The 1,000 Greatest Films (E-G)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

1982 / USA / 115m / Col / Science Fiction, Children's Fantasy
Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, K.C. Martel, Sean Frye, Tom Howell, Erika Eleniak, David O'Dell
"ET: The Extra Terrestrial - the story of the little boy from a broken home who befriends an extra-terrestrial creature stranded on Earth - really is a masterpiece... This is a brilliant film about the alienated and powerless experience of being a child, especially a child forced to absorb the scalding ironies of divorce; it works as a brilliant metaphor for this pain as well being a superb sci-fi adventure. It is a visionary romance - and there have never been many of those." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Carrie Rickey, Terry Jones, Cyrus Frisch, John Singleton, Ronald Neame.
Early Summer

Early Summer

Bakushû (original title)
1951 / Japan / 135m / BW / Drama, Family Drama
Setsuko Hara, Chishu Ryu, Chikage Awashima, Kuniko Miyake, Ichiro Sugai, Chieko Higashiyama, Haruko Sugimura, Kuniko Ikawa, Kan Nihonyanagi, Shuji Sano
"The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilling her family’s desires while tearing them apart. A seemingly simple story, Early Summer is one of Yasujiro Ozu’s most complex works—a nuanced examination of life’s changes across three generations." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hong Sang-soo, Ira Sachs, Fábio Andrade, David Bordwell, Lian Cheng.
Earth

Earth

Zemlya (original title)
1930 / USSR / 75m / BW / Drama, Rural Drama
Semyon Svashenko, Stepan Shkurat, Nikolai Nademsky, Yuliya Solntseva, Yelena Maksimova, I. Franko, Pyotr Masokha, V. Mikhajlov, Pavel Petrik, P. Umanets
"The astonishingly beautiful Earth is unlike anything else in movies. Drafted to make a film on rural collectivization, Dovzhenko produced a myth presenting the creation of the kolkhoz as a natural phenomenon, part of a cosmic cycle of birth and death. Murdered by a crazed kulak (or wealthy peasant), Earth's young hero is a martyr to the fertility of harvest. Released amid the campaign to liquidate the kulaks, Earth is ultimately a pagan myth made to celebrate a tragic social experiment." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Gilberto Perez, Jirí Menzel, Kevin Jackson, Dusan Makavejev, Donald Richie.
East of Eden

East of Eden

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

Easy Rider

1969 / USA / 94m / Col / Road Movie, Biker Film
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson, Warren Finnerty, Mac Mashourian, Tita Colorado, Luke Askew, Luana Anders
"As Billy and “Captain America,” Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda motored down the highway on their Harley Davidsons to the roaring strains of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” the definitive counterculture blockbuster was born. Former clean-cut teen star Hopper’s down-and-dirty directorial debut, Easy Rider heralded the arrival of a new voice in film, one pitched angrily against the mainstream. After Easy Rider’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave–style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jan Sverák, Mario Van Peebles, Roger Donaldson, Kaushik Bhaumik, Luciano Barisone.
L'Eclisse

L'Eclisse

Top 100 Film / Ranking 98 (96)
The Eclipse (English title)
1962 / Italy-France / 126m / BW / Psychological Drama, Urban Drama
Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal, Lilla Brignone, Louis Seigner, Rosanna Rory, Mirella Ricciardi, Cyrus Elias
"The conclusion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on modern malaise, L’eclisse tells the story of a young woman (Vitti) who leaves one lover (Rabal) only to drift into a relationship with another (Delon). Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the couple’s doomed affair, Antonioni reaches the apotheosis of his modernist style, returning to his favorite themes: alienation and the difficulty of finding connections in an increasingly mechanized world." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrei Plakhov, Gilberto Perez, Judith Williamson, Clara Law, George Kuchar.
Ed Wood

Ed Wood

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

Edvard Munch

1974 / Sweden-Norway / 210m / Col / Drama, Biopic
Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Iselin von Hanno Bart, Eric Allum, Amund Berge, Kerstii Allum, Inger-Berit Oland, Susan Troldmyr, Camilla Falk, Peter Watkins
"This 1974 masterpiece—a biopic of the famed Norwegian Expressionist and sickbed child of the Industrial Age's alienation aura—may be Watkins' most accessible film, thanks to the high-art hook… Not only does it convincingly dare to approximate a documentary—narration, direct-camera address, etc.—as Watkins has done from the beginning of his career, but the film also places 19th-century class injustice, including the small matter of pervasive child labor, in the foreground so relentlessly that Munch himself (personified by Eric Allum) often disappears into the social weft." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Gareth Evans, Emily Wardill, Craig Keller, Sarah Nichols, Nicole Brenez.
Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

