The 1,000 Greatest Films (1000-901)

The banner image above is from Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine.
Beginning on this page is TSPDT's detailed look at the 1,000 Greatest Films (in descending ranking order). Each film's current ranking and previous ranking is provided with each entry, along with cast lists, review quotes (with external links to full review), links to IMDB, the 2002 Sight & Sound ballots and Amazon, and a sampling of five critics/filmmakers who voted, at one time or another, for the film in question.
1,000
896
The Straight Story

The Straight Story


1999 / USA-France-UK / 111m / Col / Americana, Road Movie
Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Everett McGill, Harry Dean Stanton, John Farley, Kevin Farley, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter, Donald Wiegert, Tracey Maloney
"In 1994 an elderly man named Alvin Straight undertook a long Midwestern journey riding on a lawnmower. It was an arduous feat, but not nearly as daunting as what David Lynch sets out to do in The Straight Story: make a slow-moving, folksy-looking, profoundly spiritual film that can hold an audience in absolute thrall. As the least likely filmmaker on the planet to pull off such a G-rated miracle, Lynch rises to this challenge with exhilarating vigor. Switching gears radically, bravely defying conventional wisdom about what it takes to excite moviegoers, Lynch presents the flip side of Blue Velvet and turns it into a supremely improbable triumph." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Maura McHugh, Roberto Manassero, Cedric Kahn, Damien Cassar, Jacques Audiard.
999 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Happiness

Happiness


1998 / USA / 134m / Col / Black Comedy, Ensemble Film
Jane Adams, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Gazzara, Louise Lasser, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Ashley, Jon Lovitz, Camryn Manheim
"Centred loosely on a New Jersey family of three grown-up sisters, their parents, partners and children, Solondz's brave and adventurous second feature takes misery, loneliness and cruelty as a given in contemporary life… Right from the painfully funny opening, it's a bible-black comedy of considerable assurance, but gradually the humour subsides to be replaced by a core of despairing human sympathy… Very often, you're unsure whether you want to accompany Solondz on his journey into a modern purgatory, but you should take the trip; it's worth it, and something you'll never forget." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Milcho Manchevski, Nigel Andrews, Stanley Rosen, Bjoern Becher, Paprika Steen.
998 Up Arrow
NEW
L

L'Humanité


1999 / France / 147m / Col / Psychological Drama, Police Detective Film
Emmanuel Schotte, Severine Caneele, Philippe Tullier, Ghislain Ghesquere, Ginette Allegre, Daniel Leroux, Arnaud Brejon de la Lavergee, Daniel Petillon, Robert Bunzi, Dominique Pruvost
"If it's possible for a film to convey a physical sensation of the world that is more intense than everyday life, Bruno Dumont's flawed masterpiece, Humanité, does a disquietingly good job. The raw sensory effect this transfixing movie produces might almost be described as psychedelic. Surrendering to its vision feels a little like being exposed to the sun after losing a layer of skin. In its relentlessly biological mind, what we think of as civilization is portrayed as a fragile membrane that barely prevents us from acting on our most brutal instincts." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Antonio Campos, Duane Hopkins, Amat Escalante, Barry Adamson, Stephen Cone.
997 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
L'Amour fou

L'Amour fou

Mad Love (English title)

1968 / France / 252m / BW / Showbiz Drama, Psychological Drama
Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Maddly Bamy, Etienne Becker, Yves Beneyton, Denis Berry, Liliane Bordoni, Celia, Michel Delahaye, Josee Destoop
"Though its four-hour running time might scare some off, Rivette's tale of a deteriorating marriage between a theater director (Kalfon) and his actress wife (Ogier) doesn't start to show its length until its last quarter, when the two hole up in their apartment for one last lunatic binge and the movie's intricate structure dissolves. Rivette blends the couple's struggles with scenes from his rehearsals for a production of Racine's Andromache and 16mm documentary footage of the rehearsals ostensibly shot by a TV crew… The question isn't really whether four hours is too much, but whether you ever wish there was less. The answer is a resounding no." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Dmitry Martov, Violeta Kovacsics, Leo Berkeley, Tom Milne, Olivier De Bruyn.
996
944
The Go-Between

The Go-Between


1971 / UK / 116m / Col / Romantic Drama, Period Film
Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Dominic Guard, Margaret Leighton, Michael Redgrave, Michael Gough, Edward Fox, Richard Gibson, Simon Hume-Kendall, Roger Lloyd Pack
"Nicely frosted by Joseph Losey's cool precision, this 1971 film, based on a novel by L.P. Hartley, is the primal tale of a young boy who becomes the messenger between a proper English lady (Julie Christie) and the farmer with whom she is having an affair (Alan Bates). It's very much in the tradition of the British “well-made” film, with excellent photography, set decoration, and performances (particularly from the boy, Dominic Guard, and Margaret Leighton). High craft like this can sometimes kill a film (cf The French Lieutenant's Woman), but Losey is able to use its repressive implications to highly expressive ends." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Henry K. Miller, Neil Sinyard, Zhou Xiaowen, Richard Roud, Ira Sachs.
995 Up Arrow
NEW
Oasis

Oasis

Oasiseu (original title)

2002 / South Korea / 133m / Col / Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Kyung-gu Sol, So-ri Moon, Nae-sang Ahn, Seung-wan Ryoo, Kwi-Jung Chu, Jin-gu Kim, Byung-ho Son, Ga-hyun Yun, Myeong-shin Park, Kyung-geun Park
"Lee Chang-dong's audacious melodrama Oasis appears, at first blush, to be the worst in disease-of-the-week gooiness: the touching story of a romance between a brain-addled ex-con and a woman crippled by severe cerebral palsy. It's even littered with fantasy sequences in which the two magically transcend their physical and mental limitations and express their feelings in more socially acceptable ways. But, far from the teddy-bear sentimentality that usually accompanies films about the afflicted, Oasis fearlessly skirts the edge of good taste, with moments of sweetness and emotional generosity colliding with stark brutality and exploitation." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Sean Baker, Jerry Schatzberg, Ik-June Yang, Alice Rohrwacher, Kazuki Ohmori.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
994
879
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (original title)

1960 / Japan / 111m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Daisuke Kato, Reiko Dan, Tatsuya Nakadai, Ganjiro Nakamura, Eitaro Ozawa, Keiko Awaji, Jun Tatara, Yu Fujiki
"When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, who entertains businessmen after work. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs shows the largely unsung yet widely beloved master Naruse at his most socially exacting and profoundly emotional." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Roger Garcia, Ulrich Köhler, Laura Waddington, Scott McGehee, Chris Fujiwara.
993
862
The Fallen Idol

The Fallen Idol


1948 / UK / 94m / BW / Drama, Childhood Drama
Ralph Richardson, Michele Morgan, Bobby Henrey, Sonia Dresdel, Denis O'Dea, Jack Hawkins, Dora Bryan, Walter Fitzgerald, Karel Stepanek, Joan Young
"The Fallen Idol was the first of three masterpieces to result from the legendary meeting of director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene, who together would also create The Third Man and Our Man in Havana. Elegantly balancing suspense and farce, this tale of the fraught relationship between a boy and the beloved butler he suspects of murder is a delightfully macabre thriller of the first order and a visually and verbally dazzling knockout." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Charles Drazin, Nick Hasted, Brian Gilbert, Robert Benton, Ira Sachs.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
992
926
Outskirts

Outskirts

Okraina (original title); Patriots (alternative title)

1933 / USSR / 98m / BW / War Drama, Period Film
Aleksandr Chistyakov, Sergey Komarov, Yelena Kuzmina, Nikolai Bogolyubov, Nikolai Kryuchkov, Hans Klering, Mikhail Zharov, Vladimir Uralsky, Robert Erdman, Andrei Fajt
"Barnet's seminal film harnessed the expressionistic potential of early Soviet sound technique to conjure a gently comic and affecting anti-war masterpiece. Set in an isolated Russian provincial village during World War I, the film portrays the complex relationship that develops between a German prisoner, Hans Klering, and his (for the most part) benign Russian captors. An inventive, lyrical plea for tolerance, the film's themes of divided loyalty and shared humanity are as relevant today as they were in 1933." - Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Selected by Arthur Mas, Peter von Bagh, Tom Luddy, Andrzej Wajda, Nikita Mikhalkov.
991 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society


1989 / USA / 128m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Teen Movie
Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero, James Waterston, Norman Lloyd, Kurtwood Smith
"With Tom Schulman's script scrutinising educational conformity, the casting of Robin Williams as English teacher John Keating is inspired. Keating's eccentric teaching methods, exhorting his students with cries of 'Carpe Diem', promote spontaneity and idealism. But in the prestigious Welton Academy circa 1959, these male offspring are put on the same career path as their fathers, and face stern opposition from the educational establishment when they choose to indulge their imaginations… Weir infuses the film with his customary mysticism, but more importantly, draws sensitive performances from his largely inexperienced cast. Williams does wonders with a role that tends to be reduced to one of catalyst." - Colette Maude, Time Out
Selected by Marc Webb, M. Night Shyamalan, Daniel Lee, Ricardo Darín, Alistair Owen.
990
960
Pepe le Moko

Pépé le Moko


1937 / France / 94m / BW / Romantic Drama, Gangster Film
Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Lucas Gridoux, Gilbert Gil, Line Noro, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin, Marcel Dalio, Charles Granval
"The notorious Pépé le moko (Jean Gabin, in a truly iconic performance) is a wanted man: women long for him, rivals hope to destroy him, and the law is breathing down his neck at every turn. On the lam in the labyrinthine Casbah of Algiers, Pépé is safe from the clutches of the police—until a Parisian playgirl compels him to risk his life and leave its confines once and for all. One of the most influential films of the 20th century and a landmark of French poetic realism." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ruth Barton, Ginette Vincendeau, Patrice Leconte, Seijun Suzuki, Kaneto Shindo.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
989
974
Storm Over Asia

Storm Over Asia

Potomok Chingis-Khana (original title)

1928 / USSR / 93m / BW / Drama, Political Drama
Valery Inkijinoff, I. Inkishanov, Aleksandr Chistyakov, I. Dedintsev, Viktor Tsoppi, F. Ivanov, V. Pro, Boris Barnet, K. Gurnyak, Anna Sudakevich
"Pudovkin's last great silent film… Potomok Chingis-Khan was savaged by Soviet and American critics alike on its opening in 1927 for lacking realism and over-reliance on symbolic devices. Yet today it is recognized as a dynamic narrative, an epic visual poem that effectively demonstrates the power of linked montage to create allegory. Although he made a number of films after Potomok Chingis-Khan, Pudovkin was not able to make the transition to talking pictures. He was at his best as an epic poet employing a purely visual means of expression, and remains of utmost importance to the history of cinema more as a theoretician than as a filmmaker." - Stephen L. Hanson, Film Reference
Selected by Monte Hellman, Laurence Kardish, Richard Dyer, Susan Sontag, Freddy Buache.
988
867
Das Boot

