Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey, Fritz Wepper, Marisa Berenson, Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel, Sigrid von Richthofen, Helen Vita, Gerd Vespermann
"This viscerally powerful, deliriously inspired musical stands the test of time, and then some. Bob Fosse's classic 1972 movie about a decadent cabaret in Weimar Berlin gave us one of Hollywood's great female leads: gorgeous, vulnerable star turn Sally Bowles, a role in which Liza Minnelli gives the performance of a lifetime. Fosse unleashes some show-stoppingly sexy dance sequences - for Minnelli, and also for MC Joel Grey - and cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth lights and frames everything with genius." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Kent Jones, Matti Kassila, Anjelika Artyukh, Jurgis Krasons, Lisa Mullen.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Friedrich Feher, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Hans Lanser-Ludolff, Henri Peters-Arnolds, Ludwig Rex
"Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and inspired horror movies ever made. The story is a classic sampling of expressionist paranoia about a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to do his murders, full of the gloom and fear that prevailed in Germany as it emerged from WWI. There are plenty of extremely boring sociological/critical accounts of the film; best to avoid them and enjoy the film's extraordinary use of painted light and Veidt's marvellous performance." - David Pirie, Time Out
Selected by Sergei Loznitsa, Catharine Des Forges, Domino Renee Perez, Francine Stock, Leonardo Quaresima.
Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Lecoq, Walid Afkir, Lester Makedonsky, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard, Denis Podalydes
"While Hidden is a gripping thriller, it is almost a moral and political enquiry into colonialism and its aftermath. The acting all around is outstanding, with Auteuil and Binoche working beautifully together as their marriage falls apart, expressing their emotional upheaval through the slight movement of an eye or the flicker of a lip. This is a movie that takes one back to the glory days of art-house films in the 1960s and 70s, when you left the cinema not in need of food and drink, but a sympathetic person to discuss the film with." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Tarsem Singh, Agnieszka Holland, Lenny Abrahamson, Amanda Duthie, Peter Bradshaw.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Fared Shawqi, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil, Naima Wasfy, Said Khalil, Abdel Ghani Nagdi, Loutfi El Hakim, Abdel Hamid Bodaoha
"All human life is here: the phrase really does apply to Chahine's tragicomic masterpiece from 1958… Cairo Station is the venue for a blazingly passionate drama about Kenaoui, a lame newspaper vendor, played by Chahine, and his unrequited desire for Hanouma (Rostom), the Bardotesque lemonade seller. Chahine conducts his big cast with uproarious energy, immediacy and freshness; he has tremendous stylised set pieces… As Kenaoui's love becomes more obsessive, the mood darkens, and elements of Hitchcock and Powell creep in. Finally, Cairo Station virtually attains the air of a tragedy, observing classical unities of time and place." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Joseph Fahim, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Najwa Najjar, Hamid Dabashi.
Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harry Gribbon, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey, Edward Brophy, Richard Alexander, Ray Cooke, Vernon Dent, William Irving
"Buster Keaton's 1928 film on the problems and principles of making movies. Directed by Edward Sedgwick, the film follows the adventures of Keaton as he tries to become a cameraman for the Hearst newsreel company, and it includes some of the best asides on the techniques and psychology of shooting films ever captured in a movie. In many ways it summarizes Keaton's career and makes a marvelous companion piece to his other film-about-film, Sherlock Jr." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Paolo Mereghetti, Fernando Trueba, Mariano Llinás, Koichi Yamada, Clare Stewart.
A Canterbury Tale
Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Sgt. John Sweet, Dennis Price, Esmond Knight, Hay Petrie, George Merritt, Edward Rigby, Charles Hawtrey, Freda Jackson
"Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s beloved classic A Canterbury Tale is a profoundly personal journey to Powell’s bucolic birthplace of Kent, England. Set amid the tumult of the Second World War, yet with a rhythm as delicate as a lullaby, the film follows three modern-day incarnations of Chaucer’s pilgrims—a melancholy “landgirl,” a plainspoken American GI, and a resourceful British sergeant… Building to a majestic climax that ranks as one of the filmmaking duo’s finest achievements, the dazzling A Canterbury Tale has acquired a following of devotees passionate enough to qualify as pilgrims themselves." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kim Newman, Sukhdev Sandhu, Adrian Danks, Charles Barr, Joanna Hogg.
Carnival of Souls
Candice Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Herk Harvey, Stan Levitt, Art Ellison, Tom McGinnis, Dan Palmquist, Steve Boozer, Pamela Ballard
"In 1962, Carnival of Souls came and went with little notice, playing the drive-in circuit to the usual audiences before fading into obscurity. The sole feature film of writer John Clifford and director Harold "Herk" Harvey, Carnival stayed lost only temporarily, its frequent late-night television screenings allowing it to amass a cult following that's only grown over the years… So why has it survived? For one thing, despite readily apparent flaws, it's an effective, deeply unsettling film that looks and feels like virtually nothing else… A fine example of low-budget artistry, a creepy horror film, a bizarre and dreamlike death fable, and a true original, Carnival of Souls thoroughly deserves its unexpected immortality." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Ekkehard Knörer, Cristina Nord, Luke Thompson, Christian Petzold, Joachim Schätz.
Nanni Moretti, Renato Carpentieri, Antonio Neiwiller, Jennifer Beals, Giovanna Bozzolo, Sebastiano Nardone, Antonio Petrocelli, Giulio Base, Italo Spinelli, Alexandre Rockwell
"There are social critics as lively and opinionated as Nanni Moretti on many a park bench, but they don't share Mr. Moretti's rare gift for captivating an audience. This funny, contentious Italian film maker wanders through Caro Diario airing his thoughts in delightfully offbeat ways. As both a skillful director and a lovable oddball, he commands interest. It's easy to follow him anywhere. He has many different destinations in Caro Diario. Divided into three sections, this film starts out with a portrait of Mr. Moretti's Rome. Cruising serenely in "On My Vespa," he visits a nice selection of settings that bear out his worldview." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Carlos Marañón, Jean-Max Mejean, Darron Davies, Tom Mes, Agnès Jaoui.
Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, P.J. Soles, Sydney Lassick, Stefan Gierasch
"Wickedly reckless and deliriously tasteless, Carrie is about the creation of a sorceress, a geek-girl fantasy—what nerdy high-school chick hasn’t longed to zap the popular bitches?—rife with hilarious sexual symbolism (my personal favorite is Carrie’s control of a wildly leaping fire hose). No movie ever needed to end with an orgasm as much as this one, and De Palma rises to the occasion with a scene many have imitated but none have duplicated. Even when his heroine is postmortem, it seems De Palma can’t stop watching." - Jeannette Catsoulis, Reverse Shot
Selected by Edgar Wright, Yojiro Takita, Quentin Tarantino, Nancy Savoca, Craig Johnson.
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson, Marcel Dalio, S.Z. Sakall
"Seeing the film over and over again, year after year, I find it never grows over-familiar. It plays like a favorite musical album; the more I know it, the more I like it. The black-and-white cinematography has not aged as color would. The dialogue is so spare and cynical it has not grown old-fashioned. Much of the emotional effect of Casablanca is achieved by indirection; as we leave the theater, we are absolutely convinced that the only thing keeping the world from going crazy is that the problems of three little people do after all amount to more than a hill of beans." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Kent Jones, Monte Hellman, F. Gary Gray, José Luis Garci, Juan José Campanella.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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.
Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussieres, Gaston Modot, Paul Barge, Paul Azais, Loleh Bellon, Claude Castaing, Jean Clarieux
"Jacques Becker lovingly evokes the belle epoque Parisian demimonde in this classic tale of doomed romance. When gangster’s moll Marie (Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Reggiani), their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads inexorably to treachery and tragedy. With poignant, nuanced performances and sensuous black-and-white photography, Casque d’or (Golden Marie) is Becker at the height of his cinematic powers—a romantic masterpiece." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Anja Kirschner, Aki Kaurismäki, Kenneth Turan, Peter von Bagh, Jean-Pierre Berthomé.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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.
Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne, Matoura Dia, Omar Gueye, Mamadou Dioume, Nar Modou, Ousmane Camara, Ousmane Sembene
"For Sembène, the Ceddo embody the resistance of a culture and a traditional way of life to the encroachments of Islam, Christianity and colonialism. This magnificent film is a comparable act of resistance, an attempt to write a segment of history for Africans and in African terms. It is a work of great organisational and thematic complexity, beautifully staged, mainly in depth, and possessing extraordinary kinesic grace and rhythmic control, two of the most powerful and evocative aspects of film form." - James Leahy, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Gilberto Perez, Jed Rapfogel, Lindiwe Dovey, Jonathan Demme, Teshome Gabriel.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Barbet Schroeder, Nathalie Asnar, Marie-Therese Saussure, Philippe Clevenot, Anne Zamire, Jean Douchet
"Don’t let the extended running time dissuade you: This is the rare breezy three-plus hours that manages to explore heady concepts—from the malleability of personality to the fine line separating voyeurism and participation—without once feeling labored. Much of the film’s buoyancy has to do with the indelible onscreen pairing of Berto and Labourier; the further they descend into their virtual wonderland, which Rivette cleverly visualizes with strategically repeated visuals and a minimum of ostentatious effects, the more infectious the duo’s natural enthusiasm becomes… Cinema this alive is a rare bird, indeed." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by David Thomson, Kim Newman, Michael Atkinson, Quim Casas, Nick Roddick.
Fernanda Montenegro, Marilia Pera, Vinicius de Oliveira, Soia Lira, Othon Bastos, Otavio Augusto, Stela Freitas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Caio Junqueira, Socorro Nobre
"In Walter Salles's Central Station a cynical, joyless woman crosses paths with a lonely young boy. There's plenty of room for sentimentality here, but the wonder of Mr. Salles's film is all in the telling. Beautifully observed and featuring a bravura performance by the Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, it gracefully watches these oddly paired characters develop a fractious bond that winds up profoundly changing both of them. Mr. Salles's background as a documentary filmmaker also gives this lovely, stirring film a strong sense of Brazil's impoverished rural landscape once its principals take to the road." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Mamoru Hosoda, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Leon Cakoff, Lui Wing-kai, Leste Chen.