1990 / USA / 100m / Col / Fantasy Comedy, Romance
Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell, Caroline Aaron
"The misunderstood outcast is one of the most cherished of Hollywood heroes, and in Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton shows us why. The story is a touching fable, an old-fashioned parable of love and intolerance -- but with a distinctly Burton-esque spin. The film is proof of just how different the director's visual style is: the fairy-tale suburbia he creates is a perfect example of his astonishing, uniquely Gothic look." - Matthew Doberman, All Movie
Selected by Daniel Cretton, Floria Sigismondi, Isabel Coixet, Rainer Knepperges, Ricardo Aldarondo.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
8½

Top 10 Film / Ranking 6 (6)
Otto e mezzo (original title)
1963 / Italy / 135m / BW / Satire, Psychological Drama
Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk, Barbara Steele, Guido Alberti, Mario Pisu, Madeleine LeBeau, Jean Rougeul
"Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini’s turns one man’s artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema. An early working title for 8½ was The Beautiful Confusion, and Fellini’s masterpiece is exactly that: a shimmering dream, a circus, and a magic act." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrei Plakhov, Atom Egoyan, Stanley Kauffman, Baz Luhrmann.
El

El

This Strange Passion (English title)
1952 / Mexico / 91m / BW / Black Comedy, Satire
Arturo de Cordova, Delia Garces, Luis Beristain, Aurora Walker, Carlos Martinez Baena, Manuel Donde, Rafael Banquells, Fernando Casanova, Jose Pidal, Roberto Meyer
"Released at the pinnacle of his prolific Mexican period, Él remains one of Luis Buñuel's crowning achievements. "Ironically, there's absolutely nothing Mexican about Él; it's simply the portrait of a paranoiac, who, like a poet, is born, not made," says the director in his autobiography. Though set in Mexico and ripe with authentic details from daily life, Él is less a portrait of machismo gone awry than it is a brutal and absurd glimpse at one man's runaway paranoia" - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Jean Narboni, Ed Gonzalez, Daniela Michel, Charles Tesson, Mariano Barroso.
El Dorado

El Dorado

1966 / USA / 126m / Col / Western, Buddy Film
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey, Arthur Hunnicutt, R.G. Armstrong, Edward Asner, Paul Fix, Christopher George
"Hawks' effortless Western gathers together a gunfighter, a drunken sheriff, a young hopeful, a couple of tough women, and sets them up in a jail, fighting for their lives against a cattle baron and his hired killers. Sounds familiar? In many ways the plot resembles Hawks' earlier Rio Bravo, and several of the themes are again present: the importance of group solidarity, self-respect, professionalism, and acceptance of others' faults… This is an old man's movie only in the sense that it deals with the problems of approaching the valley of death. In other words, it's a witty, exciting and deeply moving masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, José Luis Cienfuegos, Fernando Guillen, Francesc Blanquer, Frank Arnold.
Elephant

Elephant

2003 / USA / 81m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson, Elias McConnell, Jordan Taylor, Carrie Finklea, Nicole George, Timothy Bottoms, Matt Malloy, Larry Laverty
"Elephant is a poetic disaster film that audaciously addresses the subject of American high school shootings. It was inspired by the 1999 Columbine massacre but incorporates details from other incidents, treating the material with a combination of bold aestheticism and documentary whimsy. Expertly shot by Harris Savides in the boxy 1.33:1 standard TV aspect ratio, the spectacle is designed for maximum glide—a film of long traveling shots over complex sound bridges. Less staged than unfurled, the narrative is essentially anecdotal. Characters are introduced as they hobnob in their school's cafeteria or pass through its sterile corridors." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Stig Bjorkman, Emily Richardson, Cui Zi'en, Tom Hanks, Neil Young.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man