Das Boot

The Boat (English title)

1981 / West Germany / 149m / Col / War Drama, Sea Adventure
Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Bernd Tauber, Erwin Leder, Martin May, Heinz Hoenig, Claude-Oliver Rudolph
"Peterson's film, which stars Jurgen Prochnow as a stoic German U-boat captain, is a visually spectacular film, distinguished by strong performances and brilliant Steadicam photography that snakes through the U-boat as its patrols the North Atlantic during World War II. It's suspenseful when it needs to be and intelligent in its depiction of the horrors of war and the sweaty claustrophobia of submarine life. On occasion, it's even -- pardon the pun -- deep." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lukas Moodysson, Ralph Ziman, Wael Khairy, Kenneth Turan, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
987
951
Le Trou

Le Trou

The Hole (original title)

1960 / France-Italy / 140m / BW / Prison Film, Crime Drama
Philippe Leroy, Marc Michel, Jean Keraudy, Raymond Meunier, Michel Constantin, Andre Bervil, Jean-Paul Coquelin, Eddy Rasimi, Catherine Spaak, Dominique Zardi
"A secular response to Bresson's A Man Escaped. No question of grace here, simply of grind and grime as four prisoners - joined and eventually betrayed by a fifth - laboriously tunnel their way to a derisory glimpse of freedom. Telling a true story, Becker maintains a low-key approach, courting reality, avoiding music in favour of natural sound, constantly stressing the sheer physicality. Yet there is more than a touch of Bresson (even more, however, of Becker's mentor Renoir) to the close-ups which punctuate the evolving relationship between the escapees… Classical in its intense simplicity, this is certainly Becker's most perfectly crafted film." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Joe Lawlor, José Luis Garci, Agnieszka Holland, Yang Shupeng, Carlos Aguilar.
986 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Tarnished Angels

The Tarnished Angels


1957 / USA / 91m / BW / Adventure, Drama
Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Jack Carson, Robert Middleton, Troy Donahue, Alan Reed, Alexander Lockwood, Christopher Olsen, Robert J. Wilke
"Arguably Sirk's bleakest film - perhaps because it was shot in greyish monochrome rather than luridly stylised colour - and one of his finest, this adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon reassembles the three principles from Written on the Wind for a probing but sympathetic study in failure and despair… Inevitably, it all culminates in death, which ironically provides some sort of half-hearted liberation, but Sirk's sombre, tender awareness of the illusions that fuel his no-hopers' lives allows no respite. A film totally at odds with the bland optimism of postwar America, it might be depressing were it not for the consummate artistry on view." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, Rob White, Yoel Meranda, Hisham Bizri, Jean-Loup Bourget.
985 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County


1995 / USA / 135m / Col / Romance, Drama
Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Annie Corley, Victor Slezak, Jim Haynie, Sarah Kathryn Schmitt, Christopher Kroon, Phyllis Lyons, Debra Monk, Richard Lage
"When the daughter and son of the late Francesca Johnson (Streep) return home to Madison County to oversee the funeral arrangements, they're shocked to learn that their mother wished to have her ashes scattered from the Roseman Bridge, not buried beside their father… Immaculately performed, and assembled with wit and sensitivity, this is one of the most satisfying weepies in years. Indeed, it's hard to imagine anyone but Eastwood doing such a fine job of adapting Robert James Waller's best-seller for the screen. Typically, his clean, pared direction, coupled with Richard LaGravenese's mostly no-frills script, ensures that the film avoids sentimentality even as the two lovers rush to embrace it." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Juan Antonio Bayona, Sue Harris, Ricardo Darín, Houshang Golmakani, Céline Sciamma.
984 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Madchen in Uniform

Mädchen in Uniform


Girls in Uniform (English title)
1931 / Germany / 98m / BW / Psychological Drama, Coming-of-Age
Dorothea Wieck, Hertha Thiele, Ellen Schwanneke, Emilia Unda, Hedwig Schlichter, Gertrud de Lalsky, Erika Mann
"A key early German talkie: a powerful melodrama about life in a Prussian boarding school for the daughters of the bourgeoisie - a bastion of the ideology of 'strength through suffering'. The plot mechanics are predictable - unhappy pupil with crush on housemistress is driven to attempt suicide - but the atmosphere and sensitivity to teenage fears are not: stage actress Leontine Sagan brings an exceptionally warm touch to her depiction of female friendships, and her denunciation of the Prussian orthodoxy is more a matter of subtle imagery than shrill accusations." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Ali Smith, Yvonne Rainer, Barbara Hammer, Andrea Weiss, Richard Dyer.
983
822
Stardust Memories

Stardust Memories


1980 / USA / 91m / BW / Showbiz Comedy, Satire
Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault, Tony Roberts, Helen Hanft, John Rothman, Daniel Stern, Amy Wright, Cynthia Gibb
"The true acid test for any fan or critic who loves Woody Allen movies is Stardust Memories, his misunderstood and generally maligned ninth feature. Obviously influenced by Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963), Stardust Memories follows a prominent filmmaker named Sandy Bates to a weekend movie seminar at the Stardust Hotel in New Jersey where he is besieged by adoring fans and sycophants. Sandy no longer finds any personal satisfaction in his achievements or in his current relationships… Stardust Memories remains one of Allen's most complex and fascinating works." - Jeff Stafford, TCM
Selected by Sarah Polley, Andrew Pulver, Andrew Collins, Jeremy Deller, Max Winkler.
982
824
L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (English title)

1895 / France / 1m / BW / Short Film, Documentary
"Today, we cannot comprehend the terror that gripped the 1895 audience facing the Lumière brothers' arriving train—this first film with which they gave birth to documentary film. Louis Lumière's film Arrival of the Train shows, in only fifty seconds, an everyday occurrence, a familiar experience for spectators: a train pulls into a station, the passengers go back and forth on the platform. Despite its brevity and the banality of its subject matter, this film has attained fame, entering film history as an icon of the medium's origins." - Martin Loiperdinger, Cinema's Founding Myth
Selected by César Ballester, Miklós Jancsó, Tata Amaral, Kumar Shahani, Vladimir Vishniakov.
981
911
America, America

America, America

The Anatolian Smile (UK title)

1963 / USA / 168m / BW / Drama, Americana
Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Harry Davis, Elena Karam, Lou Antonio, John Marley, Estelle Hemsley, Katharine Balfour, Giorgos Foundas, Gregory Rozakis
"America, America has a sweep and heart that transcends its many shortcomings: Over the sprawling runtime, Kazan conveys the grueling scope of Giallelis’ wayward journey, which only moves forward after going sideways and backward first. But the real hero of America, America is cinematographer Haskell Wexler, whose dramatic lighting and striking black-and-white compositions suggest a better movie might have been made without sound. Giallelis’ story is the story of America writ large, and while it isn’t always convincing in its particulars, it’s stirring in sentiment." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Fabio Troncarelli, Pascal Merigeau, Bill Pullman, Ferid Boughedir, Christian Ramirez.
980
835
The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (alternative title)

1993 / USA / 76m / Col / Fantasy, Animated Musical
Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Susan McBride, Debi Durst
"The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Tim Burton film in the sense that the story, its world and its look first took shape in Burton's mind, and he supervised their filming. But the director of the film, a veteran stop-action master named Henry Selick, is the person who has made it all work. And his achievement is enormous. Working with gifted artists and designers, he has made a world here that is as completely new as the worlds we saw for the first time in such films as Metropolis (1927), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Star Wars… The songs by Danny Elfman are fun, too, a couple of them using lyrics so clever they could be updated from Gilbert & Sullivan." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, José Luis Rebordinos, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Alexandre Tylski, Josef Schnelle.
979
932
Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex

Edipo re (original title)

1967 / Italy / 110m / Col / Drama, Tragedy
Franco Citti, Silvana Mangano, Carmelo Bene, Alida Valli, Julian Beck, Luciano Bartoli, Francesco Leonetti, Ahmed Belhachmi, Ninetto Davoli, Pier Paolo Pasolini
"Shot in gorgeous natural hues, Oedipus Rex unfolds in its desert settings with primitive grandeur, accompanied by an extraordinary score that includes folk music from Romania and Japan plus additional music composed by Pasolini himself. This Oedipus has a strong ritualistic quality, and the passages of Japanese music heighten this effect, making it seem at times as stylized as a Noh drama. Pasolini was never afraid of the potentially pretentious, and this time his control and his vision were strong and sustained enough to make everything work." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Selected by Isaki Lacuesta, José Carlos Avellar, Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Masahiro Shinoda, Philip Haas.
978 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
L

L'Argent


1928 / France / 195m / BW / Psychological Drama, Ensemble Film
Brigitte Helm, Marie Glory, Yvette Guilbert, Pierre Alcover, Alfred Abel, Henry Victor, Pierre Juvenet, Antonin Artaud, Jules Berry, Raymond Rouleau
"One of the great silent movies: a superlative adaptation of Zola's novel about warfare in the world of international finance when one tycoon sets out to ruin another. Full of delicate metaphorical touches, the film has an intricate narrative fluidity that never betrays its origins in a densely plotted novel. What chiefly amazes, though, is the extreme sophistication of L'Herbier's visual approach: vast architectural sets dwarf the humans scurrying in frenzied quest of fame and fortune; scenes in echoing corridors leading to the bank anticipate Antonioni as people come and go between massive pillars, aware of each other and of conflicting interests, but never quite connecting." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Nick James, Michelle Carey, Eric Le Roy, John Waters, Gilbert Adair.
977
848
True Heart Susie

True Heart Susie


1919 / USA / 87m / BW / Romance, Melodrama
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour, Kate Bruce, Raymond Cannon, Carol Dempster, George Fawcett, Wilbur Higby, Loyola O'Connor
"One of D.W. Griffith's most beautiful films, a pastoral fable of a sort that no one could ever make again, because the sensitivity and spirit have vanished along with the landscape. Made in 1919, it's a souvenir of an even earlier time when man and his environment were still in perfect harmony. The city is just beginning to intrude on Griffith's setting, and its effects are potentially devastating. But Susie (Gish) shines through, rescuing her lover from the arms of an evil woman. The plot is pure archetype, but if you fail to be moved, you have a very cold heart indeed." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Udagawa Koyo, Tomoyo Kawai, David Phelps, Alexandre Astruc, Daniel Kasman.
976
935
Broadway Danny Rose