Un Chant d'amour
Java, Andre Reybaz, Lucien Senemaud
"Genet's overpowering 1950 short is a milestone not just of gay rebellion but also of pure sensual expression in film, a polemical vision of desire forged with the provocateur's randy ardor and the artist's spiritual directness. Having never made a film before or after, Genet nevertheless had an in-the-bone awareness of the medium as a procession of raptures—visual, cosmic, sensual—that could match and expand the passion of words on a page… A revolutionary vision of emancipation through sensuality, Un Chant d'Amour is a song of love both universal and eternal." - Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
Selected by Neville de Almeida, Jane Giles, John Greyson, Todd Haynes, Laura Marks.
Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee, Shyamal Ghoshal, Gitali Roy, Bholanath Koyal, Suku Mukherjee, Dilip Bose, Joydeb, Bankim Ghosh
"This relatively early film by Satyajit Ray, based on a Tagore novel of Victorian India, may be the first of his features in which he really discovers mise-en-scene, and it's an exhilarating encounter. It's typically rich in the nuances of grief and in extraordinarily allusive dialogue, though not very much happens in terms of plot (a sensitive woman is neglected by her newspaper-publisher husband and drawn to his younger cousin). But at every moment, the gorgeous cinematography and expressive camera movements and dissolves have plenty of stories of their own to tell. You shouldn't miss this." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Stratton, Philip Kemp, Ain-Ling Wong, Naman Ramachandran, Sanjeev Verma.
Brigid Berlin, Randy Borscheidt, Ari Boulogne, Angelina 'Pepper' Davis, Dorothy Dean, Eric Emerson, Patrick Flemming, Ed Hood, Arthur Loeb, Donald Lyons
"The most celebrated Andy Warhol feature, and for many the best, is made up of a dozen 33-minute reels that are projected two at a time, side by side… The people shown include such Warhol “superstars” as Nico, Ondine, Gerard Malanga, Marie Menken, Mary Woronov, Ingrid Superstar, Brigid Polk, and International Velvet… They engage in a number of activities and dialogues for 210 minutes, and the results are often spellbinding; the juxtaposition of two film images at once gives the spectator an unusual amount of freedom in what to concentrate on and what to make of these variously whacked-out performers." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Berenice Reynaud, Ed Halter, Bruce Jenkins, Jacob Perlin, Jed Rapfogel.
Un Chien andalou
Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Jaime Miravilles, Salvador Dali, Luis Buñuel, Robert Hommet, Marval, Fano Messan, Jeanne Rucas
"Un Chien Andalou was born of the encounter between my dreams and Dali's," said Buñuel in his autobiography. The film represents the purest form of autonomy in cinema. It is the quintessential surrealist primer and, not until Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura, would a film so blazingly lead the way for a new cinematic language. Buñuel has said that Un Chien Andalou was the result of conscious automatism. And while it can be read as a mechanism analogous to a dream, the film itself is less a dream than an abstraction of a dream filtered through the logic of reality." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Philippe Parreno, Peter Tscherkassky, Tony Rayns, Ying Liang, Gaspar Noé.
Michel Simon, Janie Marese, Georges Flamant, Roger Gaillard, Romain Bouquet, Pierre Desty, Mlle Doryans, Lucien Mancini, Magdeleine Berubet, Jean Gehret
"Jean Renoir creates an incisive, provocative, and excoriating commentary on human behavior, class structure, and social conduct in La Chienne. Using repeated imagery of mirrors and reflections, Renoir visually underscores the self-entrapping pattern of hypocrisy, treachery, and co-dependency inherent in exploitive human relationships… La Chienne captures the moral ambiguity and underlying inequity of culturally entrenched social customs and rationalized human cruelty." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Jesus Franco, Guillermo del Toro, Andy Rector, Tom Milne, Claire Denis.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyoko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Yoko Minamida, Haruo Tanaka, Chieko Naniwa, Ichiro Sugai, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Hiroshi Mizuno
"A sublime, perfectly modulated story of doomed love between a merchant's wife and a servant, set in 17th-century Japan and drawn from the repertory of Japan's puppet theater, the Bunraku. Kenji Mizoguchi's 1954 film has the most imaginative soundtrack of any of his films, and while the story lacks the awesome power of his Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff (both made during the same period), it still remains essential viewing." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ruy Guerra, Daisuke Akasaka, Dominique Martinez, C.S. Venkiteswaran, Alejandro Díaz.
Children of Men
Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston, Peter Mullan, Oana Pellea
"Alfonso Cuarón's dense, dark, and layered meditation on fertility, technology, immigration, war, love, and life itself may be the movie of the still-young millennium. And I don't just mean it's one of the best movies of the past six years. Children of Men, based on the 1992 novel by P.D. James, is the movie of the millennium because it's about our millennium, with its fractured, fearful politics and random bursts of violence and terror. Though it's set in the London of 2027, Cuarón's film isn't some high-tech, futuristic fantasy. It takes place in a grimly familiar location: the hell we are currently making for ourselves." - Dana Stevens, Slate
Selected by Rupert Wyatt, Marc Webb, Paul Tanter, Gael Garcia Bernal, Yudai Yamaguchi.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Chimes at Midnight
Orson Welles, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, Marina Vlady, Walter Chiari, Norman Rodway, Alan Webb, Fernando Rey
"Othello is full of the breathtaking daredevilry of Citizen Kane. Chimes at Midnight is something very different. It is somber and wintry in ways that recall the sense of loss and regret that permeate The Magnificent Ambersons, though it is no less audacious than Othello. Among other things, Chimes at Midnight is an adaptation of a Shakespearean play that Shakespeare never wrote, at least not in quite this form… More than anything else, however, Chimes at Midnight carries an astonishing emotional kick that seems to grow each time I see it. Shakespeare really isn't supposed to be so moving in this day and age." - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Selected by Glenn Kenny, Joseph McBride, Pere Portabella, Todd McCarthy, V.F. Perkins.
Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Darrell Zwerling, Diane Ladd, Roman Polanski, Roy Jenson, Dick Bakalyan
"One of those classic American movies from the 1970s, when studios were churning out themes instead of properties for theme parks, Chinatown can be enjoyed on multiple levels. It's a first-class detective story about a man killed by drowning in the middle of a Los Angeles drought. On top of that, it's a disturbing parable about the pressure put on the human heart… This heavy material is handled with a light cinematic touch by director Roman Polanski. With no stylistic affectations, no deep shadows or German Expressionistic camera placements, all of the elements of the crime story are instead brought out into the sunlight." - Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
Selected by Lone Scherfig, Ann Hui, Molly Haskell, P.J. Hogan, Anne Billson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Chronicle of a Summer
Marceline Loridan Ivens, Marilu Parolini, Jean Rouch, Angelo, Régis Debray, Jacques, Jean-Pierre, Landry, Edgar Morin, Sophie
"A joint effort by French ethnographer-filmmaker Jean Rouch and French sociologist Edgar Morin (The Stars) yielded this remarkable 1961 documentary investigation into what Parisians — regarded as a “strange tribe” — were thinking and feeling during the summer of 1960. This was when the war in Algeria was still a hot issue, although many other topics are discussed as well, private as well as public. At first, everyone is asked, simply, “Are you happy?” More generally, the film catches the shifting emotional tenor of a few lives over a certain period." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Charles Musser, Eric Kohn, Martin Brady, Raqs Media Collective, Xie Meng.
The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
Gustav Leonhardt, Christiane Lang, Paolo Carlini, Ernst Castelli, Hans-Peter Boye, Joachim Wolff, Rainer Kirchner, Eckart Bruntjen, Walter Peters, Kathrien Leonhard
"Straub's account of Bach is nothing if not lucid: it documents the last 27 years of its subject's life (through the mediating eyes of his wife) principally in terms of his music. The music itself obviates any need for a 'drama' to present Bach; Straub celebrates its range and complexity while showing it always in performance, to emphasise the nature of Bach's work as musician/conductor. A narration (compiled from contemporary sources) sets the man in his economic and social context. With his minimalist's sensitivity to nuance and inflection, Straub eschews pointless cutting and camera movement. The beautiful result has the air of a crystal-clear meditation." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Adriano Aprà, Michael Haneke, Andréa Picard, Margaret Deriaz, Sylvie Pierre.
Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung, Faye Wong, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Piggy Chan, Guan Lina, Huang Zhiming, Liang Zhen, Zuo Songshen
"The whiplash, double-pronged Chungking Express is one of the defining works of nineties cinema and the film that made Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai an instant icon. Two heartsick Hong Kong cops (Kaneshiro and Leung), both jilted by ex-lovers, cross paths at the Midnight Express take-out restaurant stand, where the ethereal pixie waitress Faye (Faye Wong) works. Anything goes in Wong’s gloriously shot and utterly unexpected charmer, which cemented the sex appeal of its gorgeous stars and forever turned canned pineapple and the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’” into tokens of romantic longing." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ann Hui, Richard Corliss, Cate Shortland, Dana Linssen, Hynek Pallas.
Mercedes Moran, Graciela Borges, Martin Adjemian, Leonora Balcarce, Sylvia Bayle, Sofia Bertolotto, Juan Cruz Bordeu, Noelia Bravo Herrera, Maria Micol Ellero, Andrea Lopez
"Notwithstanding the sweltering Argentinean heat and a herd of noisy children, teenagers, and half-wild dogs, Lucrecia Martel's La Ciénaga is a veritable Chekhov tragicomedy of provincial life. Making a brilliant debut, Martel constructs her narrative from quotidian incidents, myriad comings and goings, and a cacophony of voices competing for attention… Martel dispenses with the niceties of exposition, throwing us into this morass of frustration and anger, and leaving us, like the characters, to figure out on our own who's doing what to whom and who's to be trusted or not. The characters may not always be clearly delineated, but the ambience is detailed and rich." - Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
Selected by Pawel Pawlikowski, Esin Kucuktepepinar, Pablo Stoll, Monika Wagenberg, Paula Félix-Didier.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Salvatore Cascio, Mario Leonardi, Agnese Nano, Leopoldo Trieste, Nicola Di Pinto, Nino Terzo, Roberta Lena, Pupella Maggio
"There are films as lovely, but none lovelier than Cinema Paradiso, a folkloric salute to the medium itself, flickering with yesterday's innocence and lingering on the mind like bubbles in wine. Born of director Giuseppe Tornatore's childhood memories, this is a magic lantern in a Sicilian boy's hand, its warm light shed on the riches of life in a poor, stone-built land. It is, in a word, exquisite… Cinema Paradiso is cherished regret. Tornatore, who also wrote the film, was inspired by loss, the realization that communal movie-going had become a thing of the past." - Rita Kempley, Washington Post
Selected by Renny Harlin, Roland Emmerich, Antoine Fuqua, Paul Wells, Hind Mezaina.
Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Allan Garcia, Harry Crocker, George Davis, Henry Bergman, Stanley "Tiny" Sandford, John Rand, Steve Murphy, Albert Austin
"The Circus may be the film that most definitively silences critics who claim that Charlie Chaplin's movies aren't cinematic. It is Chaplin's great elegy to the lost art of music-hall pantomime and, for that matter, the soon-to-be lost art of silent-film comedy. Production on this most underrated of Chaplin's silent features wrapped three days after the premiere of The Jazz Singer. And yet, though the writing was on the wall that the silent clowns' days were numbered, The Circus never feels maudlin or self-pitying like Chaplin's later Limelight, where he mourns not the end of a particular aesthetic, but the very loss of his audience." - Christian Blauvelt, Slant Magazine
Selected by Ali Smith, Charles Barr, Emily Wardill, Arnost Lustig, Sakari Toiviainen.
Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane, Dorothy Comingore, Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, George Coulouris, Ruth Warrick, Erskine Sanford
"The source book of Orson Welles, and still a marvellous movie. Thematically less resonant than some of Welles' later meditations on the nature of power, perhaps, but still absolutely riveting as an investigation of a citizen - newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst by any other name - under suspicion of having soured the American Dream. Its imagery as Welles delightedly explores his mastery of a new vocabulary, still amazes and delights, from the opening shot of the forbidding gates of Xanadu to the last glimpse of the vanishing Rosebud (tarnished, maybe, but still a potent symbol). A film that gets better with each renewed acquaintance." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Joe Dante, Paul Greengrass, Paul W.S. Anderson, Geoffrey Macnab, Esteve Riambau.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers, Hank Mann, Allan Garcia, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin, John Rand, James Donnelly
"If only one of Charles Chaplin's films could be preserved, City Lights would come the closest to representing all the different notes of his genius. It contains the slapstick, the pathos, the pantomime, the effortless physical coordination, the melodrama, the bawdiness, the grace, and, of course, the Little Tramp--the character said, at one time, to be the most famous image on earth… The movie contains some of Chaplin's great comic sequences, including the famous prize fight in which the Tramp uses his nimble footwork to always keep the referee between himself and his opponent. There's the opening scene, where a statue is unveiled to find the Tramp asleep in the lap of a heroic Greco-Roman stone figure." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Jean-Marie Straub, Carlos Losilla, Esteve Riambau, Andrei Konchalovsky, José Luis Guerín.
City of God
Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva, Jonathan Haagensen, Jefechander Suplino, Alice Braga, Roberta Rodriguez Silvia
"Run, don't walk, to the cinema is all I can say. This electrifying picture is part tender coming-of-age film and part gang-warfare epic from the Brazilian slum, or favela, told from the viewpoint of the children who manage to be both its underclass and its criminal overlords. It's a movie with all the dials cranked up to 11, an overwhelming, intoxicating assault on the senses, and a thriller so tense that you might have the red seat plush in front of you - or even some unfortunate's hair - gripped in both fists." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by José Padilha, James Gunn, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Tata Amaral, Ahmed Atef.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
A City of Sadness
Tony Leung, Jack Kao, Tianlu Li, Wou Yi Fang, Ikuyo Nakamura, Shufen Xin, Sung Young Chen, Chen-Nan Tsai
"An extraordinarily ambitious sociohistorical epic, comparable in its impact to the Godfather films, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s A City of Sadness traces the tragic personal and political fortunes of the people of Taiwan in the years following World War II, when the Japanese ceded control of the island nation to Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese Nationalist government… It may be the work in which this master filmmaker achieves the most exquisite balance between the violence of his subject matter and the beautiful stillness of his tableau style. One of the greatest movies of the ’80s." - Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, James Quandt, Abé Mark Nornes, David E. James, Li Cheuk-to.
Jean-Claude Brialy, Aurora Cornu, Beatrice Romand, Laurence De Monaghan, Michele Montel, Fabrice Luchini, Gerard Falconetti
"The penultimate entry in Eric Rohmer's series of Six Moral Tales, and the loveliest, most crystalline of the lot. With his serenely precise plot structures and camera placements, Rohmer is the greatest logician of the movies; he treats the mysteries of love as if they were math problems, but with such generous concern that he never betrays the humanity of his characters. And so it is appropriate that the hero of his masterpiece is a man who focuses all his learning—cultural, moral, philosophical—on the apparently trivial problem of whether or not to touch the knee of a teenage girl he has met on a vacation." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Molly Haskell, Neil LaBute, Andris Feldmanis, Ken Mogg, David Robert Mitchell.
Cléo from 5 to 7
Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dorothee Blank, Dominique Davray, Michel Legrand, Jose-Luis de Villalonga, Loye Payen, Renee Duchateau, Lucienne Marchand, Serge Korber
"Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7, the first fully-achieved feature by the woman who would become the premiere female director of her generation, dazzled when it opened, and looks even more timely today in its tackling of the fashionable subject of female identity as a function of how women see and are seen by the world… Through an arresting use of Paris as both visual centerpiece and reflection of a woman’s inner journey, Varda paints an enduring portrait of a woman’s evolution from a shallow and superstitious child-woman to a person who can feel and express shock and anguish and finally empathy." - Molly Haskell, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Ginette Vincendeau, Ben Russell, David Sorfa, J.M. Tyree.
A Clockwork Orange
Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, John Clive, Adrienne Corri, Carl Duering, Paul Farrell, Clive Francis, Michael Gover
"It's Kubrick's most prescient work, more astute and unsparing than any of his other films (and he had more where that came from) in putting the bleakest parts of human behavior under the microscope and laughing in disgust. It was made right after his other high watermark, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as he returns to Earth from his mind-blowing brush with the cosmic, it's a sort of sequel about our planet rotting away from the inside." - Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
Selected by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Rob Zombie, Wes Anderson, Li Shaohong, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Bob Balaban, Warren Kemmerling, Cary Guffey, J. Patrick McNamara, Roberts Blossom, Philip Dodds
"For better or worse, one of Steven Spielberg's best films, and perhaps still the best expression of his benign, dreamy-eyed vision. Humanity's first contact with alien beings proves to be a cause for celebration and a form of showbiz razzle-dazzle that resembles a slowly descending chandelier in a movie palace… Very close in overall spirit and nostalgic winsomeness to the fiction of Ray Bradbury, with beautiful cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond that deservedly won an Oscar. This is dopey Hollywood mysticism all right, but thanks to considerable craft and showmanship, it packs an undeniable punch." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Denis Villeneuve, Joe Wright, Richard Kelly, Roland Emmerich, Andrew Stanton.
Closely Watched Trains
Vaclav Neckar, Jitka Bendova, Vladimir Valenta, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodsky, Jiri Menzel, Libuse Havelkova, Alois Vachek, Jitka Zelenohorska, Ferdinand Kruta
"At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Oblivious to the war and the resistance that surrounds him, this young man embarks on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery, encountering a universe of frustration, eroticism, and adventure within his sleepy backwater depot. Wry and tender, Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation and one of the best-loved films of the Czech New Wave." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Newell, Ken Loach, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Andrew Pulver, Alexey Medvedev.
Hossain Sabzian, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Hossain Farazmand, Abolfazl Ahankhah, Mehrdad Ahankhah, Monoochehr Ahankhah, Mahrokh Ahankhah, Nayer Mohseni Zonoozi, Ahmad Reza Moayed Mohseni, Hooshang Shamaei
"Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and Close-up is his most radical, brilliant work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, Close-up has resonated with viewers around the world." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Chris Darke, Dennis Lim, Jean-Michel Frodon, Lizzie Francke, Li Cheuk-to.
The Cloud-Capped Star
Supriya Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee, Bijon Bhattacharya, Niranjan Ray, Gita Ghatak, Gita De, Dwiju Bhawal, Gyanesh Mukherjee, Ranen Ray Choudhury, Satindra Bhattacharya
"For Western viewers it's perhaps most easily approached as a bitter critique of harsh social and economic conditions, particularly those arising from the 1947 Partition of East Bengal. More interesting cinematically, however, is Ghatak's inventive, not quite naturalistic treatment of the story: in order to underline or undercut certain elements in terms of narrative, theme and characterisation, the performances, images, music and, most especially, sound are given almost expressionist nuances." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Alexander Horwath, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Raymond Bellour, Shoma A. Chatterji, Carol Morley.
Juliette Binoche, Thierry Neuvic, Josef Bierbichler, Alexandre Hamidi, Maimouna Helene Diarra, Ona Lu Yenke, Djibril Kouyate, Luminita Gheorghiu, Crenguta Hariton, Bob Nicolaescu
"Austrian director Michael Haneke is a ruthless anthropologist of domestic nihilism, but his first French-language feature, Code Unknown, is also his most humane. It's less eager to implicate the audience in its exhibitions of motiveless savagery—as with the amiable psychopath's to-camera asides in Funny Games—and more inclined to arrange ordinary people not as isolated terrorist cells but as a frail, knotty web held together by selfish interdependence and clashing grievances… Code Unknown is Haneke's most expansive and, oddly, hopeful work—not a gaze into the void, but a fierce attempt to scramble out of it." - Jessica Winter, The Village Voice
Selected by Clio Barnard, Antonio Campos, Ruben Östlund, Robin Wood, Laura Marks.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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.
Top 25 of the Pre-1920s
1. Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916)
2. Broken Blossoms (D.W. Griffith, 1919)
3. The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915)
4. Le Voyage dans la lune (Georges Méliès, 1902)
5. Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)
6. L’Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat (August Lumière & Louis Lumière, 1895)
7. True Heart Susie (D.W. Griffith, 1919)
8. Workers Leave the Factory (Louis Lumière, 1895)
9. Fantomas (Louis Feuillade, 1913)
10. Tih Minh (Louis Feuillade, 1918)
11. A Corner in Wheat (D.W. Griffith, 1909)
12. The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1917)
13. The Battle of the Somme (J.B. McDowell & Geoffrey H. Malins, 1916)
14. A Man There Was (Victor Sjöström, 1917)
15. Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller, 1919)
16. The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, 1903)
17. The Musketeers of Pig Alley (D.W. Griffith, 1912)
18. Judex (Louis Feuillade, 1916)
19. Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914)
20. The Cheat (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915)
21. Le Melomane (Georges Méliès, 1903)
22. The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919)
23. Shoulder Arms (Charles Chaplin, 1918)
24. Le Village de Namo - Panorama pris d'une chaise à porteurs (Gabriel Veyre, 1900)
25. Ingeborg Holm (Victor Sjöström, 1913)
Films ranked 7-25 are not in the current 1,000 Greatest Films listing.