1980 / USA / 125m / BW / Biography, Medical Drama
John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones, Michael Elphick, Hannah Gordon, Helen Ryan, John Standing
"More accessible than Lynch's enigmatically disturbing Eraserhead, The Elephant Man has much the same limpidly moving humanism as Truffaut's L'Enfant Sauvage in describing how the unfortunate John Merrick (Hurt), brutalised by a childhood in which he was hideously abused as an inhuman freak, was gradually coaxed into revealing a soul of such delicacy and refinement that he became a lion of Victorian society… A marvellous movie, shot in stunning black-and-white by Freddie Francis." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, Maja Bogojevic, Goran Gocic, Jorge Guerricaechevarría, Juanma Bajo Ulloa.
The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (alternative title)
1980 / USA / 124m / Col / Science Fiction, Space Adventure
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Alec Guinness, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz
"The Empire Strikes Back is the best of three Star Wars films, and the most thought-provoking. After the space opera cheerfulness of the original film, this one plunges into darkness and even despair, and surrenders more completely to the underlying mystery of the story. It is because of the emotions stirred in Empire that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Ferenc Zalaba, Gyorgy Palfi, Matthew Leyland, John Singleton, Trey Parker.
The End of Summer

The End of Summer

Kohayagawa-ke no aki (original title); Early Autumn (alternative title)
1961 / Japan / 103m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Ganjiro Nakamura, Setsuko Hara, Yoko Tsukasa, Michiyo Aratama, Reiko Dan, Keiju Kobayashi, Masahiko Shimazu, Haruko Sugimura, Hisaya Morisighe, Chieko Naniwa
"Modernisation/westernisation shapes everything, from family ethics to fashions in food, drink, work, dance and clothes. As in Floating Weeds, much of the film is funny (notably a stalking sequence and a hide-and-seek scene that make virtuoso play with point of view, and a delightfully 'untimely' fart gag), but towards the end it takes on a dark solemnity unusual even in Ozu's most poignant work. Another gem - and only the atypically emphatic music disappoints." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Wong Kar-wai, Ashim Ahluwalia, Edward Lawrenson, Eugene Green, John Siegel.
L'Enfance nue

L'Enfance nue

Naked Childhood (English title)
1968 / France / 80m / Col / Childhood Drama, Coming-of-Age
Michel Terrazon, Marie-Louise Thierry, Rene Thierry, Raoul Billerey, Maurice Coussonneau, Pierrette Deplanque, Linda Gutemberg, Marie Marc, Henri Puff
"The singular French director Maurice Pialat puts his distinctive stamp on the lost-youth film with this devastating portrait of a damaged foster child. We watch as ten-year-old François (Terrazon) is shuttled from one home to another, his behavior growing increasingly erratic, his bonds with his surrogate parents perennially fraught. In this, his feature debut, Pialat treats that potentially sentimental scenario with astonishing sobriety and stark realism. With its full-throttle mixture of emotionality and clear-eyed skepticism, L’enfance nue was advance notice of one of the most masterful careers in French cinema, and remains one of Pialat’s finest works." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Valeska Grisebach, Girish Shambu, Mimi Brody, Cedric Kahn, Pascal Merigeau.
Les Enfants du paradis