Broadway Danny Rose


1984 / USA / 86m / BW / Comedy, Showbiz Comedy
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte, Sandy Baron, Corbett Monica, Jackie Gayle, Morty Gunty, Milton Berle, Will Jordan, Howard Storm
"Admittedly slighter than its immediate predecessor Zelig, this is still a delightful comedy that sees Allen as a no-hope theatrical agent who acts as beard for an adulterous, unmusical crooner on his books, and gets involved with a brassy Mafia widow (Farrow, unrecognisable). The jokes are firmly embedded in plot and characterisation, and the film, shot by Gordon Willis in harsh black-and-white, looks terrific; but what makes it work so well is the unsentimental warmth pervading every frame." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Benjamin Safdie, Susan Seidelman, Andrew Pulver, Roberto Manassero, Dave Heaton.
975
933
The Docks of New York

The Docks of New York


1928 / USA / 76m / BW / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook, Mitchell Lewis, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Guy Oliver, May Foster, Lillian Worth, Richard Alexander
"Roughneck stoker Bill Roberts (Bancroft) gets into all sorts of trouble during a brief shore leave when he falls hard for Mae (Compson), a wise and weary dance-hall girl, in Josef von Sternberg’s evocative portrait of lower-class waterfront folk. Fog-enshrouded cinematography by Harold Rosson (The Wizard of Oz), expressionist set design by Hans Dreier (Sunset Boulevard), and sensual performances by Bancroft and Compson make this one of the legendary director’s finest works, and one of the most exquisitely crafted films of its era." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dave Kehr, Nathan Lee, Peter Wollen, Iradj Azimi, Jean-Michel Arnold.
974
893
Touchez pas au Grisbi

Touchez pas au Grisbi

Grisbi (alternative title)

1954 / France / 94m / BW / Crime, Caper
Jean Gabin, Rene Dary, Paul Frankeur, Lino Ventura, Paul Oettly, Jeanne Moreau, Dora Doll, Daniel Cauchy, Vittorio Sanipoli, Denise Clair
"This model French gangster picture set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed. An ageing and weary Gabin attempts to retire after one last robbery. Instead he finds himself in a world of moody double-crosses. Becker's film, full of neat angles and delightful little bits of business, is laconic and admirably methodical. If its code of honour and its world of safe houses (and the absence of any police) make it seem like a wartime resistance film, it does also show what other gangster movies often ignore: that the reason for earning money dishonestly is to be able to live in style." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Shinji Aoyama, Ginette Vincendeau, Andris Feldmanis, Peter von Bagh, Fredric R. Jameson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
973
897
Haxan

Häxan

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (English Title)

1922 / Sweden / 83m / BW / Supernatural Horror, Documentary
Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Tora Teje, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt, John Andersen, Benjamin Christensen, Poul Reumert, Karen Winther, Kate Fabian
"A weird and rather wonderful brew of fiction, documentary and animation based on 15th and 16th century witchcraft trials, Christensen's film has a remarkable visual flair that takes in Bosch, Breughel and Goya (no wonder it was a particular favourite of the Surrealists). The director himself plays Satan, seducing a woman while she is in bed with her husband; another episode follows an accused witch through the tortures of the Inquisition. The film is now most commonly seen in a sound version, running 76 minutes, made in 1967 with a commentary by William Burroughs; a later restoration with tinted sequences is far preferable." - David Thompson, Time Out
Selected by Jon Wengström, Li Yang, Emma Gray Munthe, Mónica Delgado, José Sarmiento Hinojosa.
972
823
Une Femme est une femme

Une Femme est une femme

A Woman is a Woman (English title)

1961 / France / 83m / Col / Romantic Comedy, Musical Comedy
Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy, Nicole Paquin, Marie Dubois, Marion Sarraut, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Demongeot, Noel Pacquin, Ernest Menzer
"With A Woman Is a Woman, compulsively innovative director Jean-Luc Godard presents “a neorealist musical—that is, a contradiction in terms.” Featuring French superstars Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy at their peak of popularity, A Woman Is a Woman is a sly, playful tribute to—and interrogation of—the American musical comedy, showcasing Godard’s signature wit and intellectual acumen… A dizzying compendium of color, humor, and the music of renowned composer Michel Legrand, A Woman Is a Woman finds the young Godard at his warmest and most accessible, reveling in and scrutinizing the mechanics of his great obsession: the cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Antonia Quirke, Francesco Pitassio, Albert Maysles, Law Wai-ming, Isobel Knowles.
971
903
Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine


1968 / UK / 85m / Col / Animated Musical, Fantasy Adventure
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul Angelis, John Clive, Dick Emery, Geoffrey Hughes, Lance Percival, Peter Batten
"The result, like Fantasia, is a music-based animated film for the ages. The songs sound dramatically better, and the story avoids the usual gee-whiz urgency of so much animation and reflects the same deadpan understatement that the Beatles used in A Hard Day's Night. Perhaps because the Beatles were considered such a draw, perhaps because the songs were counted on to sell the film, there was no agenda to dumb down the material or hard-sell the story. Instead of contrived urgency, there's unpressured whimsy, and the movie exists as pure charm, expressed in fantastical imagery. And then there are the songs." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Gary Thomas, Dana Linssen, Norton Virgien, Raymond Durgnat, Luc Moullet.
970
937
Ju Dou

Ju Dou


1990 / China-Japan / 95m / Col / Rural Drama, Marriage Drama
Li Wei, Gong Li, Li Bao-Tian, Zhang Yi, Zhen Ji-an, Niu Xingli, Jia Zhaoji, Wu Fa, Ma Chong, Con Zhijun
"The film appealed to me for two reasons. First, because of its unabashed, lurid melodrama, in which the days are filled with scheming and the nights with passion and violence. Second, because of its visual beauty. When the Technicolor company abandoned its classic three-strip process for reproducing color on film, two of its factories were closed down but the third was packed up and sold to China, and that is why the bright colors in the vats of the textile mill will remind you of a brilliance not seen in Hollywood films since the golden age of the MGM musicals. Not that this story would have been very easily set to music." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Riri Riza, Robert Gardner, Goran Gocic, Catriona O'Shaughnessy, Julian Graffy.
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RE-ENTRY
The Tales of Hoffmann

The Tales of Hoffmann


1951 / UK / 118m / Col / Musical Fantasy, Film-Opera
Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Robert Helpmann, Frederick Ashton, Pamela Brown, Meinhart Maur, Edmond Audran, Philip Leaver, Leonide Massine, Ludmilla Tcherina
"Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind take on a classic story. In Jacques Offenbach’s fantasy opera The Tales of Hoffmann, a poet dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger’s feverishly romantic adaptation is a feast of music, dance, and visual effects, and one of the most exhilarating opera films ever produced." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by George A. Romero, José Luis Garci, Martin Scorsese, Susumu Hani, Travis Mackenzie Hoover.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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RE-ENTRY
Rose Hobart

Rose Hobart


1936 / USA / 20m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental
"Rose Hobart consists almost entirely of footage taken from East of Borneo, a 1931 jungle B-film starring the nearly forgotten actress Rose Hobart. Cornell condensed the 77-minute feature into a 20-minute short, removing virtually every shot that didn’t feature Hobart, as well as all of the action sequences. In so doing, he utterly transforms the images, stripping away the awkward construction and stilted drama of the original to reveal the wonderful sense of mystery that saturates the greatest early genre films." - Brian L. Frye, Senses of Cinema
Selected by J. Hoberman, Lola Hinojosa, Hans Schifferle, Kevin B. Lee, Daniel Kothenschulte.
967
908
The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes

The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes


1971 / USA / 32m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Documentary
"Comprised entirely of autopsy footage shot in a Pittsburgh morgue, The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes is the final installment in Brakhage's Pittsburgh trilogy (including Eyes and Deus Ex)… Leaving the raw immediacy of the autopsy uncontextualised, Brakhage exposes us to both the privileged 'authenticity' of sight and the fragile nature of our own mortality. Like most of Brakhage's work, the subject of The Act Of Seeing With One's Own Eyes is actually the movement of light itself - light bouncing off objects and variations in light as its reflected off of skin, creating its own fluid possibilities with the camera." - Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Selected by Ben Russell, Elena Oroz, Iain Sinclair, Brian Frye, Barbara Hammer.
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RE-ENTRY
Three Colours: White

Three Colours: White

Trois couleurs: Blanc (original title)

1994 / France-Poland / 92m / Col / Black Comedy, Marriage Drama
Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr, Juliette Binoche, Grzegorz Warchol, Jerzy Nowak, Aleksander Bardini, Cezary Harasimowicz, Jerzy Trela
"The most playful and also the grittiest of Kieślowski’s Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson after setting her own salon ablaze. White, which goes on to chronicle Karol Karol’s elaborate revenge plot, manages to be both a ticklish dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe and a sublime reverie about twisted love." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tian Zhuangzhuang, Zhang Yibai, Li Shaohong, Geoff Andrew, Steven Gaydos.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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RE-ENTRY
Bad Timing

Bad Timing

Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (alternative title)

1980 / UK / 129m / Col / Mystery, Psychological Drama
Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel, Denholm Elliott, Daniel Massey, Dana Gillespie, William Hootkins, Eugene Lipinski, George Roubicek, Stefan Gryff
"Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with the elusive Milena Flaherty (Russell). When their all-consuming passion takes a life-threatening turn, Inspector Netusil (Keitel) is assigned to piece together the sordid details. Acclaimed for its innovative editing, raw performances, and stirring musical score—featuring Tom Waits, the Who, and Billie Holiday—Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing is a masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ian Wild, Isabelle Stever, Sam Dunn, Simon Ward, Lee Hill.
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NEW
Sweet Sweetback

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song


1971 / USA / 97m / Col / Action Thriller, Blaxploitation
Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales, John Dullaghan, West Gale, Niva Rochelle, Rhetta Hughes, Ed Rue, John Amos, Lavelle Roby
"Arguably the most important black American film of its age… The story, such as it is, concerns a stud, Sweetback (Van Peebles), who's moved to fight back when two white cops casually beat up a political activist in front of him. He's on the run for the rest of the movie, with occasional stops for sex and/or further police brutality. Totally uncompromising and grindingly repetitive, the film nevertheless accumulates a kind of hallucinatory groove, with unexpected shafts of bizarre humour and vigorous, experimental new wave direction (psychedelic negative images, split screen and so forth). Written, composed, produced, directed and edited by Van Peebles, it remains one of a kind." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by B. Ruby Rich, Mario Van Peebles, Claire Denis, Russel Forster, Constantin Costa-Gavras.
963
838
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me


