The 1,000 Greatest Films (600-501)

The banner image above is from Howard Hawks's Hatari!.
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Bande a part

Bande à part

Band of Outsiders (English title)

1964 / France / 97m / BW / Drama, Crime Drama
Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, Louisa Colpeyn, Chantal Darget, Michel Delahaye, Daniele Girard, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Makovski, Ernest Menzer
"Band of Outsiders is the Godard film for people who don't much care for Godard: a proto-slacker mood piece about two nondescript guys trying to persuade a beautiful girl to help them commit a robbery. Adapted from Dolores Hitchens's Fools' Gold, an American '50s crime novel published in France as part of the pulp Série Noire, it's more Renoir than Fuller—the least preoccupied with American culture of any of Godard's '60s films." - Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
Selected by Billy Chainsaw, Joshua Clover, Kaleem Aftab, Jean-Claude Brisseau, John Powers.
599
598
Blissfully Yours

Blissfully Yours

Sud sanaeha (original title)

2002 / Thailand-France / 125m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Drama
Kanokporn Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda, Sa-gnad Chaiyapan, Kanitpat Premkij, Jaruwan Techasatiern
"This uncompromising film can feel shapeless until you discover the simplicity of its form, obscure until you realize that a large part of its meaning is, quite literally, clear as day. In plainest terms, it is the story of three stressed-out people taking the afternoon off and driving into the jungle for a picnic and sex. The first hour is angular, urban, socio-political, gently oblique; the second is liquid, primal, sensual, strange. The movement from city to country, geometry to flux, politics to sex, is a kind of happy entropy. Blissfully Yours doesn't resolve a story, it deliquesces into states of feeling." - Nathan Lee, New York Sun
Selected by Corneliu Porumboiu, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Florence Almozini, Christine Dollhofer, George Clark.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Killing

The Killing


1956 / USA / 85m / BW / Crime Thriller, Film Noir
Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Ted De Corsia, Timothy Carey, Joseph Sawyer, Jay Adler
"Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, and a phenomenal cast of character actors, including Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Timothy Carey, Elisha Cook Jr., and Marie Windsor, The Killing is both a jaunty thriller and a cold-blooded punch to the gut. And with its precise tracking shots and gratifying sense of irony, it’s Kubrick to the core." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Hodges, Roger Michell, Evgeny Gusyatinskiy, Brett Ratner, Iciar Bollain.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
597
596
Rebecca

Rebecca


1940 / USA / 130m / BW / Mystery, Gothic Film
Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Denny, C. Aubrey Smith, Florence Bates, Melville Cooper
"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca’s haunting opening line conjures the entirety of Hitchcock’s romantic, suspenseful, elegant film. A young woman (Fontaine) believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, the late first Mrs. de Winter, haunts both the temperamental, brooding Maxim and the de Winter mansion, Manderley… The first collaboration between David O. Selznick and Hitchcock, Rebecca was adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s popular novel and won the 1940 Academy Award™ for Best Picture and Cinematography." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan, Genevieve Sellier, Hideo Nakata, Yvonne Tasker, Margarita Chapatte.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Memento

Memento


2000 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery, Crime Thriller
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Jr., Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, Callum Keith Rennie, Larry Holden, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox
"From the start — and cheers here to Wally Pfister's camerawork and Dody Dorn's editing — this jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go… Memento is a movie that demands we trust no one. In only his second film, after 1999's Following, Nolan stages scenes of dizzying suspense that resonate with raw emotion. His reverse action isn't a trick — it's a way to put us inside Leonard's head… Nolan leaps into the wild blue and dares us to leap with him. Go for it." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Lisa Mullen, Mike D'Angelo, Laslo Rojas, James Frazier, Victor J. Morton.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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724
Arrebato

Arrebato

Rapture (English title)

1979 / Spain / 105m / Col / Drama, Horror
Eusebio Poncela, Cecilia Roth, Will More, Marta Fernandez Muro, Helena Fernan-Gomez, Carmen Giralt, Max Madera, Javier Ulacia, Rosa Crespo, Luis Ciges
"A genuine cult title, Zulueta's deeply eccentric, brooding and mysterious underground oddity was a significant early influence on Almodóvar while remaining barely known outside Spain. A hallucinatory, claustrophobic examination of the secret potency of film itself, it enters the disorienting world of a young film-maker who discovers his camera has a feature he'd never imagined. Taking one right back to those great '70s mood movies, it's a singular treat." - Gareth Evans, Time Out
Selected by Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Delgado, Gerardo Naranjo, José Luis Cienfuegos, Mar Diestro-Dópido.
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Silent Light

Silent Light

Stellet licht (original title)

2007 / Mexico-France-Netherlands / 136m / Col / Psychological Drama, Rural Drama
Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz, Peter Wall, Elisabeth Wall, Jacobo Klassen, Irma Thiessen, Alfredo Thiessen, Daniel Thiessen, Autghe Loewen
"A fictional story about everyday rapture in an isolated Mennonite community in northern Mexico — and performed by a cast of mostly Mennonite nonprofessionals — the film was written, directed and somehow willed into unlikely existence by the extravagantly talented Carlos Reygadas, whose immersion in this exotic world feels so deep and true that it seems like an act of faith. Mr. Reygadas’s faith may be more rooted in his own gifts than in God, but it’s the sheer intensity of this belief — which he confirms with every camera movement — that invests his film with such feeling." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Zhao Liang, Lisandro Alonso, Andrzej Kolodynski, Daniel Frampton, Jean-Pierre Garcia.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate


1962 / USA / 126m / BW / Political Thriller, Paranoid Thriller
Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, John McGiver, Khigh Dhiegh, James Edwards
"Seen today, The Manchurian Candidate feels astonishingly contemporary; its astringent political satire still bites, and its story has uncanny contemporary echoes… The Manchurian Candidate is inventive and frisky, takes enormous chances with the audience, and plays not like a "classic" but as a work as alive and smart as when it was first released. "It may be," Pauline Kael wrote at the time, "the most sophisticated satire ever made in Hollywood." Yes, because it satirizes no particular target -- left, right, foreign, domestic -- but the very notion that politics can be taken at face value." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Mike Newell, Martin Campbell, F. Gary Gray, Dávid Klág, Colin Trevorrow.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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587
Scarface (1983)

Scarface


1983 / USA / 170m / Col / Crime Thriller, Gangster Film
Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham, Paul Shenar, Harris Yulin, Angel Salazar
"Brian De Palma's Scarface moves the iconic rise and fall crime opera from the tommy-gun gangster wars of the prohibition era to the cocaine wars of Florida in the eighties. In the process, De Palma, screenwriter Oliver Stone and star Al Pacino carved out a film that redefined a generation of gangster cinema… It's a whole new spin on the immigrant story and the American Dream as an underworld nightmare and a fitting bookend to the two Godfather films… De Palma directs it as a blood-drenched thug opera, a mix of the graceful and the garish with Pacino's guttural thug-in-a-suit spitting out dialogue like broken glass in a harsh Cuban accent." - Sean Axmaker, MSN Movies
Selected by Antoine Fuqua, Dimitri Eipides, Matthew Vaughn, Niki Caro, Sean Baker.
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570
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler

Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit (original title)

1922 / Germany / 270m / BW / Master Criminal Film, Police Detective Film
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Alfred Abel, Aud Egede Nissen, Gertude Welcker, Bernard Goetzke, Robert Forster-Larrinaga, Paul Richter, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Georg John, Grete Berger
"Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler is often thought of as the place where the director's filmmaking aesthetic springs full-grown to the screen. He had experimented with different aspects of visual style in his earlier works, but it is on this epic -- some four hours long in its original release -- that Lang pulled all of these elements together into the hyper-expressionist style that was identifiable as his. The first of three adaptations of the Norbert Jacques' novels by the renowned director, the film also provided Lang's wife and screenwriter Thea Von Harbou a canvas on which to explore and expand her own work." - Bruce Eder, All Movie
Selected by Raymond Bellour, Glenn Kenny, Noël Burch, Alejandro G. Calvo, Margaret Deriaz.
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Pasted Graphic

Walkabout


1971 / Australia / 95m / Col / Adventure, Drama
Jenny Agutter, Lucien John, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Peter Carver, John Illingsworth, Barry Donnelly, Noelene Brown, Carlo Manchini, Robert McDarra
"A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his “walkabout,” a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by J.M. Tyree, Nana Asfour, Mark Cosgrove, Farai Sevenzo, Jeremy Deller.
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The Red Circle

The Red Circle

Le Cercle rouge (original title)

1970 / France-Italy / 140m / Col / Crime Thriller, Post-Noir (Modern Noir)
Alain Delon, Andre Bourvil, Yves Montand, Francois Perier, Gian Maria Volonte, Andre Eykan, Pierre Collet, Paul Crauchet, Paul Amiot, Jean-Pierre Posier
"Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee (Volonté) and an alcoholic ex-cop (Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates. Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le cercle rouge combines honorable antiheroes, coolly atmospheric cinematography, and breathtaking set pieces to create a masterpiece of crime cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Robin Buss, Patrick Keiller, Pedro Almodóvar, Cristina Álvarez López, Ho Yuhang.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
588
567
The Blue Angel

The Blue Angel

Der Blaue Engel (original title)

1930 / Germany / 103m / BW / Melodrama, Psychological Drama
Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti, Hans Albers, Eduard von Winterstein, Reinhold Bernt, Hans Roth, Rolf Muller, Robert Klein-Lork
"Lola, star at the sleaziest nightclub in screen history, meets, seduces and ultimately destroys the upright bourgeois schoolteacher, Professor Rath. A tragedy? A comedy? It's actually a surprisingly complex morality play: a celebration of Lola's sexuality (it was Dietrich's first major role) and an ironic observation of Rath's repression and masochism (Jannings never suffered more or better). The film looks and sounds its age, but remains enthralling." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Anjelika Artyukh, Joan Salvany, Yoshino Sakumi, Seijun Suzuki, Acquarello.
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I Walked with a Zombie