Les Enfants du paradis

Top 100 Film / Ranking 54 (53)
Children of Paradise (English title)
1945 / France / 195m / BW / Period Film, Romantic Drama
Pierre Brasseur, Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Renoir, Maria Casares, Gaston Modot, Fabien Loris, Marcel Herrand, Louis Salou, Jane Marken
"Children Of Paradise is the ultimate theater-as-life movie, rich in historical allusions past and present, a landmark production that overcame constant harassment by the Germans and stands as a key testament to the spirit of the French Resistance. But apart from mere dissertation fodder, the film remains an exemplary piece of popular entertainment, full of vibrancy and wit, with unforgettable characters and a delicate, bittersweet tone that considers their emotions in balance." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by John McNaughton, Kenneth Turan, Monte Hellman, Marc Forster, Kevin Thomas.
Top 25 of the 1950s: 1. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), 2. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953), 3. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956), 4. Seven Samurai, The (Akira Kurosawa, 1954), 5. Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952), 6. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950), 7. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959), 8. Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959), 9. Ordet (Carl Dreyer, 1955), 10. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958), 11. Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, 1950), 12. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955), 13. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954), 14. Ugetsu monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953), 15. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955), 16. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959), 17. La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954), 18. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957), 19. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957), 20. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959), 21. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959), 22. Voyage in Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1953), 23. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956), 24. Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954), 25. Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950).
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (original title); Every Man for Himself and God Against All (alternative title)
1974 / West Germany / 110m / Col / Psychological Drama, Biography
Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Herbert Achternbusch, Wolfgang Bauer, Wilhelm Bayer, Gloria Doer, Willy Semmelrogge, Volker Prechtel, Enno Patalas
"The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is a poignant, visually exquisite allegory of how civilization breeds despair. Based on a true story similar to the case in François Truffaut's The Wild Child (1970), Herzog's rendering of isolated, preverbal foundling Kaspar Hauser's release into the world as an adult reveals the perverse effects of "rational" thought and culture on natural, soulful innocence… Along with Herzog's odd angles and compositions, former mental patient Bruno S.'s ethereal, evocatively affectless performance as Kaspar makes him both endearing and strange, emphasizing his impossible place in 19th century society." - Lucia Bozzola, All Movie
Selected by Dieter Kosslick, Goran Gocic, Julian Jarrold, Liao Weitang, Tao Ruspoli.
Equinox Flower

Equinox Flower

Higanbana (original title)
1958 / Japan / 118m / Col / Family Drama, Domestic Comedy
Shin Saburi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ineko Arima, Yoshiko Kuga, Keiji Sada, Teiji Takahashi, Chishu Ryu, Chieko Naniwa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Nobuo Nakamura
"Ozu's first film in colour, and he uses it sparingly. Subdued dress sense and domestic interiors are set against splashes of significant red (look out for the kettle!), representing the amaryllis which blooms around the autumn equinox - the perfect image for a film about transition. Saburi's the father fretting over the marriage of eldest daughter Arima, who's fallen in love and become engaged without involving her dad in the decision. In many ways, he's a figure caught between Japanese traditionalism and liberalising western influence… It's an irony not lost on the director, who marshals the progress towards harmonious resolution with his usual mastery." - Trevor Johnston, Time Out
Selected by Chris Fujiwara, Gian Luca Farinelli, Mariann Lewinsky, Susan Oxtoby.
Eraserhead

Eraserhead

1977 / USA / 85m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Surrealist Film
Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Anna Roberts, Laurel Near, V. Phipps-Wilson, Jack Fisk, Jean Lange, Thomas Coulson
"Watching Eraserhead today, what emerges is the sheer, immersive clarity of David Lynch’s vision, the sense of a world unlike our own and yet inextricably bound to it: a world in which all the light has been sucked out, leaving only horror and isolation, desperation and unattainable dreams. Knowing the struggles Lynch and his crew underwent to complete this wildly uncommercial labour of love, over five years of scratching for every budgetary dollar, the absence of compromise astounds. Eraserhead is a singular work of the imagination, a harrowing, heartbreaking plunge into the darkest recesses of the soul." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Gaspar Noé, Anton Dolin, Anton Bitel, Olivier Smolders, Claire Binns.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2004 / USA / 108m / Col / Comedy Drama, Romantic Fantasy
Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Adams, David Cross, Tom Wilkinson, Deirdre O'Connell, Debbon Ayer
"Possibly the most elaborate romantic comedy ever predicated on the gimmick of amnesia, Eternal Sunshine has a more than passing resemblance to Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, the two movies Charlie Kaufman wrote for Spike Jonze. It's also a notable improvement over Gondry's first feature, Human Nature (written by Kaufman as well). Filled with the writer's trademark neurotic characters, grungy atmospherics, and downbeat emphasis on domestic discord, it's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Chris Knight, Daniel Nettheim, Linda Ruth Williams, Katey Rich, Drake Doremus.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Europa '51