1992 / USA / 135m / Col / Mystery, Surrealist Film
Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, James Marshall, Pamela Gidley
"Fire Walk With Me is deliberately oblique, even by Lynch standards, asking questions without answers and providing clues to no mystery. Its narrative is split in two, seemingly without reason, a division introduced when our hero is apparently swallowed up by a gaping hole in the center of the picture (a hole he finds beneath a parked RV in America's least inviting trailer park, naturally)… It isn't especially funny, or quirky, or even much in keeping with the spirit of the series. But in its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch's masterpiece." - Calum Marsh, The Village Voice
Selected by Gregg Araki, Richard Kuipers, Arthur Mas, Sam C. Mac, Bong Joon-ho.
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NEW
Scarecrow

Scarecrow


1973 / USA / 108m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Dorothy Tristan, Ann Wedgeworth, Richard Lynch, Eileen Brennan, Penelope Allen, Richard Hackman, Al Cingolani, Rutanya Alda
"At the time of its release, Scarecrow was considered a commercial flop, and was shortsightedly written off by many critics as just another rambling buddy/road movie in the register of Easy Rider… Yet the passing years have proven Scarecrow's continuing appeal as a low-key character study, a downbeat ode to the downtrodden, an elegy for the American dream gone sour. Director Jerry Schatzberg and DP Vilmos Zsigmond craft a visually rich and evocative film as attuned to the rhapsodic vistas of the American pastoral as it is to the squalid dive bars and inhumane work farms that provide the grungy backdrop for screenwriter Garry Michael White's loose-limbed drama." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Ryan Fleck, Marian Crisan, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Ricardo Darín, Eric Thouvenel.
961
861
The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet

Le Sang d'un poète (original title)

1930 / France / 58m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Surrealist Film
Lee Miller, Pauline Carton, Odette Talazac, Enrique Rivero, Jean Desbordes, Fernand Dichamps, Lucien Jager, Feral Benga, Barbette
"Poets shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the power of metaphor and the relationship between art and dreams. One of cinema’s great experiments, this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy stretches the medium to its limits in an effort to capture the poet’s obsession with the struggle between the forces of life and death." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by John McNaughton, Jonas Mekas, Nick Zedd, A. Hans Scheirl, Brandon Judell.
960
892
Dracula

Dracula

Horror of Dracula (alternative title)

1958 / UK / 82m / Col / Costume Horror, Gothic Film
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Valerie Gaunt, John Van Eyssen, Miles Malleson, Charles Lloyd Pack, Janina Faye
"This creepy period yarn has retained much of its bite… One shouldn’t be brutal about a film of such noble intent, but as ‘horror’ it doesn’t have the honest-to-goodness scares that modern audiences expect. Still, Christopher Lee’s Dracula is a menacing and complex presence who never lets his fangs and cape dominate. There’s also the canny use of vampirism as an allegory for drug abuse and sexually transmitted disease: is this the camp forerunner to Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction?" - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Nicolas Barbano, Shion Sono, Nacho Vigalondo, Evelyne Caron-Lowins, Keith H. Brown.
959
858
Unsere Afrikareise

Unsere Afrikareise


1966 / Austria / 13m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
"In 1961 Peter Kubelka was asked to make a documentary about a group of Europeans on an African hunting trip. He accompanied them, recorded many hours of film and sound, and then spent five years editing this material into a most unconventional film. The result, Unsere Afrikareise, is one of the most densely packed 12½ minutes in film history, and makes truly extraordinary use of the creative possibilities of sound… What is most extraordinary about Kubelka's achievement is not the specific connections he establishes between elements, but rather the system that the entire network of connections form." - Fred Camper, Film Reference
Selected by Vinzenz Hediger, Scott MacDonald, Michael Glawogger, Ashim Ahluwalia, Michael Sicinski.
958
781
Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point


1970 / USA / 112m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Rod Taylor, Paul Fix, G.D. Spradlin, Bill Garaway, Kathleen Cleaver, Harrison Ford, Peter Lake
"Though Michelangelo Antonioni's only American film was very poorly received when it was released in 1969, time has been much kinder to it than to, say, La Notte, which was made a decade earlier. Antonioni's nonrealistic approach to American counterculture myths and his loose and slow approach to narrative may still put some people off—along with the uneven dialogue—but his beautiful handling of 'Scope compositions and moods has many lingering aftereffects, and the grand and beautiful apocalyptic finale is downright spectacular." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Dario Oliveira, Ron Peck, Bill Pullman, Tag Gallagher.
957
779
The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man


1957 / USA / 81m / BW / Science Fiction, Psychological Sci-Fi
Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, William Schallert, Billy Curtis, Raymond Bailey, Frank Scannell, Helene Marshall, Diana Darrin
"Not merely the best of Arnold's classic sci-fi movies of the '50s, but one of the finest films ever made in that genre. It's a simple enough story: after being contaminated by what may or may not be nuclear waste, Williams finds himself slowly but steadily shedding the pounds and inches until he reaches truly minuscule proportions. But it is what Richard Matheson's script does with this basic material that makes the film so gripping and intelligent… And finally, to the strains of Joseph Gershenson's impressive score, we arrive at the film's philosophical core: a moving, strangely pantheist assertion of what it really means to be alive. A pulp masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Horacio Bernades, Juan Antonio Bayona, Xavier Pérez, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Carl Hubert Felix.
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958
Ten

Ten

10 (alternative spelling)

2002 / France-Iran / 92m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Urban Drama
Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Roya Arabshahi, Katayoun Taleidzadeh, Mandana Sharbaf, Armene Moradi
"The minimalism of this Abbas Kiarostami film makes it one of the boldest experiments yet by the masterful Iranian filmmaker: its ten sequences transpire in a car driving through Tehran, with a stylish young divorcee at the wheel and a series of six characters in the passenger seat. Shot with two digital video cameras mounted on the dashboard, it's neither scripted nor directed in any ordinary sense… The film offers a fascinating glimpse of the Iranian urban middle class, and though it eschews most of the pleasures of composition and landscape found in other Kiarostami films, it's never less than riveting." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Geoff Andrew, Kristy Matheson, Ruth Barton, Catherine Breillat, David Robson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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RE-ENTRY
Strangers When We Meet

Strangers When We Meet


1960 / USA / 117m / Col / Drama, Melodrama
Kirk Douglas, Kim Novak, Ernie Kovacs, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Virginia Bruce, Kent Smith, Helen Gallagher, John Bryant, Roberta Shore
"Strangers When We Meet is a melodramatic tale of extramarital unhappiness amongst fast-track suburbanites… The sympathetic treatment of the lead characters is enhanced by director Richard Quine’s judicious use of the widescreen frame, setting most shots at a comfortable distance from the characters and cutting to close-ups only at key moments in the plot… Strangers When We Meet never allows the glossiness of its presentation to erode a very affecting and astute appraisal of the state of suburbia before its inhabitants were swept away by the volatile energies of the decade to come." - David Sanjek, PopMatters
Selected by José Luis Garci, Jean-Loup Bourget, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, Fernando Mendez-Leite, Miguel Marías.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
954
922
The Godfather Part III

The Godfather Part III


1990 / USA / 161m / Col / Crime Drama, Gangster Film
Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy Garcia, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda, Sofia Coppola, Raf Vallone
“There’s a level of cinematic artistry to The Godfather Part III that the countless mob movies and TV shows that followed the original Godfather have rarely been able to match. And Coppola’s own take on the film—as one long howl of frustration over what had become of his career circa 1990—lends the film an emotional dimension it otherwise lacks… As a visual poem about decline, The Godfather Part III looks more stunning with each passing year. If only the people in the picture would just stop talking." - Noel Murray, The Dissolve
Selected by Subhash Ghai, John Walker, Jo Soares, Carlos Diegues, Pascale Ferran.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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RE-ENTRY
Central Station

Central Station

Central do Brasil (original title)

1998 / Brazil-France-Spain-Japan / 110m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Fernanda Montenegro, Marilia Pera, Vinicius de Oliveira, Soia Lira, Othon Bastos, Otavio Augusto, Stela Freitas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Caio Junqueira, Socorro Nobre
"In Walter Salles's Central Station a cynical, joyless woman crosses paths with a lonely young boy. There's plenty of room for sentimentality here, but the wonder of Mr. Salles's film is all in the telling. Beautifully observed and featuring a bravura performance by the Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, it gracefully watches these oddly paired characters develop a fractious bond that winds up profoundly changing both of them. Mr. Salles's background as a documentary filmmaker also gives this lovely, stirring film a strong sense of Brazil's impoverished rural landscape once its principals take to the road." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Leon Cakoff, Lui Wing-kai, Leste Chen, Ali Ulvi Uyanik, Mark Dornford-May.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
952
880
The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales


1976 / USA / 135m / Col / Western, Outlaw (Gunfighter) Film
Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Bill McKinney, John Vernon, Paula Trueman, Sam Bottoms, Geraldine Keams, Royal Dano, Woodrow Parfrey
"A remarkable film which sets out as a revenge Western: Eastwood sees his family massacred and joins the Confederate guerillas; after the Civil War, he is hunted by Union soldiers while he pursues his family's slayer and a friend apparently turned traitor. But slowly the film changes direction, until through a series of comic interludes it becomes the story of a man who (re)discovers his role as family man… If that seems like a rewrite of Hawks' Red River, visually The Outlaw Josey Wales is closest to Anthony Mann in its breathtaking survey of American landscapes (and seasons)." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Keith Griffiths, Steven Galvin, Philip Kemp, Trey Parker, Derek Adams.
951
827
M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

MASH (alternative spelling)

1970 / USA / 116m / Col / Military Comedy, Satire
Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, Jo Ann Pflug, Rene Auberjonois, Gary Burghoff, Fred Williamson, John Schuck
"Robert Altman's commercial breakthrough after more than 20 years of industrial films and TV work felt like a joyous shout of liberation, not just for its director but for the film industry in general. M*A*S*H was proudly, gleefully, gloriously rude as few previous Hollywood films had dared to be, not just in using four-letter words but also in a hilariously casual disrespect for religion, the military, American foreign policy, and authority as a whole… If you know M*A*S*H as a TV series and not as a film, prepare yourself for a shock; there is nothing warm and fuzzy about this movie, which makes its bitter humor all the more effective." - Mark Deming, All Movie
Selected by Duncan Jones, Scott Von Doviak, Michel Hazanavicius, Rokuro Mochizuki, Helmut Fiebig.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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971
Second Breath

Second Breath

Le Deuxième souffle (original title)