I Walked with a Zombie


1943 / USA / 69m / BW / Horror, Supernatural Horror
Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett, Christine Gordon, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, James Bell, Theresa Harris, Jeni Le Gon
"I Walked With a Zombie is a master class in sight, sound, and suggestion from beginning to end. Jane Eyre's gothic romance is transplanted to the West Indies, where Betsey Connell (Dee) confronts the power of voodoo. In the film's most famous sequence, Betsey takes an extended trip through a sugar cane field and encounters the zombie Carrefour (Jones). Tourneur's images cast an unnerving spell, suggesting that the emotionally frustrated living may be the real zombies." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by John Flaus, Patrice Rollet, Quim Casas, Michael Henry Wilson, Robin Wood.
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Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket


1987 / USA / 116m / Col / Anti-War Film, War Drama
Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, Arliss Howard, Kevyn Major Howard, Ed O'Ross, Jon Stafford, John Terry
"This odd 1987 adaptation of Gustav Hasford's The Short-Timers, with script-writing assistance from Michael Herr as well as Hasford, has more to do with the general theme of colonization (of individuals and countries alike) and the suppression by male soldiers of their female traits than with the specifics of Vietnam or the Tet offensive. Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes, and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove, as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what The Shining failed to do." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lynne Ramsay, Constantin Popescu, David Siegel, Daniel Kasman.
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569
The Lady Vanishes

The Lady Vanishes


1938 / UK / 97m / BW / Spy Film, Thriller
Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Googie Withers
"In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, the beautiful Margaret Lockwood, traveling across Europe by train, meets a charming spinster (Whitty), who then seems to disappear into thin air. The younger woman turns investigator and finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure. Also starring Michael Redgrave, The Lady Vanishes remains one of the great filmmaker’s purest delights." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Charles Barr, J.M. Tyree, Robin Wood, Manuel Antin, Philip French.
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Rosetta

Rosetta


1999 / Belgium-France / 94m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Emilie Dequenne, Fabrizio Rongione, Anne Yernaux, Olivier Gourmet, Bernard Marbaix, Frederic Bodson, Florian Delain, Christiane Dorval, Mireille Bailly, Thomas Gollas
"The Belgian filmmaking team of brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne turned heads with Rosetta, an intense vérité drama that closely follows a poor young woman struggling to hold on to a job to support herself and her alcoholic mother. It’s a swift and simple tale made revelatory by the raw, empathetic way in which the directors render Rosetta’s desperation, keeping the camera nearly perched on her shoulder throughout. Many have copied the Dardennes’ style, but few have equaled it. This ferocious film won big at Cannes, earning the Palme d’Or for the filmmakers and the best actress prize for the indomitable Émilie Dequenne." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Cyrus Frisch, Lizzie Francke, Pawel Pawlikowski, Andreas Dresen, Jan Distelmeyer.
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And Life Goes On...

And Life Goes On…

Zendegi va digar hich (original title); Life and Nothing More… (USA title)

1992 / Iran / 108m / Col / Drama, Docudrama
Farhad Kheradmand, Buba Bayour, Hocine Rifahi, Ferhendeh Feydi, Mahrem Feydi, Bahrovz Aydini, Ziya Babai, Mohamed Hocinerouhi, Hocine Khadem, Maassouma Berouana
"Despite its narrative simplicity, this is more complex than Abbas Kiarostami's earlier film, Where Is My Friend's House? (1987). Learning that the region in which he shot Where Is... has been devastated by an earthquake, the director (played by an actor) leaves Tehran, along with his son, to see whether his actors, especially the boy who played Ahmed, have survived… Straddling the divide between fiction and documentary with graceful ease, this is both a subtle study in the ethics of film-making, and a compassionate (but never mawkish or depressing) portrait of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming grief and hardship." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Li Cheuk-to, Heddy Honigmann, Peter von Bagh, Anchalee Chaiworaporn.
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573
Love Me Tonight

Love Me Tonight


1932 / USA / 96m / BW / Comedy, Musical Romance
Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles, Charles Butterworth, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Patterson, Robert Greig, Ethel Griffies, Blanche Frederici
"A superb musical, outstripping the possible influences of René Clair and Lubitsch, to whose work this has been compared…The film is a stylish masterwork of technical innovations, and a delirious result of Mamoulian's desire to incorporate movement, dancing, acting, music, singing, décor and lighting into a cogent cinematic whole. The songs develop the action and characters, the dialogue is witty and rhythmic, and the entire film, with its fine score by Rodgers and Hart, is a charming, tongue-in-cheek fantasy that never descends into syrupy whimsy." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Laura Mulvey, Catherine A. Surowiec, David Meeker, Lars-Olav Beier, Peter Todd.
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559
Detour

Detour


1945 / USA / 69m / BW / Film Noir, Crime Drama
Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan, Esther Howard, Roger Clark, Pat Gleason, Don Brodie, Eddie Hall
"What can you say about a 69-minute grade-Z production from 1945 starring a catatonic unknown (Neal) and the most metaphysically distressing actress ever to grace an American film (Savage) that takes place mainly in front of a rear projection screen and a progression of minimally rendered motel rooms and roadside diners—except that it's one of the most daring and thoroughly perverse works of art ever to come out of Hollywood? The director was Edgar G. Ulmer, a master of cinematic stylization too long underappreciated." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Mark Webber, Richard Kuipers, Robert Polito, Errol Morris, Tony Krawitz.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Fellini Satyricon

Fellini Satyricon

Satyricon (alternative title); Fellini's Satyricon (alternative title)

1969 / Italy / 129m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Salvo Randone, Max Born, Mario Romagnoli, Magali Noel, Capucine, Alain Cuny, Fanfulla, Lucia Bose
"Satyricon took viewers aback with its sprawling, ambitious, almost expressionistic adaptation of Petronius' Latin prose satire of life under Nero… Fellini clearly spared nothing in translating his vision to film, and the results are visually remarkable… The director captures the timelessness of Petronius' attack, re-creating a Rome rotten at its core but also conveying that the all-too-human sources of its rottenness—greed, lust, narcissism—are eternal. Viewed as a film about the end of the '60s, when the world seemed ready to collapse, or as a companion piece to La Dolce Vita, Satyricon takes on added resonance. But no matter how you interpret it, it demands to be seen." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Ahmed Atef, Jurgis Krasons, Maja Bogojevic, Rod Stoneman, Shion Sono.
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Rushmore

Rushmore


1998 / USA / 93m / Col / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Jason Schwartzman, Seymour Cassel, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka, Stephen McCole, Luke Wilson, Dipak Pallana
"The dazzling sophomore film from Wes Anderson is equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy. Tenth grader Max Fischer (Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy’s most extracurricular student—and its least scholarly. He faces expulsion and enters into unlikely friendships with both a lovely first-grade teacher (Williams) and a melancholy self-made millionaire (Murray, in an award-winning performance). Set to a soundtrack of classic British Invasion tunes, Rushmore defies categorization, capturing the pain and exuberance of adolescence with wit, emotional depth, and cinematic panache." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Heather Graham, William H. Macy, Jemaine Clement, Todd Gilchrist, Félix Viscarret.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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565
Nazarin

Nazarín


1958 / Mexico / 94m / BW / Religious Drama, Satire
Francisco Rabal, Marga Lopez, Rita Macedo, Jesus Fernandez, Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Luis Aceves Castaneda, Ofelia Guilmain, Noe Murayama, Rosenda Monteros, Victorio Blanco
"This deceptively simple masterwork was one of Buñuel's favorite films and one of his most curiously received, and with good reason. "Jacques Prévert, an adamant anticleric, regretted that I'd given a priest the leading role. 'It's ridiculous to worry about their problems,' he told me, believing as he did that all priests were thoroughly reprehensible," notes Buñuel in his autobiography. Others referred to the film as the director's "attempt at personal rehabilitation" and while Nazarín may find him uniquely sympathetic to the Catholic cause, Buñuel is still very much critical of the folly of a certain pure form of Christianity." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Hong Sang-soo, Victor Erice, José María de Orbe, Peter von Bagh.
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Hatari!

Hatari!


1962 / USA / 159m / Col / Adventure, Comedy
John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Kruger, Gerard Blain, Red Buttons, Michele Girardon, Bruce Cabot, Valentin de Vargas, Eduard Franz, Eric Rungren
"Marked by the relaxed pace and tone of Hawks' later work, this could easily be seen as Only Angels Have Wings transferred from the Andes to the African bush. There's little plot but plenty of typically Hawksian situations as it follows the travails of a group of safari hunters (preservationists, not killers) working a game reserve… Light, sunny, and effortlessly switching between action and comedy, it also fascinates through its superb footage of the actual capture of the wildlife, in which the danger and the excitement of the chase are beautifully, precisely evoked. All in all, one of those rare films that genuinely constitutes a late masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Koichi Yamada, Filipe Furtado, Flavia de la Fuente, Jorge García, Nuria Vidal.
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534
Alice in the Cities

Alice in the Cities

Alice in den Städten (original title)

1974 / West Germany / 110m / BW / Drama, Road Movie
Rudiger Vogler, Yella Rottlander, Lisa Kreuzer, Edda Kochl, Ernest Boehm, Sam Presti, Lois Moran, Didi Petrikat, Hans Hirschmuller, Sibylle Baier
"This bittersweet gem from 1974 delivers an ambling tale of loss and estrangement which rings as true today as it would have more than 30 years ago… The film is full of love/hate relationships, an idea that is physically represented by the prickly bond between Philip (Vogler) and Alice (Rottlander), but who also symbolise Wenders’ own bewilderment (and wide-eyed fascination) with the architecture, advertising, music, photography and inescapable cultural-sprawl of the US." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Lodge Kerrigan, Andrés Di Tella, Isabel Stevens, Jaco Van Dormael, Nick Hasted.
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Rocky