Europa '51

The Greatest Love (USA title)
1952 / Italy / 113m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Giulietta Masina, Ettore Giannini, Teresa Pellati, Sandro Franchina, William Tubbs, Alfred Brown, Gianna Segale, Tina Perna
"The second collaboration between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman (after Stromboli), Europa '51 is a provocative, haunting, and compassionate examination of the isolating and often misunderstood path of personal redemption and spiritual service in contemporary society. Composed of alternating sequences of daytime and nighttime episodes (that would be similarly used by Federico Fellini in his subsequent film, La Dolce Vita), the film presents a recurring visual dichotomy that illustrates the polarizing division between wealth and poverty, spirituality and materialism, vanity and humility, selfishness and benevolence." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Julio Pérez Perucha, Manuel Ferrari, Marco Muller, Barbet Schroeder, Antonio Drove.
Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (alternative title)
1987 / USA / 85m / Col / Horror, Horror Comedy
Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Theodore Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, Lou Hancock, John Peaks, Snowy Winters
"Sam Raimi’s eye-popping sequel to the cult classic original deftly treads the line between frightfest and horror satire. Starring Bruce Campbell, Raimi’s favorite non-actor — or, as Raimi calls him, "the king of acting in reverse" — the film either follows nonsensically on the heels of the first or completely replaces it; it takes place in the same cabin with the same Book of the Dead, as if Ash would simply head on back to try his luck a second time. (He is just about that dim.) Deploying the full range of low-budget effects, Evil Dead II still looks junky, but Raimi’s goofball sense of humor makes the film’s very tawdriness appealing." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Justine Elias, Sean Byrne, Louis Leterrier, Cheryl Dunye, Edgar Wright.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
Excalibur

Excalibur

1981 / UK / 140m / Col / Sword-and-Sorcery, Mythological Fantasy
Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson, Robert Addie, Gabriel Byrne, Keith Buckley, Katrine Boorman
"The myth and legend of King Arthur has long been a favorite fascination of popular culture… John Boorman’s magnificent and magical Excalibur is, to my mind, the greatest and the richest of screen incarnation of the oft-told tale. Filmed on the rocky coasts and in the emerald forests of Ireland, Boorman turns this landscape into a primal world hewn out of stone and wood and mud by blood and iron." - Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
Selected by Trey Parker, Zack Snyder, Roger Avary, Christophe Goffette, Gilles Ciment.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
Behind the Sword in Stone: A documentary on the making of Excalibur. Read about it here.
The Exorcist

The Exorcist

1973 / USA / 121m / Col / Horror, Religious Drama
Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller, Jack MacGowran, Kitty Winn, Linda Blair, Vasiliki Maliaros, Wallace Rooney, Titos Vandis
"I've revisited The Exorcist over the years and found it effective every time. Because it's founded on characters, details and a realistic milieu, the shocks don't date; they still seem to grow from the material… The movie is more horrifying because it does not seem to want to be. The horror creeps into the lives of characters preoccupied with their lives: Father Karras (Miller) with his mother and his faith, Father Merrin (von Sydow) with his work and health, Chris MacNeil (Burstyn) with her career and marriage. The movie also gains power because it takes its theology seriously--for a movie, anyway." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Mark Kermode, Alex Proyas, Joko Anwar, Patrick Fahy, M. Night Shyamalan.
Exotica

Exotica

1994 / Canada / 104m / Col / Psychological Drama, Ensemble Film
Don McKellar, Mia Kirshner, Arsinee Khanjian, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Sarah Polley, Victor Garber, Calvin Green, David Hemblen, Peter Krantz
"A creative coup for the endlessly challenging writer/director Atom Egoyan, Exotica is a haunting, beautifully rendered tale of obsession and sexual frustration, following six disparate characters whose lives entwine in the most bizarre of ways. Employing overlapping and reverse chronology (a staple of Egoyan's storytelling), the picture builds slowly until its revelations become apparent, and the end result is a hypnotic and moving chronicle of broken lives and loss. The performances are all affecting and first-rate, and despite its key setting (a strip joint), the film is never obscene or concerned with rubbing the viewer's face in excess." - Jason Clark, All Movie
Selected by Emma Wilson, Mike D'Angelo, Ruth Barton, Steve Erickson, Spencer Selby.
The Exterminating Angel

The Exterminating Angel

El Ángel exterminador (original title)
1962 / Mexico / 95m / BW / Comedy Drama, Satire
Silvia Pinal, Enrique Rambal, Lucy Gallardo, Claudio Brook, Tito Junco, Bertha Moss, Jacqueline Andere, Jose Baviera, Augusto Benedico, Luis Beristain
"Luis Buñuel’s ferociously brilliant The Exterminating Angel is one of his most provocative and unforgettable works. In it we watch a trivial breach of etiquette transform into the destruction of civilization. Not only does this story undermine our confidence in our social institutions but it challenges our powers of cognition and perception, which are shown to be easily distorted by unreliable narratives. Perhaps most threatening, despite the emotional distance from the characters that Buñuel’s satiric vision grants us, we are ultimately forced to see that we in the audience are also objects of his attack." - Marsha Kinder, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michael Haneke, Andrew Tracy, Carmen Gray, David Flint, Alex Cox.
Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