1966 / France / 144m / BW / Crime Thriller, Caper
Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin, Christine Fabrega, Marcel Bozzuffi, Paul Frankeur, Denis Manuel, Jean Negroni, Michel Constantin, Pierre Zimmer
"Despite its troubled production history—it was shot in two stages in Melville’s studio and various Marseille and Paris locations—it is a masterful work that ultimately brought to a close what Melville himself described as a period of several years “in the wilderness.” Despite the importance of Le deuxième souffle to understanding Melville’s career, it has remained one of his most underrated, and least examined, films... Ultimately, Le deuxième souffle offers one of the richest and starkest portraits of the Melvillean universe." - Adrian Danks, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mika Kaurismäki, Iain Sinclair, Paul Mayersberg, Geoff Andrew, Jacques Zimmer.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
949
900
Lone Star

Lone Star


1996 / USA / 135m / Col / Drama, Mystery
Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Morton, Stephen Mendillo, Clifton James, Miriam Colon, Frances McDormand, Ron Canada
"Lone Star is a great American movie, one of the few to seriously try to regard with open eyes the way we live now. Set in a town that until very recently was rigidly segregated, it shows how Chicanos, blacks, whites and Indians shared a common history, and how they knew one another and dealt with one another in ways that were off the official map. This film is a wonder -- the best work yet by one of our most original and independent filmmakers -- and after it is over, and you begin to think about it, its meanings begin to flower." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Domino Renee Perez, Guy Westwell, Matthias Lerf, Martin McLoone, Norm Schrager.
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965
Sonatine

Sonatine


1993 / Japan / 94m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Takeshi Kitano, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura, Susumu Terajima, Ren Osugi, Tonbo Zushi, Kenichi Yajima, Eiji Minakata, Houka Kinoshita
"There's a long tradition of gangster films in America—from the original Scarface through GoodFellas and on—that glamorize mob life while simultaneously portraying it as soul-sucking. It's interesting to see that movie tradition reinterpreted, masterfully, in a Japanese setting by Sonatine… Kitano directs, edits, writes, and stars in Sonatine, the story of a Yakuza boss (Kitano) who, as part of a larger campaign against a rival gang, takes a handful of mobsters from Tokyo to Okinawa… Taken together as the story of a man who regains his soul but whose face remains permeated with the knowledge of its inevitable loss, it becomes an artful gangster film, Yakuza poetry, and essential viewing." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by John Michael McDonagh, Alberto Pezzotta, Danny Boyle, Christoph Huber, Otani Nobuhiko.
947
828
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show


1975 / UK / 95m / Col / Horror Comedy, Rock Musical
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Jonathan Adams, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show was, and to some extent remains, the ultimate cult film. After flopping in its first run in 1975, it was quickly revived as a midnight movie, attracting a dedicated group of followers who would attend, talk back to, and reenact the movie on weekends… A fast-paced pastiche of camp, science fiction, rock music, horror, and more camp… The plot is only semi-comprehensible, but the nearly non-stop musical numbers—brilliant conflations of glam-rock and showtunes—and transgressive sexual energy keep things moving. With its fairly extreme but somehow cuddly take on sexual fluidity, it's easy to see why the appeal of RHPS hasn't waned.” - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Karen Oughton, Albert Elduque, Kevin John, Mike White, Paul Lee.
946
854
Witness

Witness


1985 / USA / 112m / Col / Crime Thriller, Romantic Drama
Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Brent Jennings, Angus MacInnes
"Weir's first film set in America explores a theme familiar from his earlier work: the discovery of an all but forgotten culture in modern society: in this case the Amish, a puritanical sect whose life in Pennsylvania has remained unchanged since the 18th century. Threat explodes into this community when an Amish boy witnesses a murder… Powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and thankfully devoid of easy moralising, it also offers a performance of surprising skill and sensitivity from Ford." - Richard Rayner, Time Out
Selected by Laura Kern, Michael Dudok de Wit, Baltasar Komákur, Derek Adams, Klaus Härö
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RE-ENTRY
The Sting

The Sting


1973 / USA / 129m / Col / Crime Comedy, Buddy Film
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan, Harold Gould, John Heffernan, Dana Elcar, Jack Kehoe
"A crafty, good-natured crime caper, The Sting reunited Hill with Redford and Newman and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It's set in 1936 in a big, brawling Chicago teeming with gangsters, gamblers and con artists. Redford and Newman, dressed in snap-brim hats and sharp pin-striped suits, are cast again as old friends, this time as a couple of con men trying to fleece dangerous New York mobster Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) out of a fortune… The Sting remains the definitive con artist comedy: as irresistible and ingenious as the scheme that hooks in Doyle." - Patrick Smith, The Guardian
Selected by Constantin Popescu, Budd Boetticher, Matt Singer, Nicholas Searle, Ackbar Abbas.
944
839
Ceddo

Ceddo


1977 / Senegal / 117m / Col / Drama, Political Drama
Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne, Matoura Dia, Omar Gueye, Mamadou Dioume, Nar Modou, Ousmane Camara, Ousmane Sembene
"For Sembène, the Ceddo embody the resistance of a culture and a traditional way of life to the encroachments of Islam, Christianity and colonialism. This magnificent film is a comparable act of resistance, an attempt to write a segment of history for Africans and in African terms. It is a work of great organisational and thematic complexity, beautifully staged, mainly in depth, and possessing extraordinary kinesic grace and rhythmic control, two of the most powerful and evocative aspects of film form." - James Leahy, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Gilberto Perez, Jed Rapfogel, Lindiwe Dovey, Jonathan Demme, Teshome Gabriel.
943
798
Heimat

Heimat

Heimat - Eine deutsche Chronik (original title); Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (alternative title)

1984 / West Germany / 940m / Col-BW / Epic, Historical Epic
Marita Breuer, Gertrud Bredel, Willi Burger, Michael Lesch, Rudiger Weigang, Karin Kienzler, Johannes Lobewein, Kurt Wagner, Marliese Assmann, Eva Maria Schneider
"Edgar Reitz's 15-hour film is an attempt to restore a sense of continuity to 20th-century German history by presenting 63 years, from 1919 to 1982, in the life of Schabbach, a small village… Reitz avoids the ceremonial events—births, deaths, marriages—that usually punctuate this sort of family chronicle, concentrating instead on the textures of daily existence and the shifting relationships among the characters. Though not without its longueurs and marked by a rising nostalgia for the “good old days” as opposed to the debased present, Reitz's project stands as a monumental act of imagination, teeming with evocative incident and Proustian detail." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Hare, Robert Fischer, Philip Haas, John Pym, Mike Figgis.
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RE-ENTRY
Hellzapoppin'

Hellzapoppin'


1941 / USA / 84m / BW / Anarchic Comedy, Backstage Musical
Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Robert Paige, Jane Frazee, Lewis Howard, Clarence Kolb, Mischa Auer, Elisha Cook Jr., Hugh Herbert
"A genuinely bizarre oddity, this madcap comedy is fascinating not only for its many very funny moments, but also for the way it includes, amid the material taken directly from the original stage revue, various purely cinematic gags which are surprisingly modern in tone and significance… Although lacking the satirical edge of the Marx Brothers, Hellzapoppin' frequently outstrips the works of Groucho and Co in terms of speed, imagination and sheer craziness." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Jonathan Romney, Joe Dante, Thomas Beard, David Robson, Raymond Durgnat.
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NEW
Fata Morgana

Fata Morgana


1971 / West Germany / 78m / Col / Avant-garde/Experimental
Eugen Des Montagnes, Lotte Eisner, James William Gledhill, Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg
"Herzog's completely non-narrative movie is cast in the mock-heroic form of an epic poem, each of its chapter headings ('Creation', 'Paradise', 'The Golden Age') being more ironic than the one before. Shot in and around the Sahara, its images evoke the idea of the desert as a terminal beach, littered with colonial debris, spanning extremes of poverty and misery, peopled with the dispossessed and the eccentric, haunted by mirages. It's the nearest thing yet to a genuine political science-fiction movie. Brilliantly original, utterly haunting." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Michael Glawogger, Ben Rivers, Fernando Meirelles, Albert Elduque, Jorge Bodanzky.
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996
Holiday

Holiday


1938 / USA / 93m / BW / Comedy, Romance
Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Lew Ayres, Doris Nolan, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Henry Daniell, Jean Dixon, Charles Trowbridge
"Marvellous 'sophisticated comedy' about a prototype dropout (Grant in one of his best performances) who takes a rich upper class family by storm: arriving engaged to the conventionally snobbish younger daughter (Nolan), stirring up latent doubts and resentments through his carefree disregard for material proprieties and properties, he ends up by showing the yearningly dissatisfied elder sister (Hepburn) the way to a declaration of independence… Often underrated by comparison with The Philadelphia Story (both are based on plays by Philip Barry), but even better because its glitteringly polished surface is undermined by veins of real feeling, it is one of Cukor's best films." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Grégory Valens, Andy Medhurst, Stephanie Zacharek, Jim Emerson, Kent Jones.
939
902
Deep End

Deep End


1970 / UK-West Germany / 88m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Diana Dors, Sean Barry-Weske, Erica Beer, Will Danin, Dieter Eppler, Cheryl Hall, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sandford
"One of the all-time great London movies, the splendidly sleazy Deep End definitively proves that it takes an outsider’s eye to really capture the true textures of a city. Written and directed by Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski, the film captures the sexual shenanigans of the staff and clientele of a squalid South London swimming bath… From its Carry On-ish opening, the film morphs into something much more sinister, even segueing into Peeping Tom territory, as Mike’s (Moulder-Brown) love turns to violent fixation. Plus, its ultra-seedy depiction of Soho nightlife is the sort of thing you might find nowadays in a Gaspar Noé movie." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Amos Poe, Florence Maillard, Jean-Max Mejean, Nicolas Philibert.
938 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Ed Wood

Ed Wood


1994 / USA / 124m / BW / Comedy Drama, Biography
Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio, G.D. Spradlin, Lisa Marie, Juliet Landau, Bill Murray
"Ed Wood isn't really a biography, and it isn't too concerned with the ins and outs of no-budget filmmaking either. The film is dreamy myth-making, as Burton's first obvious aim was to resurrect Wood's films and imbue them with the transcendent power their filmmaker intended… Burton never before or ever again exhibited the astonishing range of talent he displayed in Ed Wood… As American films became more and more polished, more impersonal than ever before, Ed Wood, a testament to following your own inner tune despite almost certain personal oblivion, is looking more and more like one of America's great movies." - Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
Selected by Rodrigo Aragão, Bobcat Goldthwait, Malcolm Ingram, Kepa Sojo, Jose Carlos Cabrejo.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
937
805
Chikamatsu monogatari