Rocky


1976 / USA / 119m / Col / Drama, Sports Drama
Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Jimmy Gambina, Bill Baldwin, Al Salvani
"Made for little, Rocky made a lot, winning the 1977 Academy Award for Best Picture while earning Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination for the screenplay and spawning five sequels of increasing scope and silliness. The original film has its charms, not least its embrace of boxing-movie clichés as if they were newly minted revelations… But the film’s true distinguishing mark, which might not even require a spoiler alert, is that when Rocky gets to the big fight, he loses it. The pug’s triumph is that he went the distance with the champ. By recognizing that endurance against all odds is its own heroism, Rocky became more than a contender. It made the movie a winner." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Jay Duplass, M. Night Shyamalan, Ringo Lam, Anurag Mehta, Yojira Takita.
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The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums


2001 / USA / 109m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Seymour Cassel, Kumar Pallana
"Royal Tenenbaum (Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Huston), had three children and then they separated. Chas (Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens… Margot (Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player… Virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was subsequently erased by two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster. The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption from Wes Anderson." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Jan Distelmeyer, Laurie Anderson, Atom Burke, Cameron Crowe.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night


1964 / UK / 85m / BW / Rock Musical, Anarchic Comedy
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell, Norman Rossington, Victor Spinetti, John Junkin, Deryck Guyler, Anna Quayle
"Richard Lester's innovations in A Hard Day's Night have become familiar; because the style, the subject and the stars are so suited to one another, the movie hasn't become dated. It's filled with the exhilaration of four musicians who were having fun and creating at the top of their form and knew it… The film is so tightly cut, there's hardly a down moment, but even with so many riches, it's easy to pick the best scene: The concert footage as the Beatles sing "She Loves You.'' This is one of the most sustained orgasmic sequences in the movies." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Chris Columbus, Allan Arkush, Esther Leslie, Norm Wilner, Hal Hartley.
572
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Salesman

Salesman


1969 / USA / 85m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Paul Brennan, Charles McDevitt, James Baker, Raymond Martos, Melbourne I. Feltman, Margaret McCarron, Kennie Turner
"A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses—then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real-life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Heather Hendershot, J.M. Tyree, Mike Maggiore, Bart Weiss, Ethan Coen.
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Hana-Bi

Hana-bi

Fireworks (English title)

1997 / Japan / 103m / Col / Crime Drama, Road Movie
Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima, Tetsu Watanabe, Hakuryu, Yasuei Yakushiji, Taro Itsumi, Kenichi Yajima, Makoto Ashikawa
"Kitano's Venice prize-winner mixes tenderness, violence and droll humour… It's exceptionally assured, imaginative and idiosyncratic: the violence is sudden, brutal and almost all in the editing; the working of Kitano's own delightful paintings into the story is astonishingly resonant; the mise-en-scène as sharp and inventive as in Sonatine… Fans of Melville, Keaton, Hawks and Peckinpah should be especially impressed, but anyone with a modicum of patience, an open mind and a little love in their heart will probably recognise it as a masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Gareth Evans, Alexei Popogrebsky, Nashen Moodley, Jia Zhangke, Thomas Allenbach.
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The French Connection

The French Connection


1971 / USA / 104m / Col / Crime, Action Thriller
Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frederic de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Arlene Farber
"Four decades after its initial release, William Friedkin's Oscar-sweeper The French Connection remains an electrifying achievement, drawing its high-voltage forward momentum from the collision of semi-documentary procedural, with its based-on-real-events verisimilitude, and downbeat rogue-cop revisionism. Shooting in actual locations wherever possible, and availing themselves of the featherweight handheld cameras that enabled the development of the Direct Cinema movement, Friedkin and cinematographer Owen Roizman put the grit into "gritty authenticity." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Alexander Zeldovich, Baltasar Komákur, David Leland, Tibor Bíró, Ringo Lam.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Limite

Limite

Limit (English title)

1931 / Brazil / 114m / BW / Avant-garde/Experimental, Surrealist Film
Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor, Brutus Pedreira, Carmen (1) Santos, Mario Peixoto, Edgar Brasil, Iolanda Bernardes.
"The only film by novelist Mario Peixoto looks like a summation of 1920s silent avant garde techniques that Peixoto absorbed while in Europe, but launches into new dimensions of synthesis that carries the viewer aloft on the feverish velocity of its inspiration. Peixoto practically exhausts the lexicon of silent cinematography with every shot conceivable from the era, but arranges them in a cascading visual pattern of sharp angles, deceptively vast vistas and sumptuous close-ups of worldly surfaces. I can’t think of another film that savors its shots as much as this one, taking each one in long enough that even mundane images ooze with sinister energies." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Neville de Almeida, Álvaro Arroba, Cesar Zamberlan, Eduardo Nunes, Mário Carneiro.
568
556
Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies


1996 / UK / 142m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claire Rushbrook, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth Berrington, Michele Austin, Lee Ross, Lesley Manville, Ron Cook
"Even as Leigh derives gentle comedy from the plight, aspirations and often pathetic attempts at communication of Cynthia (Blethyn) and her tribe, an immense, unforced sympathy is extended to all involved, a generosity of spirit thoroughly in keeping with the performances. Everyone's superb, Blethyn and Spall in particular. Yes, it's long, visually a little static, and rather narrowly concerned with the everyday experiences of one family, but that depth, focus and intensity of concentration result in a film of extraordinary emotional riches. Spellbinding." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ahmed Atef, Anna Smith, Marek Hendrykowski, Patricia Rozema, Tadeusz Sobolewski.
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Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur


1959 / USA / 212m / Col / Religious Epic, Sword-and-Sandal
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Sam Jaffe, Finlay Currie, Cathy O'Donnell, Frank Thring
"Although a bit like a four-hour Sunday school lesson, Ben-Hur is not without its compensations, above all, of course, the chariot race (which was directed not by Wyler but by Andrew Marton, and it shows). The rest is made interesting by the most sexually ambivalent characters sporting togas this side of Satyricon. When not fondling phallic substitutes, Heston and Boyd gaze admiringly into each other's eyes, but when they fall out - well, hell hath no fury like a closet queen scorned." - Scott Meek, Time Out
Selected by Camille Paglia, Dieter Kosslick, Gaston Kaboré, Mikel Olaciregui, Gabriel Carneiro.
566
550
Scorpio Rising

Scorpio Rising


1964 / USA / 29m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Surrealist Film
Bruce Byron, Ernie Allo, Frank Carifi, Steve Crandell, Johnny Dodds, Johnny Sapienza, Bill Dorfman, John Palone, Barry Lubin
"Scorpio Rising is a pop-art collage of found artifacts which submerges itself in the chrome-and-leather, skull-and-swastika iconography of the motorcycle cult that provides its subject… Anger's manipulations of the culturally overloaded imagery of Nazism, sado-masochism, and the occult finally result in a film which refuses to conform to any dominant, edifying reading whatsoever—an almost unparalleled achievement which should earn Scorpio Rising an enduring place in the artistic annals of the 1960s, a decade remembered for the challenges it posed to ruling ideology. - Ed Lowry, Film Reference
Selected by Gaspar Noé, Rebecca Shatwell, Ben Walters, Fernando F. Croce, Haden Guest.
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Die Hard

Die Hard


1988 / USA / 131m / Col / Action, Action Thriller
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton, James Shigeta, Devoreaux White, Hart Bochner
"It piles every known element of the action genre onto the flimsy story of a New York cop who rescues hostages from a Los Angeles office tower on Christmas Eve. Partly an interracial buddy movie, partly the sentimental tale of a ruptured marriage, the film is largely a special-effects carnival full of machine-gun fire, roaring helicopters and an exploding tank. It also has a villain fresh from the Royal Shakespeare Company, a thug from the Bolshoi Ballet and a hero who carries with him the smirks and wisecracks that helped make Moonlighting a television hit. The strange thing is, it works: Die Hard is exceedingly stupid, but escapist fun." - Caryn James, The New York Times
Selected by Aaron Katz, Jaume Collet-Serra, Magnus Martens, Christopher McQuarrie, John Maclean.
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Songs from the Second Floor

Songs from the Second Floor

Sånger från andra våningen (original title)

2000 / Sweden-France-Denmark-Norway-Germany / 98m / Col / Surrealist Film, Black Comedy
Lars Nordh, Stefan Larsson, Hanna Eriksson, Bengt C.W. Carlsson, Torbjorn Fahlstrom, Sten Andersson, Rolando Nunez, Lucio Vucina, Peter Roth, Klas-Gosta Olsson
"Swedish director Roy Andersson presents us with loosely connected scenes from the end of the world, in a series of bizarre tableaux unfolding in weirdly lucid dream-landscapes of vast plains, endless corridors and vertiginous perspective lines - each scene filmed in one long take from a static camera... Andersson has something of Woody Allen and Terry Gilliam, but with strains of anarchy and melancholy that are unique. Here is a film to try the patience of the non-believer, but astonish everyone else. Some might find it a curate's egg of strangeness. But it's one of the Fabergé variety." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Zhao Liang, Mike Leigh, Andrew Kotting, Lone Scherfig, Ruben Östlund.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
563
528
Aparajito

Aparajito


1956 / India / 108m / BW / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Pinaki Sengupta, Smaran Ghosal, Karuna Banerji, Kanu Banerji, Ramani Sen Gupta, Charu Ghosh, Subodh Ganguly, Kali Charan Ray, Santi Gupta, K.S. Pandey
"Satyajit Ray creates a sublime and deeply affecting portrait of the struggle between tradition and progress in Aparajito, the second film of the monumental Apu Trilogy. Embodied through the maturation of Apu at the turn of the century, Ray creates an insightful social commentary on a profoundly changing culture, reflected through Apu's dilemma between traditional and modern education; his decision to leave home in order to further his studies; his part-time job at a printing press." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Moinak Biswas, Riri Riza, Mrinal Sen, Iqbal Masud, Ray Loriga.
562
522
Faust

Faust

Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage (original title)

