Over There by You?, aka What Time Is It There?] [Tsai Ming-liang, 2001]

12. Killer of Sheep [Charles Burnett, 1977]

11. Mind Game [Masaaki Yuasa, 2004]

10. Hi, Mom! [Brian De Palma, 1969]

9. demonlover [Olivier Assayas, 2002]

8. New Rose Hotel [Abel Ferrara, 1998]

7. Handsworth Songs [John Akomfrah, 1986]

6. Hanagatami [The Flower Basket] [Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, 2017]

5. Nuestro tiempo [Our Time] [Carlos Reygadas, 2018]

4. First Reformed [Paul Schrader, 2017]

3. Casa de lava [Lava Home] [Pedro Costa, 1994]

2. Light Sleeper [Paul Schrader, 1992]

1. Guling jie shaonian sharen shijian [The Youth Killing Incident on Guling Street] / A Brighter Summer Day [Edward Yang, 1991]

Favorite Directors:

Tsai Ming-liang

Chantal Akerman

Olivier Assayas

Abel Ferrara

Paul Schrader

Harun Farocki

Claire Denis

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Hong Sang-soo

Pedro Costa

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

Arthur Jaffa

John Akomfrah

Maurice Pialat

Michael Mann

John Carpenter

Jean-Luc Godard

Jia Zhang-ke

Jan Svankmajer

Johnnie To



head of Cinemasaparagus, filmmaker, booklet editor Radiance Films

Top 3 Films of All Time:

3. Out 1: Noli me tangere [Jacques Rivette, 1971]

2. La règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game] [Jean Renoir, 1939]

1. Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]

The Other Greatest Films, in a Very Rough-'n-Chunks Order of Preference (But Not Necessarily):

Shoah [Claude Lanzmann, 1985]

No quarto da Vanda [In Vanda's Room] [Pedro Costa, 2000]

L'enfant secret [The Secret Child] [Philippe Garrel, 1979]

The Shining [Stanley Kubrick, 1980]

23rd Psalm Branch [Stan Brakhage, 1967/1978]

Edvard Munch [Peter Watkins, 1974]

Twin Peaks: Season 3: The Return [David Lynch, 2017]

INLAND EMPIRE [David Lynch, 2006]

The Other Side of the Wind [Orson Welles, 1976, reconstructed 2018]

Judge Priest [John Ford, 1934]

Kohayagawa-ke no aki [Autumn for the Kohayagawa Family, aka The End of Summer] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1961]

Ivan Grozniy [Ivan the Terrible] [Sergei Eisenstein, 1945] + Ivan Grozniy II: Boyarsky zagovar [Ivan the Terrible II: The Boyars' Plot] [Sergei Eisenstein, 1946]

Zir-e derakhtan-e zeytoon [Under the Olive Trees, aka Through the Olive Trees] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1994]

Hsimeng jensheng [Drama Dream Life, aka The Puppetmaster] [Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1993]

French Cancan [Jean Renoir, 1955]

Inherent Vice [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014]

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie [John Cassavetes, 1976]

Die Nibelungen [The Nibelungen] [Fritz Lang, 1924]

Une femme douce [A Gentle Woman] [Robert Bresson, 1969]

À nos amours. [Here's to Our Loves.] [Maurice Pialat, 1983]

La nuit du carrefour [Night at the Crossroads] [Jean Renoir, 1932]

The Big Sleep [Howard Hawks, 1946]

L'eau froide [Cold Water] [Olivier Assayas, 1994]

Le fantôme de la liberté [The Phantom of Liberty] [Luis Buñuel, 1974]

Saraband [Ingmar Bergman, 2003]

Marnie [Alfred Hitchcock, 1964]

Trash Humpers [Harmony Korine, 2009]

City Lights [Charlie Chaplin, 1931]

Vai-e-vem [Go-and-Come / Come-and-Go] [João César Monteiro, 2003]

L'Atalante [Jean Vigo, 1934]

Horace and Pete [Louis C.K., 2016]

Le testament d'Orphée, ou Ne me demandez pas pourquoi [The Testament of Orpheus, or: Don't Ask Me Why] [Jean Cocteau, 1959]

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse [The Testament of Dr. Mabuse] [Fritz Lang, 1933]

Computer Chess [Andrew Bujalski, 2013]

High School [Frederick Wiseman, 1968]

Greendale [Neil Young, 2003]

Moses und Aron [Moses and Aron] [Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1975]

New Rose Hotel [Abel Ferrara, 1998]

The Nutty Professor [Jerry Lewis, 1963]

Les Vampires [The Vampires] [Louis Feuillade, 1915-1916]

Out of the Blue [Dennis Hopper, 1980]

Sayat Nova [aka The Color of Pomegranates] [Sergei Parajanov, 1969]

The Scarlet Empress [Josef von Sternberg, 1934]

Puce Moment [Kenneth Anger, 1949]

Byez solntsa / Sunless / Sans soleil [Chris Marker, 1982]

The Night of the Hunter [Charles Laughton, 1955]

Le plaisir [Pleasure] [Max Ophüls, 1952]

Underworld [Josef von Sternberg, 1927]

Anatomie d'un rapport [Anatomy of a Relationship] [Luc Moullet and Antonietta Pizzorno, 1975]

The Baron of Arizona [Samuel Fuller, 1950]

Dracula [Tod Browning, 1931]

Scorpio Rising [Kenneth Anger, 1964]

Frownland [Ronald Bronstein, 2007]