The Colour of Pomegranate
Sofico Chiaureli, M. Aleksanian, V. Galstian, G. Gegechkori, O. Minasian, Spartak Bagashvili, Medea Djaparidze, Yuri Amiryan, I. Babayan, Guranda Gabunia
"Paradjanov's extraordinary film traces the life of 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, but with a series of painterly images strung together to form tableaux corresponding to moments of his life rather than any conventional biographic techniques… The result is a stream of religious, poetic and local iconography which has an arcane and astonishing beauty. Much of its meaning must remain essentially specific to the culture from which the film springs, and no one could pretend that it's all readily accessible, but audiences accustomed to the work of Tarkovsky should have little problem." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Andrew Kotting, Ronald Bergan, Ulrich Gregor, Alfonso Crespo Cuaresma, Alin Tasciyan.
Come and See
Aleksei Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Lauciavicius, Vladas Bagdonas, Juris Lumiste, Viktor Lorents, Kazimir Rabetsky, Yevgeni Tilicheyev, Aleksandr Berda, G. Velts
"It is, of course, impossible for cinema to accurately portray the horrors of life during wartime, though that never seems to stop directors from trying. In a century of harrowing, brutally realistic war pictures, from The Battle of the Somme to Saving Private Ryan, no one has come closer to achieving this goal than Elem Klimov in Come and See… It achieves precisely what it intends: to honestly illustrate, within the confines of a 142-minute narrative film, the devastation that war, and in this case genocide, wreaks upon a helpless populace." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Ben Wheatley, Lynne Ramsay, Ari Folman, Gillies MacKinnon, Lizzie Francke.
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Dominique Sanda, Pierre Clementi, Enzo Taroscio, Jose Quaglio, Milly, Giuseppe Addobbati, Yvonne Sanson
"Fleshing out novelist Alberto Moravia’s shadow-box between political compliance and personal shame, Bertolucci created the most arresting mise-en-scène ever concocted for any movie, set entirely in rainy city afternoons and indigo evenings… Overt and covert narratives aside, The Conformist is also an orgasm of coolness, ravishing compositions, camera gymnastics (the frame virtually squirms around, like Marcello), and atmospheric resonance. The actors vogue, Vittorio Storaro’s lens makes every street and room baroque, the Roman streets burn with gaslight, the dancehall bursts, the unforgettable Alpine roads lead to death and catastrophe." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Anne Billson, David Thomson, Joan Mellen, Paul Schrader, Stanley Kwan.
Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang, Giorgia Moll, Jean-Luc Godard, Linda Veras, Raoul Coutard
"Godard at his most tyrannically playful, deconstructing everything from cinematic technique to the sociological significance of Brigitte Bardot's ass. This masterpiece is the work of a Godard who was still willing to do battle with conventional storylines, rather than the occasionally lazy didact who took over later in the decade… Ultimately, what makes Contempt one of Godard's best films is the fact that the movie industry storyline meshes so well with Godard's incessantly self-conscious experimentation; what seems irrelevant and intrusive in some of his movies makes perfect sense in the context of a movie that is all about the way movies are made." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Derek Cianfrance, Amos Gitai, Corneliu Porumboiu, Dave Kehr, Gerald Peary.
Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Cindy Williams, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Robert Duvall, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Harrison Ford
"The same year Francis Coppola made The Godfather Part II, he also wrote and directed another great, landmark American film of the '70s. A tense, paranoia thriller, The Conversation is also a disturbing exploration of privacy and personal responsibility in the age of technological intrusion. Gene Hackman finds bittersweet poignancy in solitary surveillance expert Harry Caul, indifferent to the subjects of his eavesdropping until the furtive confidences of illicit lovers arouse guilt and longings that draw him into a murder plot and corporate conspiracy." - Angie Errigo, Empire
Selected by Paul Feig, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Tarsem Singh, David Stratton, Jan Sverák.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard, Tim Roth, Ciaran Hinds, Gary Olsen, Ewan Stewart, Roger Ashton Griffiths, Ron Cook
"The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is not an easy film to sit through. It doesn't simply make a show of being uncompromising -- it is uncompromised in every single shot from beginning to end. Why is it so extreme? Because it is a film made in rage, and rage cannot be modulated. Those who think it is only about gluttony, lust, barbarism and bad table manners will have to think again. It is a film that uses the most basic strengths and weaknesses of the human body as a way of giving physical form to the corruption of the human soul." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Mingchuam Huang, Daniel Barnz, Peg Aloi, George Wu.
Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman, George Kennedy, J.D. Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Clifton James, Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton
"A big hit in 1967, this is one of Paul Newman’s most significant films, casting him as a mooncalf vandal whose destructive pre-credits spree — decapitating parking meters — lands him on a prison farm where his uppity, rebellious, downright mule-headed attitude brings him into major league conflict with the guards and makes him a heroic martyr for the other cons… Newman gives one of his best performances in this prison film, where he inspires life in to his fellow inmates and although the similarities to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest don't stop there, it still has something important to say, with several memorable moments and a superb supporting cast." - Kim Newman, Empire
Selected by Jeff Nichols, Ramin Bahrani, Andrew Stanton, Spike Lee, Woody Harrelson.
The Cranes Are Flying
Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksei Batalov, Vasili Merkuryev, Aleksandr Shvorin, Svetlana Kharitonova, Konstantin Nikitin, Valentin Zubkov, Antonina Bogdanova, Boris Kovovkin, Yekaterina Kupriyanova
"Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. Boris is sent to the front lines…and then communication stops. Meanwhile, Veronica tries to ward off spiritual numbness while Boris’s draft-dodging cousin makes increasingly forceful overtures. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, The Cranes Are Flying is a superbly crafted drama, bolstered by stunning cinematography and impassioned performances." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gerald Peary, Roger Michell, Xavier Dolan, Gleb Panfilov, Nikita Mikhalkov.
James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, Judah Katz, Nicky Guadagni
"Arguably the closest commercial Western cinema has come to Oshima's Ai No Corrida - what 'story' there is consists chiefly of a series of obsessive, claustrophobic, transgressive sex-scenes - Cronenberg's film of JG Ballard's novel is both imaginative and, notwithstanding its 'scandalous' content, strangely 'respectable' (in terms of fidelity and finding appropriate solutions to problems of adaptation)... It's a dark, disturbing, languorous movie, as ludicrous, hermetic and repetitive, perhaps, as Ballard's original, but admirably assured and true to itself." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Nathan Lee, Eugenio Vidal, Kiichiro Yanasita, Joe Bob Briggs, Tim Robey.
Geraldine Chaplin, Ana Torrent, Conchita Perez, Monica Randall, Florinda Chico, Hector Alterio, German Cobos, Mirta Miller, Josefina Diaz, Mayte Sanchez
"Like Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive, Cria Cuervos stars the remarkable Ana Torrent and can be read, on one level at least, as a none-too-veiled parable about the stifling and oppressive climate of Franco's Spain. Although it is by no means immediately apparent, the film is really one long flashback, which itself contains flashbacks and fantasy sequences, from 1995 when Ana, a young Spanish woman, looks back to her childhood, and especially to the summer of 1975 in Madrid… Cria Cuervos has been much admired for its portrayal of the world of childhood, and nowhere is it more successful in this respect than in its evocation of the fluidity of the child's sense of the real and the imaginary, thanks to which death is largely devoid of the terrors which it inspires in adults." - Sylvia Paskin, Film Reference
Selected by Sebastián Lelio, Pirjo Honkasalo, Patrick Gamble, Kaisa Hiltunen, Daniel Schenker.
Cries and Whispers
Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin, Liv Ullmann, Anders Ek, Inga Gill, Erland Josephson, Henning Moritzen, Georg Arlin, Lena Bergman
"Legendary director Ingmar Bergman creates a testament to the strength of the soul—and a film of absolute power. Karin and Maria come to the aid of their dying sister, Agnes, but jealousy, manipulation, and selfishness come before empathy. Agnes, tortured by cancer, transcends the pettiness of her sisters’ concerns to remember moments of being—moments that Bergman, with the help of Academy Award–winning cinematographer Sven Nykvist, translates into pictures of staggering beauty and unfathomable horror." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrew Haigh, Margarethe von Trotta, Andrei Plakhov, Geoffrey Macnab, Julian Jarrold.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange
Rene Lefevre, Jules Berry, Odette Florelle, Marcel Levesque, Nadia Sibirskaia, Sylvia Bataille, Henri Guisol, Odette Talazac, Maurice Baquet, Marcel Duhamel
"One of Renoir's most completely delightful movies (scripted by Jacques Prévert in the euphoria of the Popular Front days), a comedy-thriller-romance about employees of a publishing firm setting up a glorious collective when their lecherous and oppressive boss suddenly goes missing… Fantasy, politics and gentle naturalism combine to perfection, while Renoir's sympathies for his domestic revolutionaries are so infectious as to make the film genuinely uplifting." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Patrick Keiller, Philip Kemp, Todd McCarthy, Tom Charity, Allan Arkush.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Caroline Aaron, Alan Alda, Woody Allen, Claire Bloom, Mia Farrow, Joanna Gleason, Anjelica Huston, Martin Landau, Jenny Nichols, Jerry Orbach
"The principal characters in Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mr. Allen's most securely serious and funny film to date, have a way of jumping headlong from the specific to the general, trying to place themselves in some larger system of things. So, too, does Mr. Allen, and never before has he made the leap with more self-assurance than in this adventurous dramatic comedy, which is a kind of companion piece to Hannah and Her Sisters. He hits the bull's-eye again." - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Selected by Patricia Rozema, Jiri Menzel, Terry Jones, Bryan Singer, Nashen Moodley.