1926 / Germany / 116m / BW / Fantasy, Tragedy
Emil Jannings, Gosta Ekman, Camilla Horn, Eric Barclay, Hans Brausewetter, William Dieterle, Werner Fuetterer, Yvette Guilbert, Lothar Muthel, Frida Richard
"The great F.W. Murnau directed only one real blockbuster in Germany, just before coming to America to make his masterpiece, Sunrise; extravagant in every sense, Faust is laden with references to Dutch, German, and Italian painting and was rivaled only by Fritz Lang's Metropolis in driving the UFA studio toward bankruptcy. Like Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, this extraordinary piece of artistry and craftsmanship integrates its dazzling special effects so seamlessly that they're indistinguishable from the film's narrative, poetry, and, above all, metaphysics." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Pierre Rissient, Shinji Aoyama, Måns Månsson, Michael Koller, Noel Vera.
561
552
I Vitelloni

I Vitelloni


1953 / Italy / 104m / BW / Drama, Comedy
Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste, Riccardo Fellini, Leonora Ruffo, Lida Baarova, Arlette Sauvage, Jean Brochard, Achille Majeroni
"Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches… An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin MacDonald, Francis Ford Coppola, Margaret Brown, Maria Kuvshinova, Mike Newell.
560
539
The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle


1950 / USA / 112m / BW / Crime Thriller, Film Noir
Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, John McIntire, Marilyn Monroe, Marc Lawrence, Barry Kelley, Anthony Caruso
"An early masterclass in the art of the caper movie, John Huston's 1950 thriller stands up wonderfully well, even if we've got used to far more convoluted scheming by movie robbers in the intervening period. One of The Asphalt Jungle's strengths is that the crims seem about as thick as you suspect they would be in real life: no Cruise or Clooney-style braniac super-athletes here… It all looks fabulous too, a Brechtian ode to the urban wasteland." - Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
Selected by Mike Hodges, Monte Hellman, Alejandro Agresti, Dusan Makavejev, Philip Kaufman.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Deliverance

Deliverance


1972 / USA / 109m / Col / Drama, Adventure Drama
Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Bill McKinney, James Dickey, Herbert "Cowboy"" Coward, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass
"Four Atlanta businessmen decide to prove that the frontier spirit is not dead by spending a canoeing weekend shooting the rapids of a river high in the Appalachians. Terrific boy's own adventure stuff with adult ingredients of graphic mutilation and buggery, but Boorman is never content either to leave it at that or to subscribe to the ecological concerns of James Dickey's novel. Instead, he adds a dark twist of his own by suggesting that concern is too late… Signposted by the extraordinary shot of a corpse, surfaced from the water with one arm grotesquely wrapped round its neck and the other pointing nowhere, it's a haunting, nightmarish vision." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Mike Figgis, David Gordon Green, Chris Chang, Peter Cowie, Robert Rodriguez.
558
555
Boudu Saved from Drowning

Boudu Saved from Drowning

Boudu sauvé des eaux (original title)

1932 / France / 87m / BW / Comedy, Satire
Michel Simon, Charles Granval, Marcelle Hania, Severine Lerczynska, Jean Daste, Max Dalban, Jacques Becker, Jean Gehret, Jane Pierson, Georges St. Saens
"The movie dramatises the old adage about no good deed going unpunished, or perhaps it demonstrates how inscrutable fate may find a way to punish a wrongdoer through his one, atypical, altruistic act. The anarchic Boudu sweeps through this bourgeois home, upsetting and exposing all its complacent arrangements and concealments. There is a startling contrast between the drawing-room comedy of the interior scenes and Renoir's superbly dynamic documentary-style realism in the Paris streets outside: crowded, bustling, cosmopolitan. Almost 80 years on, it still has a superb energy." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Aki Kaurismäki, Hong Sang-soo, Dina Iordanova, Shinji Aoyama, Glenn Kenny.
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Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man


2005 / USA / 103m / Col / Nature, Documentary
Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Warren Queeney, Franc G. Fallico, Willy Fulton, Sam Egli, Marnie Gaede, Marc Gaede, Larry Van Daele, Sven Haakanson
"Tragicomedy is an overworked word. Yet nothing else will do. Werner Herzog, that connoisseur of extreme figures in far-off places, has made an inspired documentary about the gonzo naturalist Timothy Treadwell, who in 2003 ended up as lunch for the bears he lived with in the remote Alaskan wilderness. It is poignant, it is beautiful, and it is absolutely hilarious. Herzog didn't even have much work to do, what's more, because Treadwell - gifted, untrained film-maker that he was - had done almost everything himself, leaving behind hundreds of hours of videotape that he had shot at extreme and indeed fatal risk to himself." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ally Derks, Adirley Queirós, Dana Stevens, Eduardo Escorel, Donna Bowman.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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583
The Devil, Probably

The Devil, Probably

Le Diable probablement (original title)

1977 / France / 95m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Antoine Monnier, Tina Irissari, Henri de Maublanc, Laetitia Carcano, Nicholas Deguy, Regis Hanrion, Geoffrey Gaussen, Roger Honorat, Vincent Cottrel, Laurence Delannoy
"Constructed as a flashback from news reports of a young man’s suspicious suicide, Robert Bresson’s splenetic 1977 drama puts the post-1968 world on trial and judges it unlivable… Bresson’s chilling visions of daily life suggest its hostility to the passions of youth. The film, however, offers a near-parody of the tamped-down spiritual universe of Bresson’s earlier work: these children of the revolution tremble with uncertainty, and their loose gestures and shambling ways conflict with his precise images. Both the world and Bresson’s cinema are in disarray, and the signs of his inner conflict are deeply troubling and tremendously moving." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Selected by Dennis Lim, Gregg Araki, Brad Deane, Drake Stutesman, Filipe Furtado.
555
526
Trainspotting

Trainspotting


1996 / UK / 95m / Col / Comedy Drama, Addiction Drama
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Pauline Lynch, Irvine Welsh, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo
"A shocking, painfully subjective trawl through the Edinburgh heroin culture of the 1980s, Irvine Welsh's cult novel is hardly an obvious choice for the team who made Shallow Grave. Yet the film's a triumph. Audaciously punching up the pitch-black comedy, juggling parallel character strands and juxtaposing image, music and voice-over with a virtuosity worthy of Scorsese on peak form, Trainspotting the movie captures precisely Welsh's insolent, amoral intelligence. Amoral, but not unthinking, and certainly not unfeeling… This may not have the weight of 'Great Art', but it crystallises youthful disaffection with the verve of the best and brightest pop culture. A sensation." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Guido Bonsaver, Claudia Winkleman, Anurag Kashyap, Jon Wright, Michaela Boland.
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Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass


1961 / USA / 124m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Romantic Drama
Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Sandy Dennis, Gary Lockwood, Zohra Lampert, Phyllis Diller, Fred Stewart
"Splendor in the Grass was the first work ever written directly for the screen by famed playwright William Inge, whose plays include Bus Stop, Come Back, Little Sheba and the Pulitzer Prize-winning PicnicSplendor in the Grass is a beautiful and tragic love story that has genuine resonance with its themes of passion, love, heartbreak, hypocrisy and madness. Director Elia Kazan called the last reel of Splendor his personal favorite last reel of all of his films." - Andrea Passafiume, TCM
Selected by Stéphane Delorme, Pedro Almodóvar, Laura Kern, Luke Gibbons, Sheila Schvarzman.
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My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho


1991 / USA / 102m / Col / Drama, Buddy Film
River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Chiara Caselli, Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Tom Troupe, Michael Parker
"River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in Gus Van Sant’s haunting tale of two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and Scott Favor, the wayward son of the mayor of Portland and object of Mike’s desire. Navigating a volatile world of junkies, thieves, and johns, Mike takes Scott on a quest from the grungy streets to the open highways of the Pacific Northwest, in search of an elusive place called home. Visually dazzling and groundbreaking, My Own Private Idaho is a deeply moving look at unrequited love and life at society’s margins." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Cate Shortland, Gunnar Almer, Sophie Mayer, Xavier Dolan, Amy Berg.
552
551
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia


1974 / USA / 112m / Col / Black Comedy, Action Thriller
Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Gig Young, Kris Kristofferson, Emilio Fernandez, Robert Webber, Helmut Dantine, Jorge Russek, Chano Urueta, Don Levy
"For something so bleak, so purposely revolting and unsentimental, there are reservoirs of profound poetry in Alfredo Garcia, the only film that Peckinpah ever considered completely his own… Peckinpah was known for his hard drinking, stubbornness, and eccentricity; indeed, his life would eventually be decimated by the strain brought about by both his constant battles with the studios who funded (and frequently butchered) his work, and by his uncontrollable thirst for alcohol. Yet for one brief moment in 1974, Peckinpah enjoyed complete creative control, and the result was this magnificently depraved piece d'resistance." - Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
Selected by Park Chan-wook, Mark Duguid, Tsui Hark, Shunichi Nagasaki, Hugh Sullivan.
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No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men


2007 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller, Crime Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce
"No Country for Old Men is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists — those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design — it’s pure heaven... Joel and Ethan Coen, who share writing and directing credit here, combine virtuosic dexterity with mischievous high spirits, as if they were playing Franz Liszt’s most treacherous compositions on dueling banjos… In the Coen canon it belongs with Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing and Fargo as a densely woven crime story made more effective by a certain controlled stylistic perversity." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Farai Sevenzo, Milan Pavlovic, Mohamed Al-Daradji, Philip Berk, Andrew Droz Palermo.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

El Laberinto del fauno (original title)

2006 / Spain-Mexico-USA / 120m / Col / Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Legends
Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero, Alex Angulo, Doug Jones, Eusebio Lazaro, Paco Vidal, Federico Luppi, Ariadna Gil, Manolo Solo
"Pan's Labyrinth is a transcendent work of art. Del Toro's gratifying surreal and fantastical instincts now have an unstinting moral eye on the world. Saying a filmmaker has matured suggests that he's forgone what made him so entertaining in the first place. But in evolving with this voluptuously realized film, with its omnipresent dangers, Del Toro has simply refined the deftness of his storytelling. A beautiful film about ugliness, Pan's Labyrinth is still pure del Toro (the insects and slime, for instance, are still here), but he gazes through a grim historical lens." - Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
Selected by Mark Kermode, David Rooney, Anupama Chopra, David S. Goyer, Ron Perlman.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
549
525
Ninotchka