Most Anticipated:

La maman et la putain [The Mother and the Whore] [Jean Eustache, 1973]

La flor [The Flower] [Mariano Llinás, 2018]

La maison des bois [The House in the Woods] [Maurice Pialat, 1971]

Tih Minh [Louis Feuillade, 1918]

Eniaios [Gregory Markopoulos, 1948-1990]

The Chelsea Girls [Andy Warhol, 1966]

Promises Written in Water [Vincent Gallo, 2010]

El Dorado [Howard Hawks, 1966]

Rio Lobo [Howard Hawks, 1970]

7 Women [John Ford, 1966]

Six fois deux, sur et sous la communication [Six Times Two: On and Beneath Communication] [Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, 1976]

France tour détour deux enfants [France Tour Detour Two Children] [Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, 1978]


Jean-Luc Godard

Jacques Rivette

Pedro Costa

Frederick Wiseman

Stan Brakhage

John Ford

Ingmar Bergman

Maurice Pialat

John Cassavetes

Yasujirō Ozu

Kenji Mizoguchi

David Lynch

Sergei Eisenstein

Stanley Kubrick

Sacha Guitry / Ernst Lubitsch

Abbas Kiarostami

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Jean Renoir

Robert Bresson

François Truffaut

João César Monteiro

Charlie Chaplin

Orson Welles

Samuel Fuller

Andy Warhol

Jean Vigo

Olivier Assayas

Leos Carax

Harmony Korine

Johnnie To

Jerry Lewis

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

Fritz Lang

Charles Laughton

Alfred Hitchcock

Chris Marker

Luc Moullet (placed at the end because he is "Shoestring Moullet")



Hi Craig! You told us: "15 films (ranked) and 15 directors (unranked) — and feel free to break either rule!!!" So here I give you only one list of 30 favorite films (unranked, but in chronological order). I hope it's ok with you. 

So here it comes:

L'inhumaine [The Inhuman Woman] [Marcel L'Herbier, 1924]

Zvenigora [Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1928] 

Staroe i novoe [The Old and the New] [Sergei Eisenstein, 1929]

Finis terræ [Jean Epstein, 1929] 

Back Street [John M. Stahl, 1932] 

Design for Living [Ernst Lubitsch, 1933]

U samogo sinego morya [By the Bluest of Seas] [Boris Barnet, 1936]

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon [John Ford, 1949]

Yuki-fujin ezu [Portrait of Madame Yuki] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1950]

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman [Albert Lewin, 1950] 

Ginza nijushi-jo [aka Tales of the Ginza] [Yuzo Kawashima,1955] 

Artists and Models [Frank Tashlin, 1955] 

Night of the Demon [Jacques Tourneur, 1957] 

Party Girl [Nicholas Ray, 1958]

Méditerranée [Jean-Daniel Pollet, 1963]

Red Line 7000 [Howard Hawks, 1965]

Deux fois [Twice] [Jackie Raynal, 1968]

Nostra Signora dei Turchi [Our Lady of the Turks] [Carmelo Bene, 1968]

Out 1: Noli me tangere [Jacques Rivette, 1971]

A New Leaf [Elaine May, 1971]

Two-Lane Blacktop [Monte Hellman, 1971] 

La maman et la putain [The Mother and the Whore] [Jean Eustache, 1973] 

Willow Springs [Werner Schroeter, 1973] 

Duvidha [Mani Kaul, 1973]

'Rameau's Nephew' by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen [Michael Snow, 1974]

Ici et ailleurs [Here and Elsewhere] [Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, 1974]

Vremena goda [The Seasons of the Year] [Artavazd Peleshian, 1975]

Flammes [Adolfo Arrieta, 1978]

Bush Mama [Haile Gerima, 1979]

Dalla nube alla resistenza [From the Cloud to the Resistance] [Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1979]




Big Business [Leo McCarey and James W. Horne, 1929]

Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris [Jacques Rivette, 1974]

Comédies et Proverbes: Le rayon vert [Comedies and Proverbs: The Green Ray] [Éric Rohmer, 1986]

Éloge de l'amour [Eulogy for Love, aka In Praise of Love] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2001]

The Gay Divorcee [Mark Sandrich, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, 1934]

Inherent Vice [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014]

The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942]

Muriel, ou le Temps d'un retour [Muriel, or: The Time of a Return] [Alain Resnais, 1963]

Ootona no miru ehon: Umarete wa mita keredo [A Picture-Book for Adults: I Was Born, But...] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1932]

Perfect Lives [directed by John Sanborn, composed by Robert Ashley, 1983]

Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss: BRD 2: 1955 [The Longing of Veronika Voss: BRD 2: 1955] [Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982]

Quatre nuits d'un rêveur [Four Nights of a Dreamer] [Robert Bresson, 1971]

Three Screen Ray [Bruce Conner, 2006]

Twin Peaks: The Return [David Lynch, 2017]

Wavelength [Michael Snow, 1967]

5 Favorite Video Games:

Disco Elysium

Elden Ring

Katamari Damacy


Red Dead Redemption 2



filmmaker and educator

15. Umberto D. [Vittorio de Sica, 1952]

14. Twin Peaks: Season 2: Episode 22 [David Lynch, 1991]

13. Kakushi toride no san-akunin [The Three Badmen of the Hidden Fortress, aka The Hidden Fortress] [Akira Kurosawa, 1958]