The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz
Ernesto Alonso, Miroslava, Ariadna Welter, Rita Macedo, Rodolfo Landa, Andrea Palma, Carlos Riquelme, Leonor Llausas, Eva Calvo, Jose Maria Linares-Rivas
"Buñuel marshals all of his characteristic amoral wit in this tale of a would-be murderer frustrated at every turn in his efforts to get his kicks from a successful sex killing. As usual, the master eschews the visual fussiness of 'style', opting for the straightforward camera set-up at all times. The use of props like the toy music box from his childhood which triggers off Archibaldo's lust, and the wax dummy burned after one of his attempts is thwarted, is all the more stunning (and hilarious) as a result." - Rod McShane, Time Out
Selected by José Luis Borau, Paul Mayersberg, Steve Gravestock, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Ángel Sala.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, Pei-pei Cheng, Fazeng Li, Xian Gao, Yan Hai, Deming Wang
"During the final scene in the work of daredevil cinematic artistry that is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a major character makes a leap of faith by diving off a mountain into thin air. My advice is that you approach this heartfelt fable with the same outlook and let director Ang Lee be your wings. Here is the kind of filmmaking magic that we've been missing for ages. Lee, the Taiwanese master who made his reputation in America with Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm, uses breathless storytelling, ravishing romance and martial-arts miracles to sweep us into adventures beyond our imagining. It's great, gorgeous fun." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Jeon Chanil, Nandini Ramnath, Tony Jaa, Jurica Pavičić.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
James Murray, Eleanor Boardman, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark, Daniel G. Tomlinson, Dell Henderson, Lucy Beaumont, Freddie Burke Frederick, Alice Mildred Puter, Sidney Bracey
"King Vidor's 1928 classic, with James Murray as the “average man” picked out of the crowd by Vidor's gliding camera. In his autobiography, Vidor claims he sold the project to Irving Thalberg as a sequel to his hit war film, The Big Parade: “Life is like a battle, isn't it?” Accordingly, the misfortunes that befall Murray are hardly average, but the melodramatic elements are integral to Vidor's vision of individual struggle. The camera style owes something to Murnau, but the sense of space—the vast environments that define and attack his protagonists—is Vidor's own." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Sterritt, Pedro Butcher, Antonio Campos, Joseph Fahim, Quim Casas.
Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb, Robert Hughes, Martin Muller, Don Donaghue, Dana Crumb, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez
"Crumb, which is one of the most remarkable and haunting documentaries ever made, tells the story of Robert Crumb, his brothers Max and Charles, and an American childhood that looks normal in old family photographs but conceals deep wounds and secrets. It is the kind of film that you watch in disbelief, as layer after layer is peeled away, and you begin to understand the strategies that have kept Crumb alive and made him successful while one of his brothers became a recluse in an upstairs bedroom and the other passes his time literally sitting on a bed of nails." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Joe Swanberg, Mike Maggiore, Dustin Guy Defa, Nicholas Searle, Volker Hummel.
Donald Pleasence, Francoise Dorleac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier, Robert Dorning, Jacqueline Bisset, Geoffrey Sumner, Renee Houston, William Franklyn
"Roman Polanski orchestrates a mental ménage à trois in this slyly absurd tale of paranoia from the director’s golden 1960s period. Donald Pleasence and Françoise Dorléac star as a withdrawn couple whose isolated house is invaded by a rude, burly American gangster on the run, played by Lionel Stander. The three engage in role-playing games of sexual and emotional humiliation. Cul-de-sac is an evocative, claustrophobic, and morbidly funny tale of the modern world in chaos." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Ray Lawrence, Ian Francis, Pawel Pawlikowski, Paul Buck.
Jitka Cerhova, Ivana Karbanova, Julius Albert, Marie Ceskova, Jan Klusak, Jirina Myskova, Marcela Brezinova, Dr. Oldrich Hora, Josef Konicek, Jaromir Vomacka
"The extraordinary 1966 film Daisies represents an exhilarating, lesser-known strain of the Czech New Wave. This radically mischievous work was the second feature of the wave’s sole female director, Vera Chytilova. In her visually arresting, capricious film — full of colorful experiments, dazzling collage effects and surrealist antics — two dangerously bored young women have anarchic fun in a series of loosely connected episodes." - Nicola Rapold, The New York Times
Selected by B. Ruby Rich, Agnieszka Holland, Claire Monk, Ariel Schweitzer, Hynek Pallas.
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne
Maria Casares, Elina Labourdette, Paul Bernard, Lucianne Bogaert, Blanchette Brunoy, Marguerite De Morlaye, Yvette Etievant, Bernard La Jarrige, Lucy Lancy, Jean Marchat
"This unique love story, based on a novelette by Denis Diderot and with dialogue written by Jean Cocteau, follows the maneuverings of a society lady as she connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute. With his second feature film, director Robert Bresson was already forging his singularly brilliant filmmaking technique as he created a moving study of the power of revenge and the strength of true love." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jean-Marie Straub, Kevin Gough-Yates, Noël Burch, Gilbert Adair, John Powers.
Top 25 of the 1920s
1. Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
2. Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1928)
4. The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
5. The General (Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
6. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
7. The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)
8. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
9. Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)
10. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922)
11. Un Chien andalou (Luis Buñuel, 1928)
12. Napoléon (Abel Gance, 1927)
13. The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau, 1924)
14. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
15. Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty, 1922)
16. The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928)
17. Pandora's Box (G.W. Pabst, 1929)
18. The Kid (Charles Chaplin, 1921)
19. October (Sergei Eisenstein & Grigori Aleksandrov, 1928)
20. The Cameraman (Buster Keaton & Edward Sedgwick, 1928)
21. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Buster Keaton & Charles F. Reisner, 1928)
22. The Wind (Victor Sjöström, 1928)
23. Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926)
24. The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim, 1928)
25. Our Hospitality (Buster Keaton & John G. Blystone, 1923)
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 Olivier Assayas, Andrei Plakhov, Gleb Panfilov, Andriy Khalpakhchi, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire.
Dancer in the Dark
Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Joel Grey, Vincent Paterson, Cara Seymour, Jean-Marc Barr, Vladica Kostic, Udo Kier
"Dancer in the Dark is a thrilling, audacious work. The boldest experiment yet from Lars von Trier, one of the Danish founders of the Dogma 95 school of filmmaking, Dancer is the kind of ornery, brilliant film that inspires both adulation and scorn… Dancer in the Dark is so strange, so unlike what we're conditioned to expect from movies, that it's bound to alienate a lot of people… But I think Dancer does what art is meant to do: It provokes us, spurs debate, reconsiders a medium and makes us rethink our world. It's great to see a movie so courageous and affecting, so committed to its own differentness." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Angelina Nikonova, Cyrus Frisch, Isamu Hirabayashi, Myrna Maakaron, Oliver Schmitz.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Dark Knight
Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Ron Dean, Cillian Murphy
"Batman isn’t a comic book anymore. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is a haunted film that leaps beyond its origins and becomes an engrossing tragedy. It creates characters we come to care about. That’s because of the performances, because of the direction, because of the writing, and because of the superlative technical quality of the entire production. This film, and to a lesser degree Iron Man, redefine the possibilities of the “comic-book movie." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Neil Miller, Yuki Tanada, Matthew Cheng, Zhang Yibai, Tony Jaa.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Dawn of the Dead
David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Crawford, David Early, George A. Romero, Tom Savini, James A. Baffico, Howard Smith
"Dawn of the Dead is one of the best horror films ever made -- and, as an inescapable result, one of the most horrifying. It is gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal and appalling. It is also (excuse me for a second while I find my other list) brilliantly crafted, funny, droll, and savagely merciless in its satiric view of the American consumer society. Nobody ever said art had to be in good taste… If you have seen Night of the Living Dead, you will recall it as a terrifying horror film punctuated by such shocking images as zombies tearing human flesh from limbs. Dawn includes many more scenes like that, more graphic, more shocking, and in color." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Sean Baker, Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright, Nathan Lee, Gonzalo Maza.
Day for Night
Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Dani, Alexandra Stewart, Jean Champion, Nathalie Baye, Bernard Menez
"Set in Nice's Victorine Studios, where it was filmed, Day for Night is a touching, funny and accurate account of the travails (accidents, disputes, affairs, imbroglios, death) involved in the making of an all-star international picture called Je vous présente Paméla. It is a Pirandellian affair, an elegiac celebration of a dying kind of cinema, a meditation on the connection between film and life by Truffaut, who plays Ferrand, the film's constantly troubled yet dedicated director, a man much like himself." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Sebastián Lelio, Dávid Klág, Mohamed Khan, Roger Michell, Alan Rudolph.
Day of Wrath
Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam, Preben Lerdorff, Albert Hoeberg, Anna Svierkier, Olaf Ussing, Sigurd Berg, Harald Holst, Preben Neergaard
"Filmed during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Carl Dreyer’s Day of Wrath is a harrowing account of individual helplessness in the face of growing social repression and paranoia. Anna, the young second wife of a well-respected but much older pastor, falls in love with her stepson when he returns to their small seventeenth-century village. Stepping outside the bounds of the village’s harsh moral code has disastrous results. Exquisitely photographed and passionately acted, Day of Wrath remains an intense, unforgettable experience." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Philip Kemp, Tom Gunning, David Rudkin, John Flaus, John Hill.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier, Lock Martin, Drew Pearson, Frank Conroy, Fay Roope
"The quintessential alien visitation tale of its era, The Day the Earth Stood Still was mythically embedded in the minds of the pre-Spielberg generation that first saw it in childhood; viewed now, its influence on subsequent genre variations is as difficult to overstate as its number of ludicrous imitators. If not the first science-fiction film made by a Hollywood studio for adults, it marked a leap past bug-eyed-monster serial juvenilia and attempted to defuse Cold War paranoia via anti-authoritarian wit and somber reckoning with Atomic Age danger. It's a thinking kid's movie, yet its crafty fun stays in balance with its self-consciousness as a prestige message picture." - Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
Selected by Joe Dante, Neil Miller, John Baldessari, Ben Zipper, Carlos Helí de Almeida.