Ninotchka


1939 / USA / 110m / BW / Romantic Comedy, Sophisticated Comedy
Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Sig Ruman, Felix Bressart, Bela Lugosi, Alexander Granach, Gregory Gaye, Richard Carle, Edwin Maxwell
"Directed by Ernst Lubitsch and co-scripted by Billy Wilder, this enduring delight stands at the crossroads of American screen comedy. Studded with instances of the 'Lubitsch Touch' and imbued with the screwball spirit, it contains significant traces of the acerbic satire that would become Wilder's trademark in the less innocent postwar world… Lubitsch managed to relax Garbo to the extent that she was not only very funny, but also more feminine than in any role bar Camille and it's the fact that she comes across as a woman and not an icon that makes this performance so memorable… Iridescent and teaming with vitality, Garbo glows in her penultimate film " - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Fernando Trueba, Carrie Rickey, Cameron Crowe, Marc Cerisuelo, Jean Dutourd.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
548
515
Cat People

Cat People


1942 / USA / 73m / BW / Horror, Supernatural Thriller
Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Elizabeth Russell, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Dunne, Henrietta Burnside, Alec Craig
"First in the wondrous series of B movies in which Val Lewton elaborated his principle of horrors imagined rather than seen, with a superbly judged performance from Simon as the young wife ambivalently haunted by sexual frigidity and by a fear that she is metamorphosing into a panther. With its chilling set pieces directed to perfection by Tourneur, it knocks Paul Schrader's remake for six, not least because of the care subtly taken to imbue its cat people (Simon, Russell) with feline mannerisms." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Sara Driver, Violeta Kovacsics, Jacques Lourcelles, Ivan Cardoso, Ricardo Bedoya.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
547
511
Our Hospitality

Our Hospitality

1923 / USA / 74m / BW / Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Roberts, Ralph Bushman, Craig Ward, Monte Collins, Joe Keaton, Leonard Chapman, Edward Coxen, Jean Dumas
"The main reason why Keaton is funnier and infinitely more 'modern' than Chaplin is that his movies are written, directed and shot as movies, never as excuses for comedy and/or pathos. This was his second feature and first full-length masterpiece, a story about the innocent inheritor of an old feud between Southern families, who carelessly starts dating the girl from the other family. The period setting (1831, the early days of rail travel) is made integral to the action, and all the laughs spring directly from the narrative and the characters. Buster's climactic rescue of his sweetheart from a waterfall is one of his most daringly acrobatic (and most celebrated) gags." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by David Robinson, Kevin Jackson, Geoff Andrew, Jim Emerson, Geoff Brown,.
546
532
Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock


1975 / Australia / 110m / Col / Mystery, Period Film
Rachel Roberts, Dominic Guard, Helen Morse, Jacki Weaver, Vivean Gray, Kirsty Child, Margaret Nelson, Anne Lambert, Karen Robson, Jane Vallis
"This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock is set at the turn of the twentieth century and concerns a small group of students from an all- female college who vanish, along with a chaperone, while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Darrell Roodt, Niki Caro, Emma Wilson, Miroslaw Przylipiak, Vlado Skafar.
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That Obscure Object of Desire

That Obscure Object of Desire

Cet obscur objet du désir (original title)

1977 / France-Spain / 103m / Col / Black Comedy, Satire
Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina, Julien Bertheau, Milena Vukotic, Andre Weber, Pierre Pieral, Maria Asquerino, Ellen Bahl, Valerie Blanco
"Luis Buñuel’s final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle the director’s lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. Buñuel regular Fernando Rey plays Mathieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita. With subversive flare, Buñuel uses two different actresses in the lead—Carole Bouquet, a sophisticated French beauty, and Angela Molina, a Spanish coquette. Drawn from Pierre Louÿs’s 1898 novel, La Femme et le Pantin, That Obscure Object of Desire is a dizzying game of sexual politics punctuated by a terror that harkens back to Buñuel’s brilliant surrealistic beginnings." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Figgis, Kong Rithdee, Jamie Graham, Long Tin Shum, Cui Zi'en.
544
538
Laura

Laura


1944 / USA / 85m / BW / Mystery, Film Noir
Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson, Dorothy Adams, James Flavin, Clyde Fillmore, Ralph Dunn, Grant Mitchell
"It's basically a B-feature whodunnit posing the question: who murdered the beautiful New York advertising executive Laura Hunt? But the film is raised to classic status by the witty script, David Raksin's score, Joseph LaShelle's subtle monochrome photography, and the way Preminger is more concerned with exploring the perversity of its generally dislikable characters (including the homicide detective) than in creating suspense. Preminger made darker, more characteristically noir films than this, but his only movie that's as good, or perhaps better, is Anatomy of a Murder." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by David Meeker, Senem Aytaç, Dan Georgakas, John Baldessari, Raquel Abad.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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626
Amelie

Amélie

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (original title)

2001 / France-Germany / 122m / Col / Romance, Comedy
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin, Jamel Debbouze, Claire Maurier, Clotilde Mollet, Yolande Moreau, Flora Guiet
"Basically a faux new-wave romp, Amélie achieves a high-tech remix of the playful narrative digressions in François Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player and the prolix sight gags of Louis Malle's Zazie Dans le Metro. Jeunet loves nothing better than a pell-mell, wide-angle track into an open screaming mouth. Although there's a surfeit of business—thunderous cuts, convulsive white-outs, split screens, interpolated newsreels, X-ray shots, annotated frames, exaggerated sound effects—much of it is funny. Indeed, the manic pace serves to mitigate the movie's cloying sentimentality." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Gareth Evans, Jean-Marc Vallée, Rachel Perkins, Hind Mezaina, Richard Woolley.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Colossal Youth

Colossal Youth

Juventude Em Marcha (original title)

2006 / Portugal-France-Switzerland / 155m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte, Gustavo Sumpta, Cila Cardoso, Isabel Cardoso, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Antonio Semedo, Paulo Nunes, Jose Maria Pina
"Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in a low-cost housing complex in Lisbon, who has been abandoned by his wife and spends his days visiting his neighbors, whom he considers his “children.” What results is a form of ghost story, a tale of derelict, dispossessed people living in the past and present at the same time, filmed by Costa with empathy and startling radiance." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Julian Graffy, Cristina Fernandes, Andy Rector, Jesús Piquero, Gonçalo Tocha.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
541
502
Loves of a Blonde

Loves of a Blonde

Lásky jedné plavovlásky (original title); A Blonde in Love (alternative title)

1965 / Czechoslovakia / 88m / BW / Comedy Drama, Satire
Hana Brejchova, Vladimir Pucholt, Vladimir Mensik, Antonin Blazejovsky, Milada Jezkova, Josef Sebanek, Ivan Kheil, Jiri Hruby, Marie Salacova, Jana Novakova
"With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love—that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her longings. A tender and humorous look at Andula’s journey, from the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Milos Forman the first of his Academy Award nominations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Stratton, Ken Loach, Jamie Thraves, Martin Kanuch, Pawel Pawlikowski.
540
519
Providence

Providence


1977 / France-Switzerland / 110m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
John Gielgud, Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn, David Warner, Elaine Stritch, Cyril Luckham, Denis Lawson, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Milo Sperber, Samson Fainsilber
"Alain Resnais' first feature in English focuses on the imagination, dreams, and memories of an aging British novelist (Gielgud) over one night as he mentally composes and recomposes his last book… Like all of Resnais' best work, this is shot through with purposeful and lyrical enigmas, but the family profile that emerges is warm and penetrating… The superb performances and Miklos Rozsa's sumptuous Hollywood-style score give the film's conceit a moving monumentality and depth, and Resnais' insights into the fiction-making process are mesmerizing and beautiful." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michel Ciment, Gunnar Almer, José Carlos Avellar, Mingchuam Huang, Tacita Dean.
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Being There

Being There


1979 / USA / 130m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart, Ruth Attaway, David Clennon, Fran Brill, Denise DuBarry
"Most movies don't benefit from an inability to make up their minds, but Being There glides on its own contradictions. Closing out a decade of great, too-often-overlooked work, Hal Ashby directed this 1979 feature with a straight face that could hide a wicked grin, a beatific glow, or both. It ends with what looks like a miracle, but Ashby's ability to make the peculiar story as moving as it is opaque is kind of miraculous in itself. He had help, of course. In his next-to-last role, Peter Sellers plays Chance, a sheltered Washington D.C. gardener who's known only one home since childhood. But when his benefactor dies, he's forced to leave." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by M. Night Shyamalan, Judd Apatow, Gary Tarn, Matthew Vaughn, Liev Schreiber.
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Inland Empire

Inland Empire


2006 / USA-France-Poland / 180m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Mystery
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Peter J. Lucas, Justin Theroux, Terryn Westbrook, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd
"David Lynch's first digital video is his best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead. Shot piecemeal over at least a year and without a script, this 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch's Mulholland Drive as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot… The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Cristina Álvarez López, Ángel Quintana Morraja, Luis Miranda, Martha P. Nochimson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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Down by Law

Down by Law


1986 / USA / 107m / BW / Comedy, Buddy Film
Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Ellen Barkin, Billie Neal, Rockets Redglare, Verne Barneris, Timothea, L.C. Drane
"Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men—an unemployed disc jockey (Waits), a small-time pimp (Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Benigni)—in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Zhao Liang, Yojiro Takita, Andreas Dresen, Baltasar Komákur, Warwick Thornton.
536
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Farewell, My Concubine

Farewell, My Concubine

Ba wang bie ji (original title)