Chikamatsu monogatari

The Crucified Lovers (English title)

1954 / Japan / 100m / BW / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyoko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Yoko Minamida, Haruo Tanaka, Chieko Naniwa, Ichiro Sugai, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Hiroshi Mizuno
"A sublime, perfectly modulated story of doomed love between a merchant's wife and a servant, set in 17th-century Japan and drawn from the repertory of Japan's puppet theater, the Bunraku. Kenji Mizoguchi's 1954 film has the most imaginative soundtrack of any of his films, and while the story lacks the awesome power of his Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff (both made during the same period), it still remains essential viewing." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Daisuke Akasaka, Dominique Martinez, C.S. Venkiteswaran, Alejandro Díaz, Jean A. Gili.
936 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes


1953 / US / 91m / Col / Musical Comedy, Romance
Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Marcel Dalio, Taylor Holmes, Norma Varden, Howard Wendell
"Howard Hawks's grand, brassy 1953 musical about two girls from Little Rock—Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell—gone gold digging in Paris… The opening shot—Russell and Monroe in sequins standing against a screaming red drape—is enough to knock you out of your seat, and the audacity barely lets up from there, as Russell romances the entire U.S. Olympic team to the tune of “Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?” and Hawks keeps topping perversity with perversity. A landmark encounter in the battle of the sexes." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Katja Eichinger, Laura Mulvey, Dragan Jelicic, Robbie Collin.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
935
872
Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce


1945 / USA / 109m / BW / Melodrama, Film Noir
Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, George Tobias, Lee Patrick, Moroni Olsen, Jo Ann Marlowe
"James Cain's novel of the treacherous life in Southern California that sets house-wife-turned waitress-turned-successful restauranteur (Crawford) against her own daughter (Blyth) in competition for the love of playboy Zachary Scott, is brought fastidiously and bleakly to life by Curtiz' direction, Ernest Haller's camerawork, and Anton Grot's magnificent sets. Told in flashback from the moment of Scott's murder, the film is a chilling demonstration of the fact that, in a patriarchal society, when a woman steps outside the home the end result may be disastrous." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Tim Highsted, Paul Julian Smith, Andy Medhurst, Anita Chaudhuri, Ngozi Onwurah.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
934 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Princess Yang Kwei Fei

Princess Yang Kwei Fei

Yôkihi (original title); The Empress Yang Kwei Fei (alternative title)

1955 / Japan-Hong Kong / 98m / Col / Historical Film, Historical Epic
Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, Soh Yamamura, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Haruko Sugimura, Yoko Minamida, Bontaro Miyake, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Michiko Ai
"The first color film of the great Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, produced as a big-budget spectacular by the Shaw brothers of Hong Kong (who were later responsible for the kung fu craze). The film is not as resolutely personal as Ugetsu or Sansho, yet Mizoguchi is able to navigate the commercial requirements with supreme grace. It has the aura of a fairy tale—in 18th-century China, an emperor falls in love with a servant girl—yet the emotions it provokes are anything but simple. Again, Mizoguchi focuses his attention on the strength of women in the face of male frailty. In a final breathtaking camera movement, he elevates that strength to an eternal principle." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Lloyd Kaufman, Gilles Jacob, Jose Luis Guarner, Inácio Araujo, Francesc Blanquer.
933 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Indian Tomb

The Indian Tomb

Das Indische Grabmal (original title)

1959 / West Germany-France-Italy / 95m / Col / Romantic Adventure, Escape Film
Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, Claus Holm, Sabine Bethmann, Valery Inkijinoff, Rene Deltgen, Jochen Brockmann, Jochen Blume, Luciana Paluzzi
"One of the cinema’s most marvellous oddities, Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das Indische Grabmal are films so luridly intense you think you may just be dreaming them… Both the exotic world they conjure up – part grand, dazzling sun-soaked Indian locations (palaces, forts, temples, lakes), part astonishing studio fantasy of glittering costumes and interiors, vast underground temples and labyrinthine cave-systems; and Lang’s lush colour evocation of extravagant ceremony and fermenting passions and cruelty – with the aid of jodhpurs, scimitars, crocodiles, lepers, tigers (of course) and, most memorably of all, some astonishingly erotic dancing by Hollywood star Debra Paget as Seetha the temple dancer." - Philip Horne, The Telegraph
Selected by Dominik Graf, Pierre Rissient, Michel Mourlet, Enrique Bolado, Jesús Cortés.
932
800
Mothlight

Mothlight


1963 / USA / 4m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
"Mothlight visualises a “day in the life” of an insect from birth to death… You could say Brakhage puts the “anima” back into animation, reanimating the dead, painstakingly affixing the remains of dead insects, leaves and the like onto the film strip, and feeding it through the projector back to life. Of course, the principle of film projection is the illusion of life through light, with the audience gathering to watch like moths attracted to a lamp: the beauty of Mothlight is the way Brakhage evokes the moth not through cartoon mimicry, but by the fragile sensation of its movement, batting against the screen, hurtling in descent. The effect is exhilarating and terrifying." - Darragh O'Donoghue, Senses of Cinema
Selected by David Curtis, Michael Glawogger, Robert Haller, Sean Cubitt, Mika Taanila.
931
890
Shanghai Express

Shanghai Express


1932 / USA / 80m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Warner Oland, Anna May Wong, Eugene Pallette, Lawrence Grant, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Louise Closser Hale, Emile Chautard, Claude King
"More action oriented than the other Dietrich-Sternberg films, this 1932 production is nevertheless one of the most elegantly styled. The setting, a broken-down train commandeered by revolutionaries on its way to Shanghai, becomes a maze of soft shadows and shifting textures, through which the characters wander in a philosophical quest for something—anything—solid. The screenplay, by Jules Furthman and an uncredited Howard Hawks, has a quality of wisecracking wit unusual in Sternberg's films: when someone asks Dietrich why she's going to Shanghai, she retorts, “To buy a new hat.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Chuck Stephens, David Thompson, Michael Sicinski, Christa Blumlinger.
930
715
Grin Without a Cat

A Grin Without a Cat

Le Fond de l'air est rouge (original title)

1977 / France / 240m / Col-BW / Documentary, Essay Film
Laurence Guvillier, Davos Hanich, Francois Maspero, Yves Montand, Francois Perier, Sandra Scarnati, Jorge Semprun, Simone Signoret, Jim Broadbent, Cyril Cusack
"A masterpiece among masterpieces, the two-part, three-hour A Grin Without a Cat is Chris Marker's most ambitious, clear-headed string of cinematic clauses and ideological couplets, and also his most impenetrable. Fashioned, in part, out of rejected and unused political footage shot by Marker's SLON and ISKRA production collectives, the movie is the major work preceding his landmark essay film Sans Soleil and, in many ways, prefigures that film's globe-trotting filmosophical musings, but in the guise of—for lack of a better word—agitprop." - Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
Selected by Javier Packer-Comyn, Lourdes Monterrubio, Nico Baumbach, Santiago Mitre, Tetê Moraes.
929
905
The Naked Island

The Naked Island

Hadaka no shima (original title); The Island (alternative title)

1960 / Japan / 94m / BW / Rural Drama
Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka, Masanori Horimoto
"The Naked Island is a fascinating early hybridization of documentary and fiction that takes to an important extreme the focus of Shindo’s early films on Japan’s working classes. An epic yet intimate chronicle of the daily lives and struggles of a farmer family on a remote Inland Sea island, Shindo’s internationally celebrated film revitalized the legacy of Flaherty’s Man of Iran and sharply divided Western critics… Today Shindo’s innovative use of non-actors to restage their own lives seems ahead of its time, equally innovative as the film’s use of a lush yet modernist score and near avoidance of dialogue- another remarkable updating and reinvention of Flaherty’s literary realism." - Harvard Film Archive
Selected by Girish Kasaravalli, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, Zdena Škapová, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jerry Schatzberg.
928
928
Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo


2003 / USA / 100m / Col / Family-Oriented Comedy, Animation
Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Stanton, Elizabeth Perkins
"Finding Nemo has all of the usual pleasures of the Pixar animation style--the comedy and wackiness of Toy Story or Monsters Inc. or A Bug's Life. And it adds an unexpected beauty, a use of color and form that makes it one of those rare movies where I wanted to sit in the front row and let the images wash out to the edges of my field of vision. The movie takes place almost entirely under the sea, in the world of colorful tropical fish--the flora and fauna of a shallow warm-water shelf not far from Australia. The use of color, form and movement make the film a delight even apart from its story." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Omer M. Mozaffar, George Kuchar, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Kristian Lin.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
927
812
42nd Street

42nd Street


1933 / USA / 89m / BW / Backstage Musical, Musical Comedy
Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Una Merkel, Dick Powell, Guy Kibbee, Ginger Rogers, George E. Stone, Robert McWade
"Reviving the musical's fortunes in one fell swoop, Bacon and Busby Berkeley's backstage saga set the benchmark for the putting-on-a-show subgenre not by means of plot (a thin and hackneyed affair about a young understudy finding stardom when she covers for the temperamental diva) but through sassy songs and dialogue and dazzling mise-en-scène. A grand cast makes the most of numbers like 'You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me', 'Shuffle Off to Buffalo' and 'Young and Healthy', while Berkeley choreographs chorines and camera with mischievous dexterity." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Carlos Saura, Billy Wilder, Russ Meyer, Riyad Vinci Wadia, Alexander Walker.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
926 Up Arrow
963
El Dorado

El Dorado


1967 / USA / 126m / Col / Western, Buddy Film
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey, Arthur Hunnicutt, R.G. Armstrong, Edward Asner, Paul Fix, Christopher George
"Hawks' effortless Western gathers together a gunfighter, a drunken sheriff, a young hopeful, a couple of tough women, and sets them up in a jail, fighting for their lives against a cattle baron and his hired killers. Sounds familiar? In many ways the plot resembles Hawks' earlier Rio Bravo, and several of the themes are again present: the importance of group solidarity, self-respect, professionalism, and acceptance of others' faults… This is an old man's movie only in the sense that it deals with the problems of approaching the valley of death. In other words, it's a witty, exciting and deeply moving masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, José Luis Cienfuegos, Mary Lea Bandy, Yoel Meranda, Fernando Guillen.
925 Up Arrow
976
The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth


1976 / UK / 140m / Col / Psychological Sci-Fi, Satire
David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey, Jackson D. Kane, Rick Riccardo, Tony Mascia, Linda Hutton, Hilary Holland
"The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of science fiction as an art form. The story of an alien on an elaborate rescue mission provides the launching pad for Nicolas Roeg’s visual tour de force, a formally adventurous examination of alienation in contemporary life. Rock legend David Bowie, in his acting debut, completely embodies the title role, while Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn turn in pitch-perfect supporting performances." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ted Bonnitt, Tom Milne, Mike Hodges, Kobena Mercer, Mike Figgis.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
924 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