Days of Being Wild
Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan, Jacky Cheung, Danilo Antunes, Hung Mei-Mei, Ling-Hung Ling, Tony Leung
"Wong Kar-Wai's second feature is a brilliant dream of Hong Kong life in 1960… The terrific, all-star cast enacts this as a series of emotionally unresolved encounters; the swooningly beautiful camera and design work takes its hallucinatory tone from the protagonist's own uncertainties. The mysterious appearance of Tony Leung only in the closing scene heralds a sequel that will sadly never be made. But this is already some kind of masterpiece." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Li Cheuk-to, Aditya Assarat, Clare Stewart, Christine Dollhofer, Ed Park.
Days of Heaven
Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert J. Wilke, Jackie Shultis, Stuart Margolin, Timothy Scott, Gene Bell, Doug Kershaw
"One-of-a-kind filmmaker-philosopher Terrence Malick has created some of the most visually arresting films of the twentieth century, and his glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven, featuring Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros, stands out among them… A love triangle, a swarm of locusts, a hellish fire—Malick captures it all with dreamlike authenticity, creating a timeless American idyll that is also a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Bruce McDonald, Mark Romanek, Niki Caro, Adam Hyman, Matthew Sweet.
Dazed and Confused
Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Rory Cochrane, Shawn Andrews, Adam Goldberg, Sasha Jenson, Wiley Wiggins, Michelle Burke, Anthony Rapp
"America, 1976. The last day of school. Bongs blaze, bell-bottoms ring, and rock and roll rocks. Among the best teen films ever made, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused eavesdrops on a group of seniors-to-be and incoming freshmen. A launching pad for a number of future stars, Linklater’s first studio effort also features endlessly quotable dialogue and a blasting, stadium-ready soundtrack. Sidestepping nostalgia, Dazed and Confused is less about “the best years of our lives” than the boredom, angst, and excitement of teenagers waiting… for something to happen." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Quentin Tarantino, Jon Robertson, David Filipi, Vadim Rizov, Colin Hanks.
Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll, Dan O'Herlihy, Donal Donnelly, Cathleen Delany, Ingrid Craigie, Rachael Dowling, Marie Kean, Frank Patterson
"What looked unimaginative then now appears bold, almost experimental: The Dead sometimes looks a little like an old-style live television broadcast of a stage-play on a single set, but this unitary effect has rigour, clarity and life. Huston holds his nerve and just follows, with eagle-eyed attention to detail, the inconsequential chatter and the to-ings and fro-ings of the dinner-jacketed folk, giving no hint of the final revelation… Fine performances from everyone, and a self-effacing, enigmatic star turn from Anjelica Huston herself." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Luke Gibbons, Ricardo Bedoya, Stanislav Zelvensky, Carlos F. Heredero, Mario Monicelli.
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 David Jenkins, Jurgis Krasons, Paul Tickell, Isaki Lacuesta, Jill Godmilow.
Jeremy Irons, Genevieve Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Jonathan Haley, Nicholas Haley, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas, Stephen Lack, Nick Nichols, Lynne Cormack
"In Dead Ringers, David Cronenberg tells the chilling story of identical twin gynecologists—suave Elliot and sensitive Beverly, bipolar sides of one personality—who share the same practice, the same apartment, the same women. When a new patient, glamorous actress Claire Niveau, challenges their eerie bond, they descend into a whirlpool of sexual confusion, drugs, and madness. Jeremy Irons’ s tour-de-force performance—as both twins—raises disturbing questions about the nature of personal identity." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ant Timpson, David O. Mahony, Diego Lerer, Philippa Hawker, Stephen Thrower.
Death in Venice
Dirk Bogarde, Bjorn Andresen, Silvana Mangano, Romolo Valli, Mark Burns, Nora Ricci, Marisa Berenson, Carole Andre, Leslie French, Franco Fabrizi
"Dirk Bogarde gave the greatest performance of his career, in fact one of the greatest of any screen performances, in Visconti's magnificent 1971 version of the Thomas Mann novella, played out in a series of long, often wordless takes which are miraculously suffused with spiritual meaning… Some of the "flashback" scenes debating art and life sound a little shrill, and the extraordinary addiction Visconti had to the slow zooms which attend almost every shot look eccentric, though they are of their time. This is exalted film-making." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Sebastián Lelio, Robert Eggers, Stanley Kwan, Susanne Bier, Gleb Panfilov.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Ioan Fiscuteanu, Luminata Gheorghiu, Gabriel Spahiu, Doru Ana, Dana Dogaru, Serban Pavlu, Florin Zamfirescu, Clara Voda, Adrian Titieni, Mihai Bratila
"The grinding ordeal endured by the ailing title character of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, a thorny masterpiece by the Romanian director Cristi Puiu, concludes well after 3 a.m. in a Bucharest hospital as he lies dying, unattended on a gurney. That's more than five hours after this 62-year-old patient (Fiscuteanu) is carted by ambulance from his shabby, foul-smelling apartment to the first of four unwelcoming city hospitals… A sustained triumph of ensemble acting, the film seems so absolutely real it absorbs you into its world the same way a documentary like Frederick Wiseman's 1970 Hospital seeps into your consciousness." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Pawel Pawlikowski, Lenny Abrahamson, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Mike Leigh, Kleber Mendonça Filho.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Diana Dors, Sean Barry-Weske, Erica Beer, Will Danin, Dieter Eppler, Cheryl Hall, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sandford
"One of the all-time great London movies, the splendidly sleazy Deep End definitively proves that it takes an outsider’s eye to really capture the true textures of a city. Written and directed by Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski, the film captures the sexual shenanigans of the staff and clientele of a squalid South London swimming bath… From its Carry On-ish opening, the film morphs into something much more sinister, even segueing into Peeping Tom territory, as Mike’s (Moulder-Brown) love turns to violent fixation. Plus, its ultra-seedy depiction of Soho nightlife is the sort of thing you might find nowadays in a Gaspar Noé movie." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Nicolas Winding Refn, Jonathan Caouette, Amos Poe, Florence Maillard, Shu Kei.
David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Clara Calamai, Macha Meril, Glauco Mauri, Eros Pagni, Giuliana Calandra, Nicoletta Elmi, Pierro Mazzinghi
"Deep Red was Dario Argento's first full-fledged masterpiece, a riveting thriller whose secrets carefully unravel via a series of carefully calibrated compositions that become not unlike virtual gateways into Freudian pasts. Like Argento's ever-flowing camera, Deep Red's killer is everywhere—the protagonist's claustrophobia becomes a physical response both to the film's oppressive mise-en-scène and Argento's formal framing. Unlike The Cat O' Nine Tails, there's no silly scientific rationale here for the film's murders (indeed, there are no easy answers). Argento delicately grapples with issues feminism and masculinity within Deep Red's meticulously visual exegesis of a troubled psyche." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Florence Maillard, Rob Hunter, Raquel Abad, Rob St. Mary, Daniel Dalpizzolo.
The Deer Hunter
Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, George Dzundza, Chuck Aspegren, Shirley Stoler, Rutanya Alda, Pierre Segui
"The Deer Hunter is a three-hour movie in three major movements. It is a progression from a wedding to a funeral. It is the story of a group of friends. It is the record of how the war in Vietnam entered several lives and altered them terribly forever. It is not an anti-war film. It is not a pro-war film. It is one of the most emotionally shattering films ever made… It is said to be about many subjects: About male bonding, about mindless patriotism, about the dehumanizing effects of war… It is about any of those things that you choose, if you choose, but more than anything else, it is a heartbreakingly effective fictional machine that evokes the agony of the Vietnam time." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Lone Scherfig, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Götz Spielmann, Matthew Vaughn, Ray Lawrence.
Miroslaw Baka, Henryk Baranowski, Artur Barcis, Aleksander Bardini, Maja Barelkowska, Adrianna Biedrzynska, Henryk Bista, Ewa Blaszczyk, Bozena Dykiel, Janusz Gajos
"If its 10 parts inevitably vary in quality, in its entirety, the cycle -- which was first shown on Polish television in 1988-89 -- stands as a masterwork of modern cinema, essential viewing for anyone who cares about the movies as a serious art form… Without sermonizing or even trying to prove the existence of a divine power operating in the universe, these oblique dramatic parables imagine lives influenced by unseen forces whose intentions can't be predicted or even begun to be grasped." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Sarah Polley, Tarsem Singh, Kenneth Turan, Esin Kucuktepepinar, Avinoam Harpak.
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.
Maksim Munzuk, Yuri Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Suimenkul Chokmorov, Svetlana Danilchenko, Dmitri Korshikov, Vladimir Kremena, Aleksandr Pyatkov, B. Khorulev, Sovetbek Dzhumadylov
"Given the expanse of the Siberian wilderness as his cinematic canvas, Akira Kurosawa responds with the visually hypnotic, deeply affecting portrait of nature, friendship, and survival in Dersu Uzala… Kurosawa transcends the confines of traditional cinema with the startling imagery and camerawork of Dersu Uzala… To define Dersu Uzala as a story about an aboriginal tribesman is to describe humanity through a two-dimensional photograph. Dersu Uzala is an allegory for the environmental toll of civilization, a testament to a profound, enduring friendship, and a heartbreaking portrait of aging and obsolescence." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Jia Zhangke, Rolf De Heer, Karl Markovics, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Mingchuam Huang.
Design for Living
Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton, Franklin Pangborn, Isabel Jewell, Jane Darwell, Wyndham Standing, Lionel Belmore, Thomas Braidon
"Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agreement” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship story and a witty take on creative pursuits, the film concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his sexiest, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mariano Llinás, Leos Carax, Peter Buchka, Jorge Gorostiza, Luis Alberto de Cuenca.
Top 25 of the 1930s
1. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
2. L’ Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
3. City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
4. La Grande illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
5. Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)
6. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
7. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
8. Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
9. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
10. Partie de campagne (Jean Renoir, 1936)
11. L’ Âge d'or (Luis Buñuel, 1930)
12. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
13. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
14. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
15. King Kong (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)
16. Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930)
17. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939)
18. Vampyr (Carl Dreyer, 1932)
19. Zero for Conduct (Jean Vigo, 1933)
20. Tabu (F.W. Murnau, 1931)
21. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)
22. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
23. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (David Hand, 1937)
24. Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937)
25. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
"Chantal Akerman’s haunting 1993 masterpiece documents without commentary or dialogue her several-months-long trip from east Germany to Moscow… Akerman’s painterly penchant for finding Edward Hopper wherever she goes has never been more obvious; this travelogue seemingly offers vistas any alert tourist could find yet delivers a series of images and sounds that are impossible to shake later… Everyone goes to movies in search of events, but the extraordinary events in Akerman’s sorrowful, intractable film are the shots themselves–the everyday recorded by a powerful artist with an acute eye and ear." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Sergei Loznitsa, Gillian Wearing, Javier Packer-Comyn, Kieron Corless, Ulrich Köhler.