1993 / Hong Kong-China / 155m / Col / Drama, Romantic Epic
Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi, Gong Li, Lu Qi, Ying Da, Ge You, Li Chun, Lei Han, Tong Di, Ma Mingwei
"Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine, the Chinese epic that has proved so troublesome to the Communist authorities at home, is one of those very rare film spectacles that deliver just about everything the ads are likely to promise: action, history, exotic color, multitudes in confrontation, broad overviews of social and political landscapes, all intimately rooted in a love story of vicious intensity, the kind that plays best when it goes badly, which is most of the time." - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Selected by Pam Cook, Ahmed Atef, Fu Hongxing, Xiaoning Lu, David Robinson.
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Placido

Plácido


1961 / Spain / 85m / BW / Comedy
Cassen, Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, Elvira Quintilla, Manuel Alexandre, Maria Bustos, Maria Frances, Mari Carmen Yepes, Jesus Puche, Roberto Llamas, Amelia de la Torre
"Luis García Berlanga’s Plácido, which García Berlanga co-wrote mostly with Rafael Azcona, is a dark, dazzling, extremely funny satire of the equivocal nature of charity and the hypocrisy of individual and institutional professions of compassion and concern. The frenetic pace of the dialogue, coupled with the intricate complexity of the people-crowded black-and-white mise-en-scène, besides suggesting familiarity with the satirical cinema of Preston Sturges, relates to the desperation of the poor as they struggle to survive." - Dennis Grunes
Selected by Alejandro Amenábar, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, José Luis Garci, José Luis Rebordinos, Diego Galán.
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La Terra trema

La Terra trema

La Terra trema: Episodio del mare (original title); The Earth Trembles (alternative title)

1948 / Italy / 160m / BW / Drama, Docudrama
Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Maria Micale, Sebastiano Valastro, Antonino Micale, Nelluccia Giammona, Agnes Giammona, Salvatore Vicari, Giuseppe Vicari, Giuseppe Arcidiacono
"Visconti's second feature (five years after Ossessione in 1942) was an improvised drama produced by the Communist Party, filmed with and among Sicilian fishermen in the village of Aci-Trezza. An overwhelmingly stark chronicle of a family which strives but fails to break out of the poverty trap, La Terra Trema‚ stands as a masterpiece of neo-realism, a social conscience cinema of proletarian ways and means. Yet, despite this, it's no less 'operatic' than the director's later decadent melodramas: it surges with great tides of emotion. The film is distinguished by its vivid camerawork, at once poetic and 'documentary'." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by José María de Orbe, Ulrich Gregor, Bryan Chang, Augusto M. Seabra, Ramin Bahrani.
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A Separation

A Separation

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (original title)

2011 / Iran / 123m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini, Sarina Farhadi, Merila Zare'i, Ali-Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Kimia Hosseini, Shirin Yazdanbaksh
"With rare subtlety and transforming art, the remarkable writer-director Asghar Farhadi takes us into the emotional heart of modern Iran. Nader (Moaadi) and Simin (Hatami) are a middle-class couple seeking a divorce. She wants to move abroad with their 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi, the director's child). He wants Termeh to stay… As the tension builds in court, Farhadi reveals his country in microcosm, divided by gender, class, religion and invisible borders of destruction. The actors do wonders, uncovering rich depths in their characters. A Separation is a landmark film. No way will you be able to get it out of your head." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Clare Stewart, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Alby James, Keith Shiri, Matthias Lerf.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Servant

The Servant


1963 / UK / 115m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Wendy Craig, Sarah Miles, Catherine Lacey, Richard Vernon, Ann Firbank, Patrick Magee, Harold Pinter, Doris Knox
"Given Losey's abiding interest in relations of class and power it is hardly surprising that he should have been drawn to this story of a servant, Barrett, who is taken on by an effete young Englishman, Tony, and gradually takes over his master's life… Pinter's spare, elliptical dialogue, with its pauses and silences, is the perfect vehicle for expressing the unspoken dynamics of human relationships and for establishing a pervasive sense of menace and unease. More important still, however, is Losey's masterly direction, elaborate yet tightly controlled and never merely decorative." - Julian Petley, Film Reference
Selected by Claire Monk, Andris Feldmanis, Guy Désiré Yameogo, Gore Verbinski, Nanouk Leopold.
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Bigger Than Life

Bigger Than Life


1956 / USA / 95m / Col / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon, Roland Winters, Christopher Olsen, Rusty Lane, Rachel Stephens, Kipp Hamilton, Betty Caulfield
"Though ignored at the time of its release, Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life is now recognized as one of the great American films of the 1950s. When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father (James Mason, in one of his most indelible roles) is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug… This Eisenhower-era throat-grabber, shot in expressive CinemaScope, is an excoriating take on the nuclear family. That it came in the day of Father Knows Best makes it all the more shocking—and wildly entertaining." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Quim Casas, Dennis Lim, Chris Fujiwara, Violeta Kovacsics, Joe Lawlor.
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Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago


1965 / USA / 197m / Col / Romantic Epic, Period Film
Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Tom Courtenay, Alec Guinness, Siobhan McKenna, Rod Steiger, Ralph Richardson, Rita Tushingham, Adrienne Corri
"As a love story played out against the background of a sweeping march of historical events, Doctor Zhivago is comparable to Gone With the Wind. Adapted from a complex novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago follows the tribulations of a Moscow doctor (Sharif) exiled by the Bolsheviks for writing poetry and separated from his true love (Christie). Director David Lean does for snow what he did for sand in his previous epic, Lawrence of Arabia… Overly long at three-hours-plus, it's chock full of terrific images and gorgeous landscapes, to which the story at times becomes secondary." - Michael Betzold, All Movie
Selected by Irina-Margareta Nistor, Youngmee Hwang, Floyd Mutrux, Mark L. Lester, Raymond Lee.
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Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause


1955 / USA / 111m / Col / Teen Movie, Family Drama
James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Ann Doran, Corey Allen, Edward Platt, Dennis Hopper, Nick Adams, William Hopper
"Profoundly romantic and lacerating in its despair, Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause, a self-contained portrait of three isolated teenagers, is James Dean's best film and best performance (it ranks high in Ray's work as well)… Ray emphasizes the reds and blues in his widescreen frame for an unforgettably neurotic effect, and he showcases savant-like Dean as gently as Jim Stark takes care of Plato (Mineo). Ray seems to understand the self-dramatizations and exaggerated melancholy of adolescence, but he portrays these qualities with deep affection, respect and insight." - Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine
Selected by Robert De Niro, Dennis Hopper, Erik Syngle, Francisco D'Intino, Susana Uchôa Itiberê.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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East of Eden

East of Eden


1955 / USA / 115m / Col / Family Drama, Rural Drama
James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Richard Davalos, Burl Ives, Jo Van Fleet, Albert Dekker, Lois Smith, Harold Gordon, Timothy Carey
"It was Kazan's first color film and his first CinemaScope production. He handles both magnificently. He shoots in longer takes, which gives the film the slower pace of an older age and draws the eye to Dean's restlessness and nervous spontaneity, which stands out against the calm and control of the rest of cast. "His body was much more expressive, actually, in free movement, than Brando's it had so much tension to it," observed Kazan. "Dean had a very vivid body; and I did play a lot with it in long shots." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Krzysztof Zanussi, Robert De Niro, Bruno Barreto, Gulbara Tolomushova, Lone Scherfig.
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The Devils

The Devils


1971 / UK / 109m / Col / Historical Film, Religious Drama
Oliver Reed, Vanessa Redgrave, Dudley Sutton, Max Adrian, Gemma Jones, Murray Melvin, Georgina Hale, Michael Gothard, Graham Armitage, Kenneth Colley
"Considered by many to be Ken Russell's best film (and by others to be simply unwatchable), The Devils is an undeniably powerful and unforgettable cinematic experience. Rarely has so much anger and outrage been poured into a film (or directed at a film by its detractors) -- and rarely has a film offered so much to surely offend and shock so many... What is surprising is how effective the film is; while one may be repulsed by it or disagree with its sometimes simplistic political views, it's still a film that rushes over and overwhelms the viewer, taking him or her prisoner and refusing to let go." - Craig Butler, All Movie
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Mark Kermode, Tim Lucas, Ben Wheatley, Billy Chainsaw.
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In Vanda's Room

In Vanda's Room

No Quarto da Vanda (original title)

2000 / Portugal-Germany-Switzerland-Italy / 170m / Col / Drama
Lena Duarte, Vanda Duarte, Zita Duarte, Pedro Lanban, Antonio Moreno, Paulo Nunes, Fernando Paixao
"For the extraordinarily beautiful second film in his Fontainhas trilogy, Pedro Costa jettisoned his earlier films’ larger crews to burrow even deeper into the Lisbon ghetto and the lives of its desperate inhabitants. With the intimate feel of a documentary and the texture of a Vermeer painting, In Vanda’s Room takes an unflinching, fragmentary look at a handful of self-destructive, marginalized people, but is centered around the heroin-addicted Vanda Duarte… This was Costa’s first use of digital video, and the evocative images he created remain some of the medium’s most astonishing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Wang Bing, Michelangelo Frammartino, Manuel Asín, Eulàlia Iglesias Huix, Javier Packer-Comyn.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Wedding March

The Wedding March


1928 / USA / 113m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray, Matthew Betz, ZaSu Pitts, George Fawcett, Maude George, George Nichols, Dale Fuller, Hughie Mack, Cesare Gravina
"Like Foolish Wives, Greed and Queen Kelly, The Wedding March survives as a mutilated masterpiece, even this first part having been cut from 14 reels to ll. Charting the ill-starred romance between a Viennese prince and a lowly commoner, the film would perhaps appear to be its cynical creator's most romantic work, were it not for the marvellously detailed portrait of the corruption of society in general, rich and poor. Nevertheless, it is the love scenes, played beneath shimmering apple blossoms in lyrical soft focus, that stick in the memory, ironically turning what is now the film's ending - the frustration of that love - into one of the director's most bitterly pessimistic scenes." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Jean Narboni, Bernard Eisenschitz, Peter von Bagh, Stefan Grissemann, Richard Koszarski.
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The Damned