12. Der letzte Mann [The Last Man, aka The Last Laugh] [F. W. Murnau, 1924]

11. The Great Dictator [Charlie Chaplin, 1940]

10. Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

9. Mouchette [Robert Bresson, 1967]

8. La grande illusion [The Grand Illusion] [Jean Renoir, 1937]

7. It's a Wonderful Life [Frank Capra, 1946]

6. Greed [Erich von Stroheim, 1924]

5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial [Steven Spielberg, 1982]

4. Do the Right Thing [Spike Lee, 1989]

3. Idi i smotri [Come and See] [Elem Klimov, 1985]

2. Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968]

Best Scenes:

1.      The resurrection scene in Carl Dreyer’s ORDET

2.      The school sequence in Federico Fellini’s AMARCORD

3.      The confrontation scene in Luchino Visconti’s ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS

4.      The end scene on Charles Chaplin’s CITY LIGHTS

5.      The opening of Blake Edwards’s THE PARTY

6.      The cutthroat scene in Michael Haneke’s CACHÉ

7.      The burning house scene in Andre Tarkovsky’s THE SACRIFICE

8.      Tom Joad’s farewell in John Ford’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH

9.      The funeral in Mikhail Kalatozov’s I AM CUBA

10.  The car chase in William Friedkin’s THE FRENCH CONNECTION

11.  The opening of Walter Ruttmann’s  BERLIN, SYMPHONIE D’UNE GRANDE VILLE

12.  The metro scene in Lodge Kerrigan’s KEANE

13.  The dream sequence in Ingmar Bergman’s WILD STRAWBERRIES

14.  The “time to die” scene in Ridley Scott’s BLADE RUNNER

15.  The prison scene in Steve McQueen’s HUNGER


Best Filims to Discover (or Rediscover):

1.      AWAARA Raj Kapoor

2.      CHRISTINE Alan Clarke

3.      DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES Terence Davies

4.      DREAM OF LIGHT Victor Erice

5.      DUCK AMUCK Chuck Jones

6.      FUNNY PEOPLE Judd Apatow

7.      L’AMOUR EXISTE Maurice Pialat

8.      UNDER THE SKIN Jonathan Glazer

9.      LUMIÈRE D'ÉTÉ Jean Grémillion



12.  RUNNING ON EMPTY Sidney Lumet

13.  TALKING HEADS  Krzysztof Kieślowski

14.  THE ETERNAL BREASTS Kinuyo Tanaka

15.  TOUKI BOUKI Djibril Diop Mambéty

BEST (ALIVE) DIRECTORS (who are not in the other list)


1.      Aki Kaurismäki

2.      Alfonso Cuarón

3.      Hirokazu Kore-eda

4.      Jia Zhangke

5.      Joanna Hogg

6.      Kelly Reichardt

7.      Leos Carax

8.      Lucile Hadžihalilović 

9.      Luis Buñuel (still alive!)

10.  Michelangelo Frammartino

11.  Paul Schrader

12.  Paul Thomas Anderson

13.  Pedro Costa

14.  Radu Jude

15.  Werner Herzog




Obviously, it's all a matter of what I did see, the restrospectives I could attend, and those I had to miss over the years, and throughout my journeys. For the director's list I looked at bodies of work I felt sufficiently acquainted with, and give me the best pleasures of the mind (I didn't include Ulmer whose filmography I know because I can't always find what I like, I didn't include Naruse because I haven't seen nearly enough). The other list are similarly works of Art I can return to (3 times for Godard's most beautiful, bitter, human work, 3 times for Pialat's manifold training of his actress, 3 times for Tashlin's energetic speech to power), or want to (Bresson's late horrified movie esp.) I only didn't include at the last minute The Birds [Alfred Hitchcock, 1963] because that film gave me a sheer case of terror.

15. Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? [Frank Tashlin, 1957]

14. Six contes moraux: IV: La collectionneuse [Six Moral Tales: IV: The Collector] [Éric Rohmer, 1967]

13. À nos amours. [Here's to Our Loves.] [Maurice Pialat, 1983]

12. L'hirondelle et la mésange [The Swallow and the Titmouse] [André Antoine, 1920]

11. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [F. W. Murnau, 1927]

10. Vous n'avez encore rien vu [You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet] [Alain Resnais, 2012]

9. L'argent [Money] [Robert Bresson, 1983]

8. O-hikkoshi [Moving] [Shinji Sōmai, 1993]

7. Inazuma [Lightning] [Mikio Naruse, 1952]

6. Tōkyō monogatari [A Tale of Tokyo, aka Tokyo Story] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1953]

5. Antoine et Antoinette [Antoine and Antoinette] [Jacques Becker, 1947]

4. Éloge de l'amour [Eulogy for Love, aka In Praise of Love] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2001]

3. Il deserto rosso [The Red Desert] [Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964]

2. My Darling Clementine [John Ford, 1946]

1. The Golden Coach [Jean Renoir, 1953]


Howard Hawks

Fritz Lang

Kenji Mizoguchi

Maurice Pialat

Jean Renoir

Yasujirō Ozu

Alfred Hitchcock

Jean-Luc Godard

Alain Resnais

Abbas Kiarostami

Orson Welles

Buster Keaton

Michelangelo Antonioni

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

Paul Vecchiali



Once Upon a Time in America [Sergio Leone, 1984]

Vampyr: The Strange Adventure of Allan Gray [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932]

Guling jie shaonian sharen shijian [The Youth Killing Incident on Guling Street] / A Brighter Summer Day [Edward Yang, 1991]