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.
The Devil, Probably
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, Matías Piñeiro, Brad Deane, Filipe Furtado.
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.
1955 / France / 114m / BW / Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel, Jean Brochard, Pierre Larquey, Michel Serrault, Noel Roquevert, Therese Dorny, Yves-Marie Maurin
"Before Psycho, Peeping Tom, and Repulsion, there was Diabolique. This thriller from Henri‑Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women—the fragile wife and the willful mistress of the sadistic headmaster of a boys’ boarding school—who hatch a daring revenge plot. With its unprecedented narrative twists and terrifying images, Diabolique is a heart-grabbing benchmark in horror filmmaking, featuring outstanding performances by Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by James Marsh, Van Papadopoulos, Diego Galán, Markku Pölönen, Tomris Laffly.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Diaries, Notes and Sketches
Timothy Leary, Ed Emshwiller, Franz Fuenstler, Jack Smith, Mario Montez, Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, Judith Malina, Storm De Hirsch
"Celebrating and singing the scene it records, Walden is four years (1964-68) seen through the corybantic 16mm Bolex of Jonas Mekas. The propulsive images, strung together in roughly the same order they were filmed, inaugurated Mekas's ongoing Diaries Notes and Sketches series, a project of autobiography through home movie—or, as he called them, "Just images for myself." The filmmaker-flaneur records dinners, weddings, hustles, and four full cycles of the seasons seen from the Brakhage compound in Colorado, the malevolent industrial badlands of North Jersey, and the lunch counters of slush-pit New York." - Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice
Selected by Dāvis Sīmanis, Filipe Furtado, Thomas Beard, Wim Wenders, Amy Taubin.
David Perlov, Mira Perlov, Yael Perlov, Neomi Perlov
"The flow of history accelerates, slows down, and turns back on itself in the course of David Perlov’s six-hour Diary 1973–1983, a landmark Israeli film… A meandering stream of consciousness that mixes daily life with historical events (Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem, the protests following the massacres at Sabra and Shatila) while freely associating on the director’s past life and aesthetic inklings, Perlov’s self-annotated footage is at once spontaneous and ruminative. The filmmaker documents his wife and twin daughters at home and, frequently looking down from his window, records history as it occurs in the streets… Enlivened by meetings with kindred spirits (filmmakers Joris Ivens, his one-time mentor, and Claude Lanzmann; writers Irving Howe and André Schwarz-Bart; a surprisingly affable Klaus Kinski), Diary’s six 55-minute episodes have a remarkable cumulative effect." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Ari Folman, Andrés Di Tella, Gonçalo Tocha, Radu Jude, Raphael Nadjari.
A Diary for Timothy
Michael Redgrave, Myra Hess, John Gielgud, Frederick Allen, Bill, Elizabeth Jenkins, Elvin Jenkins, Timothy James Jenkins, Jennifer, Frank Phillips
"A Diary for Timothy is Jennings' most accomplished and arguably his greatest film. It's a poignant yet resolutely unsentimental portrait of the battle-weary home front in 1944-5 that, like so much of the director's work, casts a sensitive eye over the lives of ordinary people, while celebrating their dignity and determination… Forster's writing and Redgrave's narration are, at times, deliciously wry, yet the abiding undertone is so painfully raw and deeply sad that half a century on the conclusion, which poses the one question which in 1945 no one could hope to answer, is still capable of sending a shiver down the spine." - Jon Fortgang, Film4
Selected by Ian Christie, Patrick Russell, Tag Gallagher, Kevin Jackson, Lindsay Anderson.
Diary of a Country Priest
Claude Laydu, Marie-Monique Arkell, Andre Guibert, Jean Riveyre, Nicole Maurey, Nicole Ladmiral, Martine Lemaire, Antoine Balpetre, Jean Danet, Gaston Severin
"Rarely have form and content been married as harmoniously as in Robert Bresson's breakthrough Diary of a Country Priest, which honors the piety of a besieged young man of the cloth with the unsparing rigor of a traditional Catholic mass… Historian Peter Cowie contends that no other director has ever matched Bresson's "simplicity of expression"… Nothing in Diary Of A Country Priest happens by accident: The stark images suggest a village bereft of natural and spiritual life, the camera moves only to emphasize key moments, and the soundtrack enforces the title character's isolation from the outside world." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Jean-Marie Straub, Michel Gondry, Gavin Smith, Scott Foundas, Andrey Zvyagintsev.
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, Boris Khlebnikov.
Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, Andrew Robinson, John Mitchum, John Vernon, John Larch, Mae Mercer, Lyn Edgington, Ruth Kobart
"Dirty Harry may not be Don Siegel's masterpiece—although it is a first-rate policier featuring a career-defining performance by Clint Eastwood. No less than Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it offers a fabulous, multifarious political metaphor. (And, as with Body Snatchers, Siegel's own liberal interpretation was trumped by a more forceful hard-right reading)… In its day, the movie was critically and commercially overshadowed by The French Connection, but en route to inspiring four sequels, it became a mainstream cult film." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Jan Lumholdt, Edgar Wright, Shane Black, Makoto Shinozaki, Hirohisa Sasaki.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Stephane Audran, Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Paul Frankeur, Julien Bertheau, Claude Pieplu, Michel Piccoli, Milena Vukotic
"Luis Buñuel's surreal masterpiece from 1972, co-written with Jean-Claude Carrière, is stranger and more sensual than ever. The weirdness under the conventions throbs even more insistently and indiscreetly, now that those conventions themselves are historically distant. We can see with hindsight how Buñuel's subversion absorbed the various modish forms of agitprop and radical chic, and subverted those as well… An exotic and brilliant hothouse flower of a film." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Michael Chanan, Woody Allen, David O. Russell, Akira Tochigi, Amir Emary.
Muzaffer Ozdemir, Emin Toprak, Zuhal Gencer, Nazan Kirilmis, Feridun Koc, Fatma Ceylan, Arif Asci, Nazli Aydin, Ahmet Bugay, Ebru Ceylan
"Nuri Bilge Ceylan's mesmerizing Distant needs to be seen in a movie theater, because without the subtle impact of its photography and soundtrack, it wouldn't amount to much of anything. A deadpan comedy/drama that details the chilly relationship between an urbanite loner and his visiting cousin from the sticks, the film recalls the odd-couple dynamic in Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise, but with even less incident. In a medium primed for movement and action, it's tough to make ennui register for audiences as something other than outright boredom, but Ceylan sustains a precise, evocative mood that's saturated with melancholy." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by David Stratton, Nick James, Andrew Haigh, Matt Boyd, Hussain Currimbhoy.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Freda Dowie, Pete Postlethwaite, Angela Walsh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Dean William, Sally Davies, Nathan Walsh, Susan Flanagan, Michael Starke, Vincent MaGuire
"Few British film-makers have dared to attempt such a thoroughly poetic treatment of their native land, and Terence Davies is the only one to have succeeded so spectacularly… Davies casts an unapologetically myth-making eye over his own adolescence in wartime Liverpool, forging primal drama out of father-son conflicts, sisterly solidarity and maternal fortitude. But what really sets his film apart is the stunning power of the images Davies conjures up. Long, stately shots combine with impassioned performances to create a visual tour de force unmatched elsewhere in British cinema… This film is a masterpiece." - Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
Selected by Carlos Reygadas, David Stratton, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mark Cousins, Andrew Pulver.
Do the Right Thing
Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Spike Lee, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Paul Benjamin, John Savage
"The hottest day of the year explodes on-screen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn, Rosie Perez, and John Turturro, Spike Lee’s powerful portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ryan Coogler, Scott Derrickson, Ginette Vincendeau, Steve McQueen, Asif Kapadia.
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 Ching Siu-Tung, Irina-Margareta Nistor, Youngmee Hwang, Floyd Mutrux, Mark L. Lester.
Yoshitaka Zushi, Kin Sugai, Kazuo Kato, Junzaburo Ban, Kiyoko Tange, Michio Hino, Tatsuhei Shimokawa, Keiji Furuyama, Hisashi Igawa, Hideko Okiyama
"By turns tragic and transcendent, Akira Kurosawa’s film follows the daily lives of a group of people barely scraping by in a slum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet as desperate as their circumstances are, each of them—the homeless father and son envisioning their dream house; the young woman abused by her uncle; the boy who imagines himself a trolley conductor—finds reasons to carry on. The unforgettable Dodes’ka-den was made at a tumultuous moment in Kurosawa’s life. And all of his hopes, fears, and artistic passion are on fervent display in this, his gloriously shot first color film." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Judith Williamson, Marina Warner, Shion Sono, Louis Skorecki.
Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino, John Cazale, Sully Boyar, Charles Durning, Chris Sarandon, Penelope Allen, Beulah Garrick, Carol Kane, James Broderick, Sandra Kazan
"Al Pacino heads a stellar ensemble cast in Sidney Lumet’s tense, unbearably moving tale of a first-time crook whose plan to rob a Brooklyn bank goes spectacularly awry. Though primarily confined to a single location, the film is filled to brimming with distinctly New York characters… At the center of it all is Pacino’s Sonny Wortzik, who alternates between cocky displays of street-theater bravado (his famous “Attica!” speech) and devastating moments of walls-are-closing-in introspection. You can see the film’s influence in multifaceted heist movies like Reservoir Dogs and Heat (also starring Pacino), but nothing matches Dog Day’s earthy, unsentimental vision." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
Selected by Bruce Robinson, Richard Lester, Bong Joon-ho, Niki Caro, Karen Oughton.
Dog Star Man
Stan Brakhage, Jane Brakhage
"Brakhage revitalises the Romantic concept of the artist as heroic protagonist, struggling with Nature, the seasons, life, death, and above all with his own developing consciousness. This work introduced to the '60s avant-garde a new use of visual analogy and metaphor, in a language based on wild camera movement, hand painting, superimposition, and the reconstruction and recapitulation of series of images and whole sequences." - David Curtis, Time Out
Selected by David Sterritt, Bryan Chang, David E. James, Jaime Pena, Carolee Schneemann.