1999 / USA-UK / 159m / Col / Marriage Drama, Psychological Drama
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Madison Eginton, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Vinessa Shaw, Todd Field, Alan Cumming, LeeLee Sobieski
"Eyes Wide Shut epitomizes Kubrick's commendable and audacious willingness to venture into unexplored territory and risk making a fool of himself. Like Crash and Blue Velvet, two similarly fearless, sexually transgressive but ultimately moralistic films that straddled the fine line between genius and lunacy, Eyes Wide Shut is above all a masterpiece of sustained tone, a tightrope act that pays off in rich and unexpected ways… As deceptively simple as an Aesop fable, and as haunting and enigmatic as a half-remembered dream, Eyes Wide Shut is a towering final achievement from one of cinema's greatest innovators." - Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
Selected by Craig Keller, Ed Park, Mia Hansen-Love, Antony Burns, Habib Azar.
Eyes Without a Face

Eyes Without a Face

Les Yeux sans visage (original title)
1959 / France-Italy / 88m / BW / Horror, Gothic Film
Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Francois Guerin, Juliette Mayniel, Beatrice Altariba, Alexandre Rignault, Rene Genin, Claude Brasseur, Michel Etcheverry
"An incredible amalgam of horror and fairytale in which scalpels thud into quivering flesh and the tremulous heroine (Scob) remains a prisoner of solitude in a waxen mask of eerie, frozen beauty… Illuminated throughout by Franju's unique sense of poetry - nowhere more evident than in the final shot of Scob wandering free through the night, her mask discarded but her face seen only by the dogs at her feet and the dove on her shoulder - it's a marvellous movie in the fullest sense." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Mark Kermode, Ed Park, Gráinne Humphreys, Brian Frye, Tom Milne.
F for Fake

F for Fake

Vérités et mensonges (original title)
1973 / France-Iran-West Germany / 85m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Essay Film
Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, Elmyr de Hory, Joseph Cotten, Francois Reichenbach, Richard Wilson, Paul Stewart, Clifford Irving, Edith Irving, Laurence Harvey
"Orson Welles's underrated 1973 essay film—made from discarded documentary footage by Francois Reichenbach and new material from Welles—forms a kind of dialectic with Welles's never-completed It's All True. The main subjects are art forger Elmyr de Hory, Clifford Irving, Howard Hughes, Pablo Picasso, Welles himself, and the practice and meaning of deception… Alternately superficial and profound, the film also enlists the services of Oja Kodar, Welles's principal collaborator after the late 60s, as actor, erotic spectacle, and cowriter, and briefer appearances by many other Welles cohorts." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Richard Combs, Arthur Mas, Ángel Quintana Morraja, James Toback, Glenn Myrent.
Faces

Faces

1968 / USA / 130m / BW / Marriage Drama, Psychological Drama
John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery, Dorothy Gulliver, Joanne Moore Jordan, Darlene Conley, Gene Darfler
"The disintegration of a marriage is dissected in John Cassavetes’ searing Faces. Shot in high-contrast 16 mm black and white, the film follows the futile attempts of captain of industry Richard (Marley) and his wife, Maria (Carlin), to escape the anguish of their empty marriage in the arms of others. Featuring astonishingly powerful, nervy performances from Marley, Carlin, and Cassavetes regulars Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel, Faces confronts suburban alienation and the battle of the sexes with a brutal honesty and compassion rarely matched in cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Corneliu Porumboiu, Ray Carney, Ain-Ling Wong, Mark Borchardt, Jana Bokova.
The Fallen Idol