Vivre sa vie, film en douze tableaux [To Live One's Life: A Film in Twelve Tableaux] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1962]

Partie de campagne [Country Outing] [Jean Renoir, 1936]

Film Socialisme [Jean-Luc Godard, 2010]

Teorema [Theorem] [Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968]

Byez solntsa / Sunless / Sans soleil [Chris Marker, 1982]

Arigatō-san [Hiroshi Shimizu, 1936]

Muriel, ou le Temps d'un retour [Muriel, or: The Time of a Return] [Alain Resnais, 1963]

Zemlya [Earth] [Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930]

Lettre d'un cinéaste à sa fille [Letter from a Filmmaker to His Daughter] [Éric Pauwels, 2000]

Badlands [Terrence Malick, 1973]

Make Way for Tomorrow [Leo McCarey, 1937]

Wagon Master [John Ford, 1950]


Hiroshi Shimizu

Jean Vigo

Robert Bresson

Jean-Luc Godard

F. W. Murnau

John Ford

Jean Renoir

Fritz Lang

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Michelangelo Antonioni

Andrei Tarkovski

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Jacques Rivette

Wang Bing

Orson Welles



15. Notre musique [Our Music] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2004]

14. Les antiquités de Rome [The Antiquities of Rome] [Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1989]

13. Der Tod des Empedokles [The Death of Empedocles] [Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1987]

12. Fake Fruit Factory [Chick Strand, 1986]

11. Trás-os-Montes [Margarida Cordeiro and António Reis, 1976]

10. Condition of Illusion [Peter Gidal, 1975]

9. Jukti takko aar gappo [Reason Debate and a Story] [Ritwik Ghatak, 1974]

8. From the Notebook of ... [Robert Beavers, 1971]

7. La religieuse [The Nun] [Jacques Rivette, 1966]

6. Cela s'appelle l'aurore [It's Called Sunrise] [Luis Buñuel, 1956]

5. Chikamatsu monogatari [One of Chikamatsu's Tales, aka A Story from Chikamatsu, aka The Crucified Lovers] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954]

4. The Golden Coach [Jean Renoir, 1953]

3. Monsieur Verdoux: A Comedy of Murders [Charlie Chaplin, 1947]

2. How Green Was My Valley [John Ford, 1941]

1. Foolish Wives [Erich von Stroheim, 1922]

Top 15 Directors:

01. Charlie Chaplin

02. Jean Cocteau

03. Fritz Lang

04. Ernst Lubitsch

05. Jean Renoir

06. Kenji Mizoguchi

07. Mikio Naruse

08. Jacques Tati

09. Ritwik Ghatak

10. Margarida Cordeiro & António Reis

11. Jacques Rivette

12. Jean-Luc Godard

13. Chick Strand

14. Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub

15. Jean-Claude Rousseau

+7 More Films:

01. You and Me [Fritz Lang, 1938]

02. Journey to Italy [Roberto Rossellini, 1954]

03. Scènes de la vie parallèle: 2: Duelle (une quarantaine) [Scenes from the Parallel Life: 2: Duelle (A Quarantine)] [Jacques Rivette, 1976]


03. Scènes de la vie parallèle: 3: Noroît (une vengeance) [Scenes from the Parallel Life: 3: Nor'wester (A Vengeance)] [Jacques Rivette, 1976]

04. Fortini/Cani [Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1976]

05. Soft Fiction [Chick Strand, 1979]

06. Bouquets 1–10 [1995] / Bouquets 21–30 [2005] / Bouquets 11–20 [2010] [Rose Lowder]

07. Juventude em marcha [Youth on the March, aka Colossal Youth, aka En avant, jeunesse!] [Pedro Costa, 2006]



producer, Cinema Guild

Nothing is fixed, not even a list.

Alphabetical by director:

Okraina [Outskirts] [Boris Barnet, 1936]

Antoine et Antoinette [Antoine and Antoinette] [Jacques Becker, 1947]

Quick Millions [Rowland Brown, 1931]

Él [Him] [Luis Buñuel, 1953]

Ordet. [The Word.] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955]

Vampyr: The Strange Adventure of Allan Gray [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932]

Only Angels Have Wings [Howard Hawks, 1939]

Bukchon banghyang [Bukchon-Bound, aka The Day He Arrives] [Hong Sang-soo, 2011]

Lady Windermere’s Fan [Ernst Lubitsch, 1925]

The Awful Truth [Leo McCarey, 1937]

Aien kyō [The Straits of Love and Hate] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1937]

Nagareru [Flowing] [Mikio Naruse, 1956]

Boudu sauvé des eaux [Boudu Saved from the Waters, aka Boudu Saved from Drowning] [Jean Renoir, 1932]

Klassenverhältnisse [Class Relations] [Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1984]

Foolish Wives [Erich von Stroheim, 1922]


Carl Theodor Dreyer

Jean Renoir

Howard Hawks

Kenji Mizoguchi

Boris Barnet



17. Morocco [Josef von Sternberg, 1930]

16. Trouble in Paradise [Ernst Lubitsch, 1932]

15. The Ballad of Cable Hogue [Sam Peckinpah, 1970]

14. Wild River [Elia Kazan, 1960]

13. On Dangerous Ground [Nicholas Ray, 1952

12. Rio Bravo [Howard Hawks, 1959]

11. Prénom Carmen [First Name Carmen] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1983]

10. Ying Chun ge zhi fengbo [Storms at Ying Chun Pavilion / The Incident at the Welcoming Spring Inn, aka The Fate of Lee Khan] [King Hu, 1973]