2003 / New Zealand-USA / 201m / Col / Epic, Fantasy Adventure
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan
"After the galloping intelligence displayed in the first two parts of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, your fear may be that the director, Peter Jackson, would become cautious and unimaginative with the last episode, The Return of the King… But Mr. Jackson crushes any such fear. His King is a meticulous and prodigious vision made by a director who was not hamstrung by heavy use of computer special-effects imagery. A sequence in which a number of signal fires are lighted on a stretch of mountain ranges simultaneously is a towering moment; it has the majesty that every studio's opening logo shot sprains itself striving to achieve." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Jon Favreau, Luke Gorham, Jonathan Lack, Roque Baños, Wuershan.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
923 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Saragossa Manuscript

The Saragossa Manuscript

Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie (original title)

1965 / Poland / 182m / BW / Fantasy, Adventure
Zbigniew Cybulski, Kazimierz Opalinski, Iga Cembrzynska, Joanna Jedryka, Gustaw Holoubek, Franciszek Pieczka, Adam Pawlikowski, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Leon Niemczyk, Slawomir Lindner
"You can call Polish director Wojciech Has’s adaptation of Count Jan Potocki’s novel the cinema’s greatest Russian doll, the ne plus ultra of ’60s art-house head flicks or simply plumb loco; each description fits this mammoth movie like a velvet glove. Regardless, Has’s supernatural tales of bourgeois muckymucks and black-magic women are an experience that will permanently rewire your circuitry… Anyone who thinks that a noggin full of hallucinogens is necessary to appreciate the film, however, is off the mark. The director’s eye for baroque black-and-white imagery puts him behind only Bava and Welles, while the film’s sharp social satire gives heft to its ambition." - David Fear, Time Out
Selected by Rod Stoneman, Pier Marton, Ian Stocks, Albert Montagne, Tadeusz Sobolewski.
922 Up Arrow
964
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

The Fast Runner (alternative title); Atanarjuat (alternative title)

2001 / Canada / 172m / Col / Adventure, Romantic Drama
Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, Madeleine Ivalu, Pauloosie Quilitalik, Eugene Ipkarnak, Pakak Innuksuk, Neeve Irngaut, Abraham Ulayuruluk
"Based on an Inuit legend and made almost entirely by Inuit filmmakers, this totally absorbing 172-minute feature, winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes, is exciting not as ethnography but as storytelling, as drama, and as filmmaking… Certainly the plot elements are universal: sexual competition, adultery, murder, pursuit, subterfuge, and justice, all seen in relation to the needs and preservation of a particular community and way of life. This story is set “at the dawn of the first millennium,” but the fact that we tend to forget about historical time frames entirely while watching it is a tribute to its power to grab and hold us." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by S.F. Said, Sophie Mayer, Wenke Wegner, Kevin Macdonald, Philip Dodd.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
921
732
Outer Space

Outer Space


1999 / Austria / 10m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental
"The film immediately creates an atmosphere of sinister foreboding in its liminal, transitory images of an amorphous night sky, heightened ambient sounds, and skewed, awkward angled framing of a modest home on an eerily tranquil rural street. Assembled from excerpts of found film from Sidney J. Furie's, The Entity (1988), Tscherkassky transforms the introductory images of a deserted, seemingly alien landscape into a startling, profoundly fractured, and increasingly haunted portrait of human desolation and descent into madness." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Athina Rachel Tsangari, Mike D'Angelo, Peter Strickland, Gary Thomas, Giulio Bursi.
920
811
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: DieSymphonie der Großstadt (original title)

1927 / Germany / 65m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Documentary
Paul von Hindenburg
"This classic German documentary is a valentine to the "new" Berlin of the late 1920s, enjoying a renaissance after the dregs of the Depression. Director Walter Ruttman's five-reel symphony begins at dawn and ends at midnight, showing Berliners at hard work by day and enjoying the city's boisterous nightlife. Essentially a feature-length montage, the film was heavily influenced by the earlier works of Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov… Though many current prints of Berlin: Symphony of a Great City carry a musical track, this silent documentary creates its own music by virtue of its rhythmic editing." - Hal Erickson, All Movie
Selected by Adam Hyman, Amir Labaki, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, Ulrich Gregor, Raymond Depardon.
919
782
From the Clouds to the Resistance

From the Clouds to the Resistance

Dalla nube alla resistenza (original title)

1979 / Italy-West Germany-UK-France / 104m / Col / Drama
Olimpia Carlisi, Guido Lombardi, Gino Felici, Lori Pelosini, Walter Pardini, Ennio Lauricella, Andrea Bacci, Loris Cavallini, Francesco Ragusa, Fiorangelo Pucci
"Straub and Huillet expand their concerns with dazzling scope and beauty: the struggle between gods and men, the eruption of the past into the present. From the first shots of a goddess seated in a tree, through a long debate between mythological characters, to the exploration of a village's fascist past, the film constantly startles by its imaginative and historical leaps. Operatic and documentary in approach, the film carefully juxtaposes two texts by Cesare Pavese… A work of provocation which strips ornament and leaves essences, and whose integrity gives it a distinct sense of the sublime." - Don Macpherson, Time Out
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, Tag Gallagher, Cristina Fernandes, Fritz Göttler, Matthew Flanagan.
918
792
El Topo

El Topo

The Mole (English title)

1970 / Mexico / 124m / Col / Surrealist Film, Hybrid Western
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, Jose Legarreta, Alfonso Arau, Jose Luis Fernandez, Alf Junco, Gerard Zepeda, David Silva, Paula Romo
"An inexplicable amalgam of Buñuel, Herzog and Leone, Alejandro Jodorowsky's midnight movie par excellence is an endlessly ponderable, ultimately impenetrable glyph whose violent mysticism strikes at the gut and the soul. Jodorowsky plays the title character, a rogue gunfighter with delusions of deity who sets out to vanquish the four "masters of the gun," only to find that completed quest replaced with a new one: digging a tunnel to connect a group of Indian cave-dwellers with a cult-ruled frontier town. Jodorowsky's bold, alogical symbolism confounds rational interpretation, at least for the handful who've seen the film in an unaltered state." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Virginie Sélavy, Helen Dewitt, Slobodan Valentinčič, Wes Craven, Murat Tolga Şen.
917 Up Arrow
NEW
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (original title)

2011 / Turkey-Bosnia and Herzergovina / 150m / Col / Crime Drama, Psychological Drama
Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel, Ahmet Mumtaz Taylan, Firat Tanis, Ercan Kesal, Ugur Aslanoglu, Murat Kilic, Safak Karali, Emre Sen
"Few films are about simply waiting and talking, but this is one; a film in which, for most of the time, nothing appears to be happening – but, in fact, everything is. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's new film is long and difficult, and perhaps not for everyone, but I can only say it is a kind of masterpiece: audacious, uncompromising and possessed of a mysterious grandeur in its wintry pessimism. Nothing in it reminds me of Sergio Leone, incidentally – unless it is that long, long wait at the beginning of Once Upon a Time in the West, with the keening wind-wheel and sighing desert. Actually, this has something of Antonioni, or Chekhov or even the later stories of Tolstoy." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Pawel Pawlikowski, Dan Fainaru, Marc Munden, Nadav Lapid, Rasha Salti.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
916
891
Fellini's Casanova

Fellini's Casanova

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (original title); Casanova (alternative title)

1976 / Italy / 158m / Col / Comedy Drama, Period Film
Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Cicely Browne, Carmen Scarpitta, Clara Algranti, Olimpia Carlisi, Adele Angela Lojodice, Clarissa Mary Roil, Daniel Emilfork, Margaret Clementi
"Vainly seeking wealthy patrons for his scholarly pursuits, Casanova is seen as both an intellectual figure of the Enlightenment and a licentious voluptuary of a corrupt society about to be swept away by the French Revolution... The semi-coherent, death-obsessed narrative reeks of self-disgust and has the clammy atmosphere of an undertaker's embalming room. Made entirely on fabulous Cinecittà sets, it's superbly photographed and magnificently staged and Sutherland (who hated the experience) is a compelling presence." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Michel Ciment, Michel Chion, Mike Hodges, Peter Greenaway, Jose Maria Latorre.
915
886
Mon oncle d'Amerique

Mon oncle d'Amérique

My American Uncle (English title)

1980 / France / 123m / Col / Comedy Drama, Satire
Gerard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Roger Pierre, Nelly Borgeaud, Pierre Arditi, Gerard Darrieu, Philippe Laudenbach, Marie Dubois, Henri Laborit, Bernard Malaterre
"The first genuine hit in Alain Resnais' career takes off from the behaviorist theories of French scientist Henri Laborit, which are illustrated by the stories of three separate characters (Depardieu, Pierre, and Garcia), each of whom identifies with a different French movie star and whose lives occasionally cross. While the quasi-determinist theories of Laborit are never very interesting or persuasive, the film can never really be reduced to them. What matters here is the fluidity of Resnais and screenwriter Jean Gruault's masterful storytelling; they manage to convey a dense, multilayered narrative with remarkable ease and simplicity." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Amit Dutta, Florence Almozini, Mike Hodges, José Eduardo Belmonte, Edward Yang.
914
736
War and Peace

War and Peace

Voyna i mir (original title)

1967 / USSR / 357m / Col / Epic, Historical Film
Lyudmila Savelyeva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Gennadi Ivanov, Irina Gubanova, Antonina Shuranova, Sergei Bondarchuk, N. Afrikyants, V. Alakhverdova, Rodion Aleksandrov, Igor Alekseyev
"Sergei Bondarchuk's seven-hour 1967 monster is still the biggest, most astonishingly profligate movie ever made, involving more than a quarter-million extras and eating up resources enough to support a small nation (today, it would cost close to $1 billion). Since its foreign-film Oscar win, it's been roundly derided as a boring nationalist waste. Not so: The unwavering fidelity to Tolstoy is served by a constantly roving camera, complex mise-en-scène, baroque compositions, and expressive double exposures. The chakras of Ophüls and Eisenstein are as palpable as the startling sense of the entire republic being placed at the film's disposal." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Baz Luhrmann, Judith Crist, Daniel Walber, Tad Richards.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
913
874
India: Matri Bhumi