Nicole Kidman, Harriet Andersson, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, Paul Bettany, Blair Brown, James Caan, Ben Gazzara, Philip Baker Hall, Udo Kier
"Lars von Trier's Dogville gives us America on a soundstage and a Rocky Mountain township rendered in chalk marks on the floor. It is Von Trier's America and Von Trier's township, and this enraged some viewers who dismissed the film as a crude, blinkered diatribe from a man too timid (on account of his aversion to air travel) to actually visit the country for himself. And yes, Dogville is crude and arguably blinkered as well. But it is also electrifying, gripping and audacious: the work of a director at the peak of his powers." - Xan Brooks, The Guardian
Selected by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Stephen Thrower, Joe Swanberg, Goran Gocic, Audrius Stonys.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Top 25 of the 1940s
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
2. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
3. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
4. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
5. Les Enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945)
6. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
7. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
8. It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
9. To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
10. My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)
11. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)
12. Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
13. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
14. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)
15. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
16. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
17. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
18. Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945)
19. Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948)
20. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
21. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1947)
22. The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin, 1940)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford, 1940)
24. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger Powell, 1943)
25. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
La Dolce vita
Marcello Mastroianni, Yvonne Furneaux, Anouk Aimee, Anita Ekberg, Magali Noel, Alain Cuny, Annibale Ninchi, Lex Barker, Nadia Gray, Walter Santesso
"Fellini may be the most dated and retrospectively overinflated of the new wave era's headline acts, but La Dolce Vita is still a potent, expressionistic launch into post-war Euro-emptiness that shares a rarely acknowledged helix with Antonioni's L'Avventura… Outlandishly fashionable in its day thanks to the very decadence it critiques, the movie is almost Chayefsky-esque in its desolate portrait of a self-disgusted "society" reporter (Mastroianni) as he wanders in and out of the Roman celebrity-royalty-publicity swampland. Hardly just bourgeois target practice, Fellini's movie focuses on what had become of pop culture after fascism." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Adam McKay, Paul Verhoeven, Alberto Pezzotta, Penny Woolcock.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duval, Patrick Swayze, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross, Noah Wyle
"Informed in equal measure by Back To The Future, E.T., and Blue Velvet, Kelly's portrait of late-'80s suburbia is bound in pop-culture references, yet they're not cheap signposts, but a genuine reflection of what it was like to grow up in that time and place… A dense and wonderfully stylized amalgam of genres and influences, Donnie Darko resists any clear definition, which is perhaps its most appealing quality. Is it the flip side of Blue Velvet, a blistering satire of Reagan-warped suburbia? Or is it an anarchic, Fight Club-style punk film about the impulse to tear down a corrupt world in order to build a new one? Is it mind-bending science fiction? An adolescent romance?" - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by James King, Marc Evans, Peg Aloi, Susy Freitas, Jurgen Egger.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Don't Look Back
Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Donovan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Alan Price, Tito Burns, Derroll Adams, Chris Ellis, Allen Ginsberg
"An unforgettable all-access pass behind the scenes of Bob Dylan's '65 British tour, D.A. Pennebaker's landmark 1967 rock doc all but invented the form while presaging the music video with its oft-copied "Subterranean Homesick Blues" clip. Pennebaker hangs with Dylan and his entourage (including Joan Baez, Alan Price, and the droll Bob Neuwirth) as they move through a blur of indistinguishable hotel rooms and concert halls, pursued by highbrow journalists who want to talk to the oracle. The concert footage of the young Dylan in his punky prime is electrifying, but the most fun comes from the privileged glimpses of his sadistic wit." - Jim Ridley, The Village Voice
Selected by John Cameron Mitchell, Andrew Šprah, Bill Nichols, Carlos Reviriego, Charles Musser.
Don't Look Now
Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania, Massimo Serato, Renato Scarpa, Giorgio Trestini, Leopoldo Trieste, David Tree, Ann Rye
"Until Nicolas Roeg made Don't Look Now, Venice was always used in films to symbolize romance, passion and sensuous dreams. But when Roeg went there in the dead of winter to make his now-classic Gothic thriller, the city's canals and ancient buildings were shrouded in fog and sinister mystery. The result is a haunting, beautiful labyrinth that gets inside your bones and stays there… Don't Look Now still has the power to frighten and disorient -- to suggest a world that's perilous, cruel and out of control. Roeg created an atmosphere thick with portents and subliminal clues and edited the film in a fractured manner that distorts time and perception." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Rupert Wyatt, Dominik Graf, Edgar Wright, Lizzie Francke, Mark Kermode.
Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather, Tom Powers, Fortunio Bonanova, Richard Gaines, John Philliber, Bess Flowers
"As poised and languorous as a cat, Stanwyck’s definitive femme fatale could be one of the savvy minxes of the actress’ delectable Pre-Code years – the jailhouse alpha female in Ladies They Talk About, the secretary trampolining up the office ranks one bed at a time in Baby Face – grown older and harder, her manicured ruthlessness calcifying into brutal amorality. With diamond-hard repartee by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (by way of James M Cain’s novel) and ghoulish cinematography by the great John Seitz, this is the gold standard of ’40s noir, straight down the line." - Jessica Winter, Time Out
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Mike D'Angelo, José Luis Garci, Carol J. Clover, Carlos Bonfil.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The Double Life of Veronique
Irene Jacob, Halina Gryglaszewska, Kalina Jedrusik, Aleksander Bardini, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Jerzy Gudejko, Jan Sterninski, Philippe Volter, Sandrine Dumas, Louis Ducreux
"Krzysztof Kieślowski’s international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irène Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Véronique, a French music teacher… Aided by Slawomir Idziak’s shimmering cinematography and Zbigniew Preisner’s haunting, operatic score, Kieślowski creates one of cinema’s most purely metaphysical works. The Double Life of Véronique is an unforgettable symphony of feeling." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gregg Araki, José Teodoro, Fung Ka Ming, Lucy Virgen, Matthew Taylor.
Down by Law
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, Warwick Thornton, Klaus Kreimeier.
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler
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.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, Peter Bull, Tracy Reed, James Earl Jones, Jack Creley, Frank Berry
"Perhaps Kubrick's most perfectly realised film, simply because his cynical vision of the progress of technology and human stupidity is wedded with comedy, in this case Terry Southern's sparkling script in which the world comes to an end thanks to a mad US general's paranoia about women and commies… Kubrick wanted to have the antics end up with a custard-pie finale, but thank heavens he didn't; the result is scary, hilarious, and nightmarishly beautiful, far more effective in its portrait of insanity and call for disarmament than any number of worthy anti-nuke documentaries." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Joe Dante, Neill Blomkamp, Paul Feig, Ari Folman, Joseph McBride.
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Valerie Gaunt, John Van Eyssen, Miles Malleson, Charles Lloyd Pack, Janina Faye
"This creepy period yarn has retained much of its bite… One shouldn’t be brutal about a film of such noble intent, but as ‘horror’ it doesn’t have the honest-to-goodness scares that modern audiences expect. Still, Christopher Lee’s Dracula is a menacing and complex presence who never lets his fangs and cape dominate. There’s also the canny use of vampirism as an allegory for drug abuse and sexually transmitted disease: is this the camp forerunner to Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction?" - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Nicolas Barbano, Shion Sono, Nacho Vigalondo, Evelyne Caron-Lowins, Shunji Iwai.
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Edgar Kennedy, Raquel Torres, Verna Hillie, Leonid Kinskey
"When the gang hooked up with a distinguished director, Leo McCarey, for the first and last time of their careers, their talents were perfectly channeled into 1933's Duck Soup, arguably the funniest movie ever made. The brothers claim that the film's story—about a leader (Groucho) who arbitrarily takes his country to war—was never intended as satire, but only Dr. Strangelove matches its audacity in sending up the follies of nationalism and conflict. The buildup to Groucho's fight with a neighboring country, triggered by an ambassador calling him an "upstart," leads to a joyous musical setpiece in which the prospect of war sends the nation into a state of perverse ecstasy." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Harmony Korine, Edgar Wright, Ben Walters, Chris Knight, Howard Hampton.
Duel in the Sun
Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotten, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Charles Bickford, Herbert Marshall, Harry Carey, Joan Tetzel
"A big, big western from producer David O. Selznick… Selznick enlisted King Vidor—one of the few directors with the logistical know-how to handle such a sprawling film—and tried to duplicate the success of his Gone With the Wind. What Selznick got instead was a screaming Freudian fantasy, full of the dark sexuality characteristic of Vidor's late career (Beyond the Forest, Ruby Gentry). Contemporary wits called it Lust in the Dust, and there's no doubt that it goes too far in almost every direction—but that touch of obsession is exactly what saves it." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Stratton, Javier Coma, Martin Scorsese, Fredric R. Jameson, Tino Pertierra.
Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Sterling Holloway, Verna Felton, Cliff Edwards, Billy Bletcher, Jim Carmichael, Noreen Gamill, Malcolm Hutton, John McLeish
"With Fantasia, Disney explicitly set out to test the technical limits of animation, but with Dumbo, however inadvertently, the studio tested the emotional limits. Though it ultimately provides sweet redemption, Dumbo plunges its hero pretty close to the heart of darkness. Not that its technical achievements should be ignored: From the bizarre, justly famous "Pink Elephants On Parade" sequence to its less show-stopping moments, Dumbo captures Disney feature filmmaking, still near its infancy, at its best." - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by John Lasseter, Matthew Modine, Gael Garcia Bernal, Carolee Schneemann, Rob Humanick.
Dust in the Wind
Tianlu Li, Shufen Xin, Shufang Chen, Lawrence Ko, Yang Lin, Fang Mei, Chien-wen Wang, Bi-yuan Yan, Lai-Yin Yang
"It follows two young lovers who move to the city (Taipei) to find work because they can’t afford to finish high school, and slowly but irrevocably their relationship is torn asunder. Hou’s feeling for the textures of everyday life, caught mainly in long takes and intricately framed deep-focus compositions, gives this unhurried but deeply affecting drama a deceptively subterranean impact that gradually rises to the surface. The very natural and, for the most part, underplayed performances by nonprofessionals are especially impressive." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Hirokazu Koreeda, Bong Joon-ho, Ik-June Yang, Michael Berry, Isao Yukisada.