9. Meet Me in St. Louis [Vincente Minnelli, 1944]

8. The Cardinal [Otto Preminger, 1963]

7. El diablo se lleva a los muertos [The Devil Takes the Dead, aka Lisa and the Devil] [Mario Bava, 1973]

6. Sanshō-dayū [Sanshō the Steward, aka Sanshō the Bailiff] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954]

5. Marnie [Alfred Hitchcock, 1964]

4. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon [John Ford, 1949]

3. Stromboli [Roberto Rossellini, 1950]

2. The Indian Epic: Der Tiger von Eschnapur [The Tiger of Eschnapur] and Das indische Grabmal [The Indian Tomb] [Fritz Lang, 1959]

1. The Golden Coach [Jean Renoir, 1953]



15. Mulholland Dr. [David Lynch, 2001]

14. Hsimeng jensheng [Drama Dream Life, aka The Puppetmaster] [Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1993]

13. À nos amours. [Here's to Our Loves.] [Maurice Pialat, 1983]

12. Six contes moraux: III: Ma nuit chez Maud [Six Moral Tales: III: My Night at Maud's] [Éric Rohmer, 1969]

11. PlayTime [Jacques Tati, 1967]

10. El Dorado [Howard Hawks, 1966]

9. Kohayagawa-ke no aki [Autumn for the Kohayagawa Family, aka The End of Summer] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1961]

8. French Cancan [Jean Renoir, 1955]

7. Madame de... [Max Ophüls, 1953]

6. My Darling Clementine [John Ford, 1956]

5. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek [Preston Sturges, 1942]

4. The Magnificent Ambersons [Orson Welles, 1942]

3. Genroku chūshingura: 1 and 2 [The Loyal Retainers' Treasury of the Genroku Era, aka The 47 Rōnin] [Kenji Mizoguchi, 1941-1942]

2. The Strawberry Blonde [Raoul Walsh, 1941]

1. The Awful Truth [Leo McCarey, 1938]



filmmaker and critic

Cockfighter [Monte Hellman, 1974]

Di Cavalcanti (Di Glauber, ninguém assistiu ao formidável enterro de sua última quimera, somente a ingratidão, essa pantera, foi sua companheira inseparável) [Di Cavalcanti (Di Glauber: No-One Attended the Formidable Burial of His Late Chimera; Only Ingratitude, That Panther, Was His Inseparable Companion)] [Glauber Rocha, 1971]

Ana [António Reis, 1982]

Le père Noël a les yeux bleus [Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes] [Jean Eustache, 1966]

Appunti per un'Orestiade africana [Notes for an African Oresteia] [Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1970]

Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit, aus dem Leben der taubblinden Fini Straubinger [Land of Silence and Darkness: From the Life of the Deaf-Blind Fini Straubinger] [Werner Herzog, 1971]

Mosafer [The Traveler] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1974]

Méditerranée [Jean-Daniel Pollet, 1963]

Milestones [Robert Kramer, 1975]

Al mummia [The Mummy, aka The Night of Counting the Years] [Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969]


John Ford

Howard Hawks

Pedro Costa

Jean Eustache

Nicholas Ray

Víctor Erice

Werner Herzog

Robert Kramer

Jacques Rivette

Richard Fleischer



15. No quarto da Vanda [In Vanda's Room] [Pedro Costa, 2000]

14. Sátántangó [Béla Tarr, 1994]

13. The King of Comedy [Martin Scorsese, 1983]

12. News from Home [Chantal Akerman, 1976]

11. Barry Lyndon [Stanley Kubrick, 1975]

10. Vampir-Cuadecuc [Pere Portabella, 1970]

9. Memorias del subdesarrollo [Memories of Underdevelopment] [Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968]

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968]

7. PlayTime [Jacques Tati, 1967]

6. La chinoise, ou plutôt à la chinoise [The Chinese Girl, or, Rather, in the Chinese Style] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1967]

5. Vertigo [Alfred Hitchcock, 1958]

4. Un condamné à mort s'est échappée, ou le Vent souffle où il veut [A Man Condemned to Death Has Esaped, or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth, aka A Man Escaped] [Robert Bresson, 1956]

3. Vredens Dag [Day of Wrath] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1943]

2. Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

1. Chelovek s kinoapparatom [The Man with the Movie Camera] [Dziga Vertov, 1929]



filmmaker and critic

15. Ruggles of Red Gap [Leo McCarey, 1935]

14. Journal d'un curé de campagne [Diary of a Country Priest] [Robert Bresson, 1950]

13. Six contes moraux: III: Ma nuit chez Maud [Six Moral Tales: III: My Night at Maud's] [Éric Rohmer, 1969]

12. The Searchers [John Ford, 1956]

11. Safe [Todd Haynes, 1995]

10. Daisy Kenyon [Otto Preminger, 1947]

9. The General [Buster Keaton, 1926]

8. La maman et la putain [The Mother and the Whore] [Jean Eustache, 1973]

7. Fort Apache [John Ford, 1948]

6. To Have and Have Not [Howard Hawks, 1944]

5. Notorious [Alfred Hitchcock, 1946]

4. Only Angels Have Wings [Howard Hawks, 1939]

3. Angel [Ernst Lubitsch, 1937]

2. Rio Bravo [Howard Hawks, 1959]

1. Morocco [Josef von Sternberg, 1930]

Top 5 Directors:

Howard Hawks

Éric Rohmer

Buster Keaton

Mikio Naruse

Mike Leigh



About me... I am a late 20-something individual who fell in love with film and critical thinking and am never going back. In my free time I enjoy singing in my band, drawing, playing visual novel games on my Nintendo Switch and watching Big Brother and Survivor. I am a huge John Carpenter fan and am slowly building a collection of his film merchandise in the form of t-shirts.