The Fallen Idol

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

Fanny and Alexander

Top 100 Film / Ranking 56 (57) Orange Up-Arrow
Fanny och Alexander (original title)
1982 / Sweden / 189m / Col / Family Drama, Childhood Drama
Gunn Wallgren, Jarl Kulle, Erland Josephson, Allan Edwall, Jan Malmsjo, Harriet Andersson, Bertil Guve, Mats Bergman, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Kristina Adolphson
"Through the eyes of ten-year-old Alexander, we witness the delights and conflicts of the Ekdahl family, a sprawling bourgeois clan in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sweden. Ingmar Bergman intended Fanny and Alexander as his swan song, and it is the legendary director’s warmest and most autobiographical film, a four-time Academy Award–winning triumph that combines his trademark melancholy and emotional intensity with immense joy and sensuality." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Agnieszka Holland, Andrei Konchalovsky, Kent Jones, John Cameron Mitchell, Bruce Beresford.
Fantasia

Fantasia

1940 / USA / 120m / Col / Animated Musical, Children's Fantasy
Deems Taylor, Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Walt Disney, Julietta Novis, James MacDonald, Paul J. Smith
"Sixty-five years after its 1940 release, Walt Disney's self-styled exercise in “a new form of screen entertainment” remains a masterpiece of the art of animation. The concept and some of the episodes are tainted with kitsch, but there's no other animated film with its scope and ambition—it is, in Otis Ferguson's words, “one of the strange and beautiful things that have happened in the world.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ken Russell, Marco Dutra, Nicolas Barbano, Nicoletta Romeo, Fredric R. Jameson.
Fantomas

Fantomas

1913 / France / 332m / BW / Crime, Master Criminal Film
Rene Navarre, Edmund Breon, Georges Melchior, Renee Carl, Jane Faber, Andre Luguet, Fabienne Fabreges, Volbert, Naudier, Maillard
"Feuillade's legendary Fantômas cycle, based on pulp novels by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain, comprises five episodes, each divided into between three and six chapters… All of them concern the unending duel of wits between Inspector Juve of the Sûreté and the protean jewel thief Fantômas, a master of disguise who exults in wrecking a train or dynamiting a villa to eliminate individual enemies. Because Feuillade filmed mostly on the streets of Paris and, melodramatic climaxes aside, got broadly naturalistic performances from his actors, his best work is the only cinema from the 1910s which still feels startlingly immediate and 'real'." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Laurence Kardish, Robert Polito, Guido Fink, David Robinson, Drake Stutesman.
Farewell, My Concubine

Farewell, My Concubine

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

Fargo

1996 / USA / 98m / Col / Crime, Black Comedy
Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, William H. Macy, Harve Presnell, Kristin Rudrud, John Carroll Lynch, Steve Reevis, Larry Brandenburg, Jose Feliciano
"The Coens are at their clever best with this snowbound film noir, a crazily mundane crime story set in their native Midwest. Purportedly based on real events, it brings them as close as they may ever come - not very - to everyday life and ordinary people. Perversely, the frozen north even brings out some uncharacteristic warmth in these coolly cerebral filmmakers, although anyone seeking the milk of human kindness would be well advised to look elsewhere. The Coens' outlook remains as jaundiced as it was in Blood Simple, the razor-sharp 1984 debut feature that the much more stylish and entertaining Fargo brings to mind." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Philip Kemp, Briony Hanson, Hao Jian, Dunia Ayaso.
Top 25 of the 1960s: 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968), 2. 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963), 3. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960), 4. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962), 5. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966), 6. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966), 7. L’ Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960), 8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960), 9. La Dolce vita (Federico Fellini, 1960), 10. Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966), 11. Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963), 12. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967), 13. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964), 14. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965), 15. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968), 16. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960), 17. Leopard, The (Luchino Visconti, 1963), 18. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969), 19. Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965), 20. Gertrud (Carl Dreyer, 1964), 21. Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961), 22. Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1961), 23. Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961), 24. L’ Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962), 25. La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962).
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

1965 / USA / 83m / Col / Sexploitation, Action Comedy
Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams, Susan Bernard, Stuart Lancaster, Paul Trinka, Dennis Busch, Ray Barlow, Mickey Foxx, John Furlong
"A cross-breed of girl-gang movies with the brand of rural gothic that would lead to Deliverance and The Hills Have Eyes, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is arguably as much an outrageous parody of the trash-exploitation film as it is a drive-in barnstormer… With its driving jazz score, hilarious dialogue and overdrive melodramatics, this is the ultimate expression of the American cinema's greatest fetishes: big breasts, fast cars, tight jeans, and sudden death. This is, in its own way, one of the great films of the 60's." - Kim Newman, Empire
Selected by David Flint, Helen Dewitt, Jane Giles, John Waters, Jonathan Ross.
Fat City