India: Matri Bhumi


1959 / Italy-France / 90m / Col / Documentary, Culture & Society
"My favorite Roberto Rossellini film is perhaps the hardest one to see… A sublime symbiosis of fable and nonfiction, India Matri Bhumi simply and poetically interrelates humans and animals, city and village, and society and nature over four separate stories. This visionary work is especially striking in the way its objective and subjective narrators merge into one another, reflecting not only the idea of reincarnation, but also the greater unity to which all of them belong." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fred Camper, Arthur Mas, Girish Shambu, Hisham Bizri, Un-Seong Yoo.
912
775
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (original title)

1988 / Spain / 88m / Col / Comedy, Farce
Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Maria Barranco, Rossy De Palma, Fernando Guillen, Kiti Manver, Chus Lampreave, Yayo Calvo, Loles Leon
“To attempt a synopsis of this extravagantly stylish farce would be daft and forgettable: suffice it to say that a lot happens in the absence of anything actually happening. What lingers in the memory is a sustained desperation, and scenes of Wilder-like sophistication dotted with improbable props, actions, inflated campery, and most of Almodóvar's usual repertory-style company. Somehow a deranged and oddly distanced plot is contrived from elements including infidelity, tranquiliser-spiked gazpacho, interior decor, bad fashion, beds on fire, caged animals, demented telephone answering machines, Shi-ite terrorists, motorbikes, sentimentalism, property rental, and madness.” - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Baltasar Komákur, Sanam Hasan, Andy Medhurst, Nick Kroll, Cherien Dabis.
911
692
The Ice Storm

The Ice Storm


1997 / USA / 113m / Col / Family Drama, Ensemble Film
Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Jamey Sheridan, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd, David Krumholtz, Tobey Maguire
"Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech drones from the TV, the Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentment, sexual tension, and cultural confusion. With clarity, subtlety, and a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award–winning director Ang Lee renders Rick Moody’s acclaimed novel of upper-middle-class American malaise as a trenchant, tragic cinematic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a tremendous cast of established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and rising stars (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes) The Ice Storm is among the finest films of the 1990s." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Saul Metzstein, Craig Johnson, Alberto Rodríguez, Javier Fesser, Vicente Amorim.
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973
The Match Factory Girl

The Match Factory Girl

Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö (original title)

1990 / Finland-Sweden / 68m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari, Vesa Vierikko, Reijo Taipale, Silu Seppala, Outi Maenpaa, Marja Packalen, Richard Reitinger, Helka Viljanen
"Kaurismäki took his penchant for despairing character studies to unspeakably grim depths in the shockingly entertaining The Match Factory Girl. Kati Outinen is memorably impenetrable as Iris, whose grinding days as a cog in a factory wheel, and nights as a neglected daughter living with her parents, ultimately send her over the edge. Yet despite her transgressions, Kaurismäki makes Iris a compelling, even sympathetic figure." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andreas Dresen, Eulàlia Iglesias Huix, M.K. Raghavendra, Lenny Abrahamson, Ulrich Gregor.
909 Up Arrow
946
Midnight Run

Midnight Run


1988 / USA / 122m / Col / Odd Couple Film, Action Comedy
Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Foronjy, Robert Miranda, Jack Kehoe, Wendy Phillips
"That old formula, handcuffed captor and captive who become buddies on the run, gets an injection of new life from the playing of the cast. Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro) captures bail-jumping accountant Jon Mardukas (Grodin) in New York, but his problems really start when he tries to deliver him to the bail bondsman in LA… Both actors get off on each other, improvising routines and inhabiting the standard Odd Couple teaming so interestingly that at times the film touches a profundity. Here and there, director Brest succumbs to the car chase, but overall the movie is way above average for the genre." - Brian Case, Time Out
Selected by Doug Liman, Nigel Cole, Jay DiPietro, Ruben Fleischer, Jackie Chan.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
908
773
Subarnarekha

Subarnarekha

The Golden Thread (English title); Golden River (alternative title)

1965 / India / 143m / BW / Drama
Abhi Bhattacharya, Madhabi Mukherjee, Satindra Bhattacharya, Bijon Bhattacharya, Indrani Chakrabarty, Sriman Tarun, Jahar Ray, Pitambar, Sriman Ashok Bhattacharya, Sita Mukherjee
"Subarnarekha, made in 1962 but released in 1965 is the last in a trilogy examining the socio-economic implications of partition, the other two being Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960) and Komal Ghandhar (1961). It is also perhaps Ritwik Ghatak's most complex film… The film is aided with fine performances from Madhabi Mukherjee and Abhi Bhattacharya and special mention must be made of Bahadur Khan's evocatively haunting musical score. Sadly, like most of Ghatak's films, Subarnarekha was totally rejected by the public. Ironically, today the film is hailed as a classic and as an important landmark in the history of Indian Cinema." - Upperstall
Selected by Tom Charity, Girish Shambu, Ashim Ahluwalia, Srinivas Krishna, Thomas Allenbach.
907
780
Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday


1953 / USA / 119m / BW / Romance, Comedy
Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Tullio Carminati, Harcourt Williams, Laura Solari, Margaret Rawlings, Paolo Carlini, Claudio Ermelli
"With Audrey Hepburn at her most appealing, Gregory Peck at his most charismatic, and Rome at its most photogenic, Roman Holiday remains one of the most popular romances that has ever skipped across the screen. Aside from being an enormously enjoyable romp, the film is most notable for two reasons. The first is Hepburn, featured here in her first starring role in a Hollywood film… The second reason for the film's importance is its location… Director William Wyler's use of Rome is one of the best examples of how a location can become a leading character in a film." - Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie
Selected by Keith Griffiths, Andrew O'Hehir, P.K. Nair, Shu Ming, William Hall.
906 Up Arrow
962
Sawdust and Tinsel

Sawdust and Tinsel

Gycklarnas afton (original title)

1953 / Sweden / 92m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Harriet Andersson, Ake Gronberg, Hasse Ekman, Anders Ek, Gudrun Brost, Annika Tretow, Erik Strandmark, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Curt Lowgren, Kiki
"Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the late master’s most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner (Grönberg) and his performer girlfriend (Andersson), the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal, works that would soon change the landscape of art cinema forever." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by John Sayles, Alejandro G. Calvo, Catherine Breillat, Eva Zaoralova, Rogerio Sganzerla.
905
837
Anatahan

Anatahan

The Saga of Anatahan (alternative title); Ana-ta-han (alternative title)

1953 / Japan / 90m / BW / Drama, Adventure
Akemi Negishi, Suganume, Ikio Sawamura, Shoji Najayama, Jun Fujikawa, Kondo, Miyashita, Tsuruemon, Kikuji, Kokuriro
"A more extreme degree of stylization is impossible to imagine: the Pacific island setting was re-created entirely in a Japanese studio out of cellophane and paper (Sternberg complained that he was forced to use real water), and the actors who perform this tale of shipwrecked sailors are Kabuki-trained Japanese. Distance is built into every aspect of the production, from the shadowed, filtered images to Sternberg's own voice-over narration, yet the feelings that emerge are incredibly pure and immediate: Sternberg seems to be photographing the absolute essence of human emotion." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Stephane Delorme, Heinz Emigholz, Patrice Rollet, Ken Mogg, Raymond Bellour.
904
866
Ballad of Narayama

Ballad of Narayama

Narayama bushiko (original title)

1983 / Japan / 130m / Col / Rural Drama, Family Drama
Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Takejo Aki, Tonpei Hidari, Seiji Kurasaki, Kaoru Shimamori, Ryutaro Tatsumi, Junko Takada, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Mitsuko Baisho
"This harsh and beautiful 1983 film by Shohei Imamura marks a turning point in his career, away from the violence and confrontationalism of his earlier films and toward an almost Ozu-like acceptance of human fate. The story is set in an impoverished mountain village, where the law of survival requires that every citizen over 70 be put to death to make room for new mouths at the table… Imamura's rough sexual humor is still in evidence, but now it has taken on a dark tone: to make love is to flirt with death." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, Jasper Sharp, Li Yu, Tim Robey, Nick Davis.
903
747
Yol

Yol

The Road (English title)

1982 / Turkey-Switzerland-France / 114m / Col / Political Drama, Prison Film
Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergun, Meral Orhonsay, Necmettin Cobanoglu, Semra Ucar, Hikmet Celik, Sevda Aktolga, Tuncay Akca, Hale Akinli
"In Yilmaz Güney's extraordinary Turkish odyssey (filmed by Gören from his script and detailed instructions while he was in jail), five prisoners are allowed a week's parole to journey home… The film's poetry, its combination of sound and image especially, has an unconscious innocence no longer available to most European and American narratives, and it is inspired by an enormous compassion for the suffering people endure at each other's hands in a world where the strong pick upon the weak, the weak upon the weaker." - Chris Petit, Time Out
Selected by Barbara Wurm, Sadullo Rakhimov, Okajima Hisashi, Hamid Dabashi, Laura Waddington.
902
771
Elephant

Elephant


1989 / UK / 39m / Col / Drama, Short Film
Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle, Danny Small, Robert J. Taylor, Joe Cauley, Joe McGee, Patrick Condren, Andrew Downs, Terry Doyle
"Elephant is without question Alan Clarke's bleakest film. Essentially a compilation of eighteen murders on the streets of Belfast, without explanatory narrative or characterisation and shot in a cold, dispassionate documentary style, the film succinctly captures the horror of sectarian killing. The lack of narrative removes any scope for justification of the killings on religious, political or any other grounds and the matter-of-factness of Clarke's approach debases the often-heroic portrayal - by all sides - of the individuals involved in sectarian murder. Moreover, Clarke's use of a Steadicam to follow the killers before and during the murders casts the viewer as at best a willing voyeur, at worst an accomplice.” - Justin Hobday, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Penny Woolcock, James Marsh, David Leland, Joe Lawlor, Michel Lipkes.
901
810
Cairo Station

Cairo Station

Bab el hadid (original title); The Iron Gate (alternative title)

1958 / Egypt / 76m / BW / Drama, Slice of Life
Fared Shawqi, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil, Naima Wasfy, Said Khalil, Abdel Ghani Nagdi, Loutfi El Hakim, Abdel Hamid Bodaoha
"All human life is here: the phrase really does apply to Chahine's tragicomic masterpiece from 1958… Cairo Station is the venue for a blazingly passionate drama about Kenaoui, a lame newspaper vendor, played by Chahine, and his unrequited desire for Hanouma (Rostom), the Bardotesque lemonade seller. Chahine conducts his big cast with uproarious energy, immediacy and freshness; he has tremendous stylised set pieces… As Kenaoui's love becomes more obsessive, the mood darkens, and elements of Hitchcock and Powell creep in. Finally, Cairo Station virtually attains the air of a tragedy, observing classical unities of time and place." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Joseph Fahim, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Najwa Najjar, Hamid Dabashi.