After sitting for hours upon hours trying to sculpt this list (and panicking a bit because there are so many “Great Films” I have never seen) this was the end result. I am not trying to wholly reinforce any canon. I think plenty of people have done that just fine and my contributions are unnecessary in that respect. I am simply listing what are, to me, the greatest films of all timeThese are films I think of and immediately feel connected to; remembering a positive and conscious response where, after viewing, I said “wow, that’s one of the best movies I have ever seen.”

15. Do the Right Thing [Spike Lee, 1989]

14. Dong [The Hole] [Tsai Ming-liang, 1998]

13. Dawn of the Dead [George A. Romero, 1978]

12. Chinatown [Roman Polanski, 1974]

11. Going My Way [Leo McCarey, 1944]

10. Jaws [Steven Spielberg, 1975]

9. Ta'am-e gilas [Taste of Cherry] [Abbas Kiarostami, 1997]

8. The Fly [David Cronenberg, 1986]

7. 2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968]

6. French Cancan [Jean Renoir, 1955]

5. Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

4. Tōkyō monogatari [A Tale of Tokyo, aka Tokyo Story] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1953]

3. Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

2. M [Fritz Lang, 1931]

1. Prince of Darkness [John Carpenter, 1987]

Top 5 Directors of All-Time (Unranked):

John Carpenter

Alfred Hitchcock

Jean Renoir

Yasujirō Ozu

George A. Romero

And now I would like to take the time to share my honorable mentions. These are films that were just barely beaten due to nothing but a limited number of slots:

The General [Buster Keaton, 1926]

History Is Made at Night  [Frank Borzage, 1937]

Love Affair [Leo McCarey, 1939]

The Unbelievable Truth [Hal Hartley, 1989]

The Long Goodbye [Robert Altman, 1973]

My Darling Clementine [John Ford, 1946]

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans [F. W. Murnau, 1927]

Notorious [Alfred Hitchcock, 1946]

Bringing Up Baby [Howard Hawks, 1938]

Midaregumo [Scattered Clouds] [Mikio Naruse, 1967]

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie [The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie] [Luis Buñuel, 1972]

Pierrot le fou [Pierrot the Fool] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1965]

Crossing Delancey [Joan Micklin Silver, 1988]

La grande illusion [The Grand Illusion] [Jean Renoir, 1937]

La cérémonie [The Ceremony] [Claude Chabrol, 1995]

Ukigumo [Floating Clouds] [Mikio Naruse, 1955]

Ordet. [The Word.] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955]

The Red Shoes [Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948]

For more nonsense you can follow:

@tiniebabie on letterboxd

@newcryptid on instagram and twitter

my band: @charmoffensive_ on instagram

Special thanks to Craig for asking my thoughts, and thanks to anyone here for reading them.

-Mads („• ֊ •„)




The Unbearable Lightness of Being [Philip Kaufman, 1988]

Winter's Bone [Debra Granik, 2010]

Boyhood [Richard Linklater, 2014]

Rear Window [Alfred Hitchcock, 1954]

Educating Rita [Lewis Gilbert, 1983]

Pitch Perfect [Jason Moore, 2012]


Sofia Coppla

Ron Howard

Quentin Tarantino

Danny Boyle

Elizabeth Banks



30. The Beaver Trilogy [Trent Harris, 2001]

29. Dangerous Liaisons [Stephen Frears, 1988]

28. Meshes of the Afternoon [Maya Deren, 1943]

27. The Falls [Peter Greenaway, 1980]

26. Mod Fuck Explosion [Jon Moritsugu, 1994]

25. Huózhe [To Live] [Zhang Yimou, 1994]

24. The Brown Bunny [Vincent Gallo, 2003]

23. Polyester [John Waters, 1981]

22. Careful [Guy Maddin, 1992]

21. 8-1/2 [Federico Fellini, 1963]

20. The Unbelievable Truth [Hal Hartley, 1989]

19. Showgirls [Paul Verhoeven, 1995]

18. Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore [Mark Leckey, 1999]

17. Lost Book Found [Jem Cohen, 1996]

16. Tagebuch einer Verlorenen [Diary of a Lost Girl] [G. W. Pabst, 1929]

15. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari [The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari] [Robert Wiene, 1920]

14. The Girl Chewing Gum [John Smith, 1976]

13. Rushmore [Wes Anderson, 1998]


13. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou [Wes Anderson, 2004]

12. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One [William Greaves, 1968]

11. Safety Last! [Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 1923]

10. Metropolitan [Whit Stillman, 1990]

9. It's a Wonderful Life [Frank Capra, 1946]

8. L'année dernière à Marienbad [Last Year at Marienbad] [Alain Resnais, 1961]

7. Napoleon Dynamite [Jared Hess, 2004]

6. Qui êtes-vous Polly Maggoo? [Who Are You Polly Maggoo?] [William Klein, 1966]

5. The Orchestra [Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1990]

4. The Conversation [Francis Ford Coppola, 1994]

3. Edvard Munch [Peter Watkins, 1974]

2. julien donkey-boy [Harmony Korine, 1999]