The Damned

La Caduta degli dei (original title)

1969 / Italy-West Germany / 155m / Col / Political Drama, Family Drama
Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger, Renaud Verley, Umberto Orsini, Reinhard Kolldehoff, Albrecht Schoenhals, Florinda Bolkan, Charlotte Rampling
"Like so many of Visconti's films, The Damned is the story of the decline and decomposition of a family, and as in Senso and The Leopard in particular, the fortunes of individuals are linked to wider developments at a climactic moment of history… In short, The Damned , without being one of Visconti's finest films, is still a remarkable work, but it is one which, for its own sake, needs to be rescued from some of the more inflated claims—political, psycho-sexual, and mythological—which have sometimes been made for it, albeit with the best of intentions." - Julian Petley, Film Reference
Selected by Andrei Plakhov, Andriy Khalpakhchi, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, Czeslaw Dondzillo, Patrick Duynslaegher.
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Alphaville

Alphaville

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (original title)

1965 / France / 95m / BW / Psychological Sci-Fi, Tech Noir
Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vernon, Akim Tamiroff, Laszlo Szabo, Jean-Louis Comolli, Michel Delahaye, Jean-Andre Fieschi, Christa Lang, Jean-Pierre Leaud
"Alphaville is science fiction without special effects. Godard couldn’t afford them in 1965 or ever, but he probably wouldn’t have wanted them even if he’d had unlimited financing. His whole theme, imagination versus logic, is consistent with his deployment of Paris as it was in the ’60s—or at least, those portions of Paris which struck Godard as architectural nightmares of impersonality… You don’t have to be French to enjoy Alphaville. But you have to love movies with high-minded seriousness." - Andrew Sarris, The Criterion Collection
Selected by John McNaughton, Lisandro Alonso, Peter Whitehead, Bruce LaBruce, Ken Hollings.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial Intelligence


2001 / USA / 145m / Col / Science Fiction, Psychological Drama
Haley Joel Osment, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Jude Law, Jake Thomas, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt, Ken Leung, Theo Greenly, Ashley Scott
"Steven Spielberg's film, a project he inherited from Stanley Kubrick, to whom it is dedicated, is a work of brilliant artifice and profound intelligence...The movie's three distinct sections reveal an unsettlingly plausible vision of the future, and explore a rich, complex set of emotions and ideas. Mr. Spielberg accomplishes the improbable feat of melding Kubrick's chilly, analytical style with his own warmer, needier sensibility, and the result is an exquisitely layered, complex movie — the riskiest, most ambiguous, most intellectually challenging fairy tale the director has made to date." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Joseph McBride, Armond White, Gabriel Carneiro, Tom Charity, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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The Rise to Power of Louis XIV

The Rise to Power of Louis XIV

La Prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (original title); The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (alternative title)

1966 / France / 100m / Col / Historical Film, Period Film
Jean-Marie Patte, Raymond Jourdan, Silvagni, Katharina Renn, Dominique Vincent, Pierre Barrat, Fernand Fabre, Francoise Ponty, Joelle Laugeois, Maurice Barrier
"Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama. The death of chief minister Cardinal Mazarin, the construction of the palace at Versailles, the extravagant meals of the royal court: all are recounted with the same meticulous quotidian detail that Rossellini brought to his contemporary portraits of postwar Italy. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV dares to place a larger-than-life figure at the level of mere mortal." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by James Quandt, Daniel V. Villamediana, David Forgacs, Iain Sinclair, Juan Villegas.
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The Silence

The Silence

Tystnaden (original title)

1963 / Sweden / 96m / BW / Psychological Drama, Family Drama
Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Jorgen Lindstrom, Birger Malmsten, Hakan Jahnberg
"Two sisters—the sickly, intellectual Ester (Thulin) and the sensual, pragmatic Anna (Lindblom)—travel by train with Anna’s young son Johan (Lindstrom) to a foreign country seemingly on the brink of war. Attempting to cope with their alien surroundings, the sisters resort to their personal vices while vying for Johan’s affection, and in so doing sabotage any hope for a future together. Regarded as one of the most sexually provocative films of its day, Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence offers a brilliant, disturbing vision of emotional isolation in a suffocating spiritual void." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ulrich Seidl, Götz Spielmann, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, José Luis Rebordinos, Lenny Abrahamson.
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Hannah and Her Sisters

Hannah and Her Sisters


1986 / USA / 106m / Col / Comedy Drama, Ensemble Film
Woody Allen, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Lloyd Nolan, Maureen O'Sullivan, Daniel Stern, Max von Sydow, Dianne Wiest
"From 1986, when Woody Allen's strike rate was more consistent, this triple Oscar-winner is one of his best. Mia Farrow plays the title role, an acclaimed actress with a seemingly idyllic family life. But husband Michael Caine has the hots for youngest sister Barbara Hershey, while middle sister Dianne Wiest is a recovering drug addict pin-balling from one ill-advised career choice to another. Allen is Hannah’s ex-husband, as neurotic and nebbish as ever. Around these characters the film weaves a rich Chekhovian mix, full of wry insights into the fragility of human emotions." - Philip Kemp, Total Film
Selected by Wes Anderson, Briony Hanson, Aaron Katz, Alejandro Agresti, Guy Lodge.
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Tale of Tales

Tale of Tales

Skazka skazok (original title)

1979 / USSR / 29m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Animation
Aleksandr Kalyagin
"It’s as if Norshteyn sat with these images all his life, drawing them with such lucidity and palpable depth of feeling, that they make even the untold hours of ingenuity and laborious craft behind Pixar films feel relatively disposable. It summons a concept of the fermented image: a vision that has stayed with a person for as long as they’ve been breathing, and perhaps beyond that, like the wolf that lurks throughout the film, a folkloric figure as old as Russian blood. It’s a vision that nurtures, like the suckling breast that satiates the infant who sees the wolf just as its eyes pull into sleep." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Peter Hames, Pietro Marcello, Alexei Popogrebsky, Carolina López Caballero, Clare Kitson.
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Bartin Fink

Barton Fink


1991 / USA / 117m / Col / Comedy Drama, Black Comedy
John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Tony Shalhoub, Jon Polito, Steve Buscemi, David Warrilow, Richard Portnow
"What Raising Arizona was to baby lust, Barton Fink is to writer's block -- a rapturously funny, strangely bittersweet, moderately horrifying and, yes, truly apt description of the condition and its symptoms… Though it defies genre, it seems to work best as a tart self-portrait, a screwball film noir that expresses the Coens' own alienation from Hollywood. A cineaste's landmark on a par with Blue Velvet, this is an experience to savor over and over." - Rita Kempley, Washington Post
Selected by David O. Mahony, Mehmet Açar, Roberta Ciabarra, Van Papadopoulos, Warwick Thornton.
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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (original title)

1972 / West Germany / 124m / Col / Drama, Melodrama
Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Katrin Schaake, Eva Mattes, Gisela Fackeldey
"Adapted from Fassbinder's own play, the film hardly hides its theatrical origins, turning them instead to its advantage. Rather than camouflage the proscenium, Petra makes it a prison, a gilded cage of suffocating aestheticism… Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (who went on, of course, to a long career collaborating with Martin Scorsese) composes every frame within an inch of its life, trapping the figures with their own beauty… An incredible confluence of human insight and artistic expression, Petra is Fassbinder at his most over-the-top, but also his most exacting." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Nicolas Winding Refn, Nick Pinkerton, Richard Woolley, Tim Highsted, Michael Sicinski.
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Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid


1973 / USA / 122m / Col / Revisionist Western, Outlaw (Gunfighter) Film
James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado, Chill Wills, Slim Pickens, Jason Robards, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew
"Peckinpah brings the film a deep-dish sense of atmosphere and arid beauty, glorifying in the committed individualism of Billy the Kid while mourning how the passage of time made his attitude seem outdated. It's also worth noting that the beguiling mood Peckinpah weaves here is aided considerably by John Coquillion's lush photography and Bob Dylan's moody song score. The end result is a mythic, personalized Western that could have only been created by the one and only Sam Peckinpah. Thus, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is a must for his fans and anyone interested in a good revisionist take on the Old West." - Donald Guarisco, All Movie
Selected by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Nick Roddick, Constantin Popescu, Ian Penman, Jean-Pierre Garcia.
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Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump


1994 / USA / 142m / Col / Comedy Drama, Americana
Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field, Mykelti Williamson, Rebecca Williams, Michael Humphreys, Harold Herthum, George Kelly, Bob Penny
"Forrest Gump is a movie heart-breaker of oddball wit and startling grace… Taking a cue from Zelig, director Robert Zemeckis places Forrest (Hanks) in a vivid historical context — he talks with JFK, LBJ and Nixon, among other luminaries. The effects dazzle, though never at the expense of the story… Zemeckis doesn't fall into the trap of using Forrest as an ad for arrested development. He knows the limits of a holy fool who can't understand the hypocrisy of postwar America that this picaresque epic so powerfully reveals. The peace-love pretensions of the '60s are skewered as neatly as the greed decades that follow." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Frank Marshall, Jan Svěrák, José Padilha, Jurgis Krasons, Hubert Cornfield.
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The Big Heat

The Big Heat


1953 / USA / 90m / BW / Crime, Film Noir
Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin, Carolyn Jones, Jeanette Nolan, Peter Whitney, Willis Bouchey, Robert Burton
"Lang strips down William P. McGivern's novel to essentials, giving the story a narrative drive as efficient and powerful as a handgun. The dialogue is functional. Every shot is composed with economy and exactitude, no act gratuitous. The most celebrated scene, where Marvin's psychopathic gangster mutilates his moll Grahame's face with scalding coffee, is remarkable in that you never see him do it; the contract killings are also sex murders, but again unseen." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Jean Narboni, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, José Luis Borau, José Luis Rebordinos, Lloyd Kaufman.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Frankenstein