Fat City

1972 / USA / 100m / Col / Drama, Sports Drama
Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell, Candy Clark, Nicholas Colasanto, Art Aragon, Curtis Cokes, Sixto Rodriguez, Billy Walker, Wayne Mahan
"Marvellous, grimly downbeat study of desperate lives and the escape routes people construct for themselves, stunningly shot by Conrad Hall. The setting is Stockton, California, a dreary wasteland of smoky bars and sunbleached streets where the lives of two boxers briefly meet, one on the way up, one on the way down… Huston directs with the same puritanical rigour he brought to Wise Blood. Beautifully summed up by Paul Taylor as a 'masterpiece of skid row poetry'." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Jamie Thraves, Michael Radford, Auram Heffner, Miguel Picazo, Alvaro Fernandez Armero.
Faust

Faust

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

Fellini Satyricon

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

Fellini's Casanova

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

Fellini's Roma

Roma (original title)
1972 / Italy / 128m / Col / Satire, Ensemble Film
Peter Gonzales, Fiona Florence, Marne Maitland, Britta Barnes, Pia De Doses, Renato Giovannoli, Elisa Mainardi, Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Gore Vidal
"An imaginative, highly personal travelogue and essay film by Federico Fellini, one of his best works of this period. It features the filmmaker roaming around the Eternal City with his crew, musing about the recent and distant historical past, running into old chums and acquaintances (such as Anna Magnani and Gore Vidal), and occasionally indulging some flamboyant conceits for their own sake (e.g., the memorable ecclesiastical fashion show). As usual with Fellini, especially from the 70s on, spectacle tends to be everything." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Dominique Martinez, Edgar Pêra, Paulino Viota, Sidney Lumet, Qiao Nasen.
Female Trouble

Female Trouble

1974 / USA / 95m / Col / Comedy, Trash Film
Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, Cookie Mueller, Susan Walsh, Michael Potter, Ed Peranio, Paul Swift
"This 1975 feature is the best of John Waters's movies prior to Hairspray and his ultimate concerto for the 300-pound transvestite Divine, whose character will do literally anything—including commit mass murder—to become famous. As in all of Waters's early outrages, the technique is cheerfully ramshackle, but Divine's rage and energy make it vibrate like a sustained aria, with a few metaphors about the beauty of crime borrowed from Jean Genet." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ed Halter, Stephen Thrower, Jeff Krulik, Jennie Livingston, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa.
Une Femme est une femme

Une Femme est une femme

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

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

1986 / USA / 103m / Col / Comedy, Teen Movie
Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward, Edie McClurg, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein
"In The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, Hughes portrayed adolescent angst in a fairly realistic light. But from the moment Ferris turns to the camera to address the audience, we know that realism is out. Ferris and his adventures represent a teen's dream of glory: to have, at one's fingertips, the technical skills to sabotage the adult world's machinery of oppression and, at the tip of one's tongue, the perfect squelch for grownups' moralistic blather. Here is a dream as old as adolescence, and it is fun to be reminded of its ageless potency, especially in a movie as good-hearted as this one." - Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
Selected by Jason Reitman, Henry K. Miller, Marcelo Panozzo, Danny Cannon, David Ondaatje.
Festen

Festen

The Celebration (English title)
1998 / Denmark / 105m / Col / Ensemble Film, Family Drama
Henning Moritzen, Ulrich Thomsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen, Birthe Neumann, Trine Dyrholm, Helle Dolleris, Therese Glahn, Klaus Bondam, Bjarne Henriksen`
"Though it dedicates itself to avoiding directorial egotism, in accordance with strict rules of the Danish filmmakers' collective known as Dogma 95, Thomas Vinterberg's Celebration is still a virtuoso feat… The Celebration, which easily accommodates allusions to both Cries and Whispers and The Godfather, features a large, credible cast all over the hotel, from patrician guests to flirtatious waitresses to Helene's American boyfriend (a black man whose presence brings out the considerable worst in this family) to a kitchen staff bent on settling old scores. They and Vinterberg succeed dizzyingly