1. Passage à l'acte [Acting Out] [Martin Arnold, 1993]



executive producer Radiance Films

La règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game] [Jean Renoir, 1939]

The Third Man [Carol Reed, 1949]

Shichi-nin no samurai [Seven Samurai] [Akira Kurosawa, 1954]

Pickpocket [Robert Bresson, 1959]

The Great Escape [John Sturges, 1963]

Le samouraï [The Samurai] [Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967]

Weekend [Jean-Luc Godard, 1967]

The Godfather [Francis Ford Coppola, 1972]

Chinatown [Roman Polanski, 1974]

Zerkalo [Mirror] [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975]

Cet obscur objet du désir [That Obscure Object of Desire] [Luis Buñuel, 1977]

Comédies et Proverbes: Pauline à la plage [Comedies and Proverbs: Pauline at the Beach] [Éric Rohmer, 1983]

Blue Velvet [David Lynch, 1986]

Heat [Michael Mann, 1995]

Saeng satawaat [Light of the Century] / Syndromes and a Century [Aphicatpong Weerasethakul, 2006]

Directors in order:

Luis Buñuel

David Lynch

Jean-Luc Godard

Ingmar Bergman

Éric Rohmer

Alfred Hitchcock

Akira Kurosawa

Stanley Kubrick

Kenji Mizoguchi

Charlie Chaplin

Yasujirō Ozu

Jean-Pierre Melville

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Nagisa Ōshima

François Truffaut



filmmaker, film studies instructor

15. O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro [The Dragon of Wickedness vs. the Holy Warrior, aka Antonio das Mortes] [Glauber Rocha, 1969]

14. Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]

13. Viridiana [Luis Buñuel, 1961]

12. L'argent [Money] [Robert Bresson, 1983]

11. City Girl [F. W. Murnau, 1930]

10. Gertrud, et tidsbillede fra århundredets begyndelse [Gertrud: A Portrait from the Turn of the Century] [Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964]

9. Tih Minh [Louis Feuillade, 1918]

8. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles [Chantal Akerman, 1975]

7. M [Friitz Lang, 1931]

6. Journey to Italy [Roberto Rossellini, 1954]

5. How Green Was My Valley [John Ford, 1941]

4. Sans toit ni loi [Without Roof or Rule, aka Vagabond] [Agnès Varda, 1985]

3. Banshun [Late Spring] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1949]

2. Chelovek s kinoapparatom [The Man with the Movie Camera] [Dziga Vertov, 1929]

1. Guling jie shaonian sharen shijian [The Youth Killing Incident on Guling Street] / A Brighter Summer Day [Edward Yang, 1991]


Alfred Hitchcock

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Roberto Rossellini

Orson Welles

Jean Renoir

Yasujirō Ozu

John Cassavetes

Fritz Lang

Nicholas Ray

King Hu

5. Kenji Mizoguchi

4. F. W. Murnau

3. Luis Buñuel

2. Robert Bresson

1. John Ford



filmmaker and editor of The Servant

15. Desperate Living [John Waters, 1977]

14. California Split [Robert Altman, 1974]

13. Domestic Violence [Frederick Wiseman, 2001]

12. Nous ne vieillirons pas ensemble [We Won't Grow Old Together] [Maurice Pialat, 1972]

11. The Shining [Stanley Kubrick, 1980]

10. Bu san [...Don't Ever Part / Inseparable Bonding] / Good Bye Dragon Inn [Tsai Ming-liang, 2003]

9. Heathers [Michael Lehmann, 1988]

8. Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood [Quentin Tarantino, 2019]

7. Le livre d'image: Image et Parole [The Image Book: Image and Word] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2018]

6. Shanghai Express [Josef von Sternberg, 1932]

5. They All Laughed [Peter Bogdanovich, 1981]

4. News from Home [Chantal Akerman, 1976]

3. Bad Timing [Nicolas Roeg, 1980]

2. In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden [In a Year with 13 Moons] [Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1978]

1. Nuit et brouillard [Night and Fog] [Alain Resnais, 1955]

Greatest Directors:

1. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

2. Jean-Luc Godard

3. Robert Altman

4. Stanley Kubrick

5. Michael Curtiz



critic, translator

As a believer in the canon (canons, if need be), I thought I would struggle to conceive of an "anti-"Sight & Sight (S&S) list, as Craig had kindly invited me to. But the exercise turned out to be an extension of the collective reflection on the meaning and use of canons that I and my critic colleagues were engaged in at the Locarno Film Festival. To me, canons are reliable, slow-moving behemoths that enable neophytes to orient themselves in an everchanging, fickle subcultural landscape. For all the consumerist exploitation they have been subject to, they are what make exploration possible. In that sense, the canon is always an outward-oriented project, one that comes with its own charged negative space, the promise of an even more interesting world beyond. 

Therefore, for this list, I took fifteen entries from the 2012 edition of the S&S list and replaced them with relatively under-appreciated and under-discussed works by the same directors – films that are as interesting and rewarding, if not more. The films on this list would perhaps never figure among the S&S laureates, but I would never have discovered them without the monuments that make up the S&S list in the first place. An anti-canon list in defence of the canon, if you will.  