Frankenstein


1931 / USA / 70m / BW / Horror, Monster Film
Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Frederick Kerr, Lionel Belmore, Michael Mark, Marilyn Harris
"A stark, solid, impressively stylish film, overshadowed (a little unfairly) by the later explosion of Whale's wit in the delirious Bride of Frankenstein. Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candour to chill savagery is mirrored only through his limpid eyes. The film's great imaginative coup is to show the monster 'growing up' in all too human terms… The film is unique in Whale's work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la Bête." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Hirokazu Koreeda, Guillermo Del Toro, Roger Corman, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Federico Fellini.
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Point Blank

Point Blank


1967 / USA / 92m / Col / Crime, Thriller
Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O'Connor, Lloyd Bochner, Michael Strong, John Vernon, Sharon Acker, James B. Sikking, Sandra Warner
"Point Blank has gradually become regarded as one of the seminal films of late 1960s American cinema. It was made at the peak of Lee Marvin’s booming stardom, and is the first of British director John Boorman’s films to survey his common preoccupation with a character (or often set of characters) let loose in an environment – modern or primeval – they can barely comprehend and plainly don’t belong to. It is, in the best sense of the term, a haunted, dream-like film that draws upon the spatial and temporal experiments of modernist European art cinema, most particularly the work of Alain Resnais." - Adrian Danks, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Park Chan-wook, Andrew Haigh, Geoff Dyer, Robert Haller, Neil Young.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
510
496
Miracle in Milan

Miracle in Milan

Miracolo a Milano (original title)

1951 / Italy / 95m / BW / Fantasy Comedy, Satire
Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa, Emma Gramatica, Guglielmo Barnabo, Brunello Bovo, Anna Carena, Alba Arnova, Flora Cambi, Virgilio Riento, Arturo Bragaglia
"Miracolo a Milano was greeted with sharp denunciation from critics on the Italian right, all of whom accused De Sica of Communist leanings. It was much more wholeheartedly received in the United States… It is a transitional film in De Sica's career, for with it he moved out of the mainstream of neorealism. It remains a charming salute to the hope and perseverance of the common man, enhanced by the consummate cinematography of G.R. Aldo, a melodious score by Alessandro Cicognini and the wholly believable and unprepossessing acting of a cast made up of professional and non-professional actors." - Ronald Bowers, Film Reference
Selected by Les Blank, Laurie Anderson, Marco Ettore Zucchi, Martin Kanuch, Milos Forman.
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Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams


1994 / USA / 170m / Col / Sports, Documentary
William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates, Curtis Gates, Sheila Agee, Arthur 'Bo' Agee, Earl Smith, Gene Pingatore, Dennis Doyle, Isiah Thomas
"The dream of inner-city black kids to make it in the NBA has become such a familiar motif in movies that it's almost a cliche. But Hoop Dreams is a documentary that breathes new life into the subject by showing the everyday reality of that dream. Hoop Dreams is a massive work that traces five years in the lives of two young men, William Gates and Arthur Agee, possible NBA prospects, who start off as 14-year-olds playing basketball in a school yard. Though the movie clocks in at just under three hours, it is -- aside from an occasional slow spot -- fascinating and exciting." - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Ally Derks, Tim Grierson, Calum Marsh, Gabriel Shanks, Spike Lee.
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flowersofshanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

Hai shang hua (original title)

1998 / Taiwan / 130m / Col / Romantic Drama, Period Film
Shuan Fang, Michiko Hada, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Jack Kao, Carina Lau, Tony Leung, Rebecca Pan, Michele Reis, Vicky Wei
"The world of Flowers of Shanghai, Hou Hsiao-hsien's rapturously claustrophobic, hypnotic, and soporific new movie, might be hell; there is no outside, no night or day, and the people are all witty, well-dressed, and awful. It's like 120 Days of Sodom without the sodomy, a Merchant Ivory film as conceived by Samuel Beckett… With Shanghai, his first genuine period picture, Hou has refined realism into the ultimate artifice, has demonstrated that the elusive bloom of love that persists in all his bleak melodramas is inevitably crushed by our elaborate means of possessing it." - Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
Selected by John Powers, Manohla Dargis, Florence Almozini, Justin Chang, Nathan Lee.
507
463
Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

Tini zabutykh predkiv (original title)

1964 / USSR / 97m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Ivan Mikolajchuk, Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva, Spartak Bagashvili, Nikolai Grinko, Leonid Yengibarov, Nina Alisova, Aleksandr Gaj, Neonila Gnepovskaya, A. Raydanov
"Sergei Paradjanov's masterpiece won a raft of awards at international film festivals. Yet it was scarcely seen in his homeland, as much through studio hostility as official disapproval… However, Paradjanov's sole purpose was to challenge conventional methods of screen storytelling and redefine the audience's relationship to the moving image. Thus, he deconstructed the very processes of narration and representation, so that every frame confounded the viewer's expectation and forced them to reappraise both the action itself and their approach to spectatorship… Pure genius." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Peter Strickland, Amit Dutta, Andriy Khalpakhchi, Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, Masoud Amralla Al Ali.
506 Up Arrow
514
Casino

Casino


1995 / USA / 182m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak, L.Q. Jones, Dick Smothers, Frank Vincent
"In fascinating detail and with dazzling finesse, Casino lays out how the mob controlled and ultimately lost Las Vegas. Martin Scorsese's intimate epic about money, sex and brute force is a grandly conceived study of what happens to goodfellas from the mean streets when they outstrip their wildest dreams and achieve the pinnacle of wealth and power. An extraordinary piece of filmmaking, the picture is rough and unflinching in ways that won't be to all tastes and, from a commercial point of view, it is certainly open to criticism for its great length and unsavory violence." - Todd McCarthy, Variety
Selected by Ben Wheatley, Ian Christie, Dario Oliveira, Marten Blomkvist, Mikel Olaciregui.
505
504
Wagon Master

Wagon Master

Wagonmaster (alternative spelling)

1950 / USA / 86m / BW / Western, Traditional Western
Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Alan Mowbray, Jane Darwell, Russell Simpson, James Arness, Ruth Clifford
"The film that John Ford most often cited as his personal favorite among his westerns, Wagon Master stars Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. as two drifters assigned to lead a Mormon train to the Utah frontier. Ford treats one of his central themes—the birth of a community—through a sweeping visual metaphor of movement. Seldom has the western landscape seemed such a tangible emblem of hope and freedom. A masterpiece beyond question—but a masterpiece that never degenerates into pomposity or self-consciousness. It's American filmmaking at its finest and most eloquent." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Joseph McBride, Gilberto Perez, Whit Stillman, Santos Zunzunegui, Michael Baute.
504 Up Arrow
520
The Phantom of Liberty

The Phantom of Liberty

Le Fantôme de la liberté (original title)

1974 / France / 104m / Col / Satire, Black Comedy
Bernard Verley, Jean-Claude Brialy, Monica Vitti, Milena Vukotic, Michel Lonsdale, Michel Piccoli, Jean Rochefort, Claude Pieplu, Julien Bertheau, Adriana Asti
"Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem The Phantom of Liberty. Featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses, this perverse, playfully absurd comedy of non sequiturs deftly compiles many of the themes that preoccupied Buñuel throughout his career—from the hypocrisy of conventional morality to the arbitrariness of social arrangements." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michel Gondry, Li Yang, Ben Wheatley, Anton Dolin, Heinz Emigholz.
503
488
Steamboat Bill Jr.

Steamboat Bill, Jr.


1928 / USA / 71m / BW / Adventure Comedy, Slapstick
Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron, Tom McGuire, Tom Lewis, Joe Keaton
"A marvellous comedy set in a lazy riverside town in the Deep South, with Buster as the foppish, city-educated boy who returns home to prove a grave disappointment to his father… Hilarious, of course, with both delicately observed jokes and energetically athletic stuntwork coursing through the movie. But what really delights is the detailed depiction of small town life, plus Keaton's comic awareness of his own persona; a sequence in which he and his father are buying a hat to replace his wimpy beret is a model of film comedy, played, remarkably, direct to camera." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Gregg Araki, Pere Portabella, Agnès Devictor, Peter Scarlet, Andrei Gorzo.
502
484
Lola

Lola


1961 / France / 90m / BW / Drama, Romance
Anouk Aimee, Marc Michel, Jacques Harden, Elina Labourdette, Alan Scott, Margo Lion, Annie Duperoux, Catherine Lutz, Corinne Marchand, Yvette Anziani
"Soft and evanescent, lyrical but bittersweet, Jacques Demy's first film is like a dream that one enters -- and then recalls for years afterward with absolute pleasure. Filmed in 1961, Lola is an ode to yearning and enchantment -- a valentine to France, to beautiful women, to the foolish but delicious notions of romance that we receive from Hollywood. Anouk Aimee is heavenly as Lola, a dance-hall girl in the port city of Nantes (Demy's hometown). Part phantom and part voluptuary, Lola is the kind of woman who wants "always to be alluring," who wiggles when she walks, who's fond of a drink, who likes to primp and smoke and speak in a breathy voice." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Armond White, David Stratton, Jonathan Romney, Isabelle Stever, John Flaus.
501 Up Arrow
505
Dead Man

Dead Man


1995 / USA-Germany / 121m / BW / Hybrid Western, Psychological Western
Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Robert Mitchum, Lance Henriksen, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, Alfred Molina, Crispin Glover, Michael Wincott, Mili Avital
"With its black-humored tale of a mild Cleveland accountant (Depp) who travels to the Northwest, shoots a man in self-defense and is forced to become a fugitive outlaw, Dead Man contains thematic echoes of Jarmusch's previous work, particularly Down By Law and Mystery Train. And it's as strong as anything else he's done. Jarmusch's trademark quiet irony, affinity for the outcast and oddball, and moonscape visuals suit the Western genre well. And yes, Jarmusch does exercise his hep-cat credentials, assigning soundtrack-composition duties to Neil Young and featuring Iggy Pop in a dress and bonnet." - Maria Schneider, A.V. Club
Selected by Jurgis Krasons, Paul Tickell, Isaki Lacuesta, Jill Godmilow, Daniil Dondurei.