  1. Vertigo (1958) The Paradine Case [Alfred Hitchcock, 1947]
  2. The Searchers (1956) The Long Gray Line [John Ford, 1955]
  3. 8½ (1963) Fellini: A Director's Notebook [Federico Fellini, 1969]
  4. Breathless (1960) Allemagne neuf zéro [Germany Nine Zero / Germany New Zero] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1991]
  5. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) Une femme douce [A Gentle Woman] [Robert Bresson,1969]
  6. Mirror (1975) Katok i skripka [The Steamroller and the Violin] [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1960]
  7. Metropolis (1927) Chuck-a-Luck, aka Rancho Notorious [Fritz Lang, 1952]
  8. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) No Home Movie [Chantal Akerman, 2015]
  9. Sátántangó (1994) Panelkapcsolat [Panel Connection, aka The Prefab People] [Béla Tarr, 1982]
  10. Some Like It Hot (1959) One, Two, Three [Billy Wilder, 1961]
  11. Close-Up (1990) Making of '5' [Abbas Kiarostami, 2005]
  12. Rio Bravo (1959) Ceiling Zero [Howard Hawks, 1936]
  13. Nashville (1975) Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or: Sitting Bull's History Lesson [Robert Altman, 1976]
  14. Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel [Juliane's Fall in the Jungle, aka Wings of Hope] [Werner Herzog, 1998]
  15. Imitation of Life (1959) Mystery Submarine [Douglas Sirk, 1950]
As for filmmakers, I chose simply to enumerate filmmakers I wished to see more often on lists and discussions:
  1. Mitchell Leisen 
  2. Yann le Masson
  3. Claire Simon
  4. Mark Rappaport 
  5. Nikolaus Geyrhalter
  6. Bahman Farmanara
  7. Rakhshan Banietemad
  8. K. Balachander 
  9. Kamal Haasan
  10. S. Shankar



photographer, filmmaker

Kuichisan [Maiko Endo, 2011]
West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty [Med Hondo, 1979]

Nil by Mouth [Gary Oldman, 1997]
Black Narcissus [Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1947]
Bloody Nose Empty Pockets [Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, 2020]

L’argent [Money] [Robert Bresson, 1983]
Takhté siah [Blackboards] [Samira Makhmalbaf, 2000]

Non si sevizia un paperino [Don’t Torture a Duckling] [Lucio Fulci, 1972]
Serbian Epics [Pawel Pawlikowski, 1992]
Sauve qui peut (la vie) [Save (Your Life] Who's Able, aka Every Man For Himself] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1979]
Suzanne, Suzanne [Camille Billops and James Hatch, 1982]
Rockers [Theodoros Bafaloukos, 1978]
Toute une nuit [A Whole Night] [Chantal Akerman, 1982]
Der letzte Mann [The Last Man, aka The Last Laugh] [F. W. Murnau, 1924]

Buster Keaton
Zbiginew Rybczyński
Kira Muratova
Mario Bava 

Vittorio De Seta 

Johan Van der Keuken 

Chantal Akerman 

Maurice Pialat
Camille Billops 

Edward Yang
Valeska Grisebach 

Jean-Luc Godard 

Fritz Lang
Med Hondo
Frederick Wiseman 



filmmaker, actor, producer

Top 15 Movies (in order of year)

Our Hospitality [Buster Keaton, 1923]

The Wizard of Oz [Victor Fleming, 1939]

Un condamné à mort s'est échappée, ou le Vent souffle où il veut [A Man Condemned to Death Has Esaped, or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth, aka A Man Escaped] [Robert Bresson, 1956]

Ohayō [Good Morning] [Yasujirō Ozu, 1959]

One-Eyed Jacks [Marlon Brando, 1961]

Husbands: A Comedy About Life Death and Freedom [John Cassavetes, 1970]

La nuit américaine [American Night / Day For Night] [François Truffaut, 1973]

Les rendez-vous d'Anna [Anna's Meetings] [Chantal Akerman, 1978]

La città delle donne [The City of Women] [Federico Fellini, 1980] 

Close-Up [Abbas Kiarostami, 1990]

The Silence of the Lambs [Jonathan Demme, 1991]

Short Cuts [Robert Altman, 1993]

Dumb and Dumber [Peter Farrelly, 1994]

Lost in Translation [Sofia Coppola, 2003]

The Square [Ruben Östlund, 2017]

La flor [The Flower] [Mariano Llinás, 2018]

Top 15 directors (in no particular order):

Buster Keaton

Jean Renoir 

Abbas Kiarostami

John Ford

Robert Bresson 

Howard Hawks

Yasujirō Ozu

Alfred Hitchcock

Federico Fellini

John Cassavetes 

Chantal Akerman 

Robert Altman 

Martin Scorsese 

Tsai Ming-liang 

Luis Buñuel 

Hong Sang-soo



15. There Will Be Blood [Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007]

14. Singin' in the Rain [Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1951]

13. The Searchers [John Ford, 1956]

12. The Thin Red Line [Terrence Malick, 1998]

11. Byez solntsa / Sunless / Sans soleil [Chris Marker, 1982]

10. Adieu au langage [Goodbye to Language] [Jean-Luc Godard, 2014]

9. 8-1/2 [Federico Fellini, 1963]

8. Zerkalo [Mirror] [Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975]

7. Tini zabutykh predkiv [Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors] [Sergei Parajanov, 1965]

6. Eraserhead [David Lynch, 1977]

5. Le mépris [Contempt] [Jean-Luc Godard, 1963]

4. Belle de Jour [Luis Buñuel, 1968]

3. Taxi Driver [Martin Scorsese, 1976]

2. Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]

1. Histoire(s) du cinéma [Jean-Luc Godard, 1988-1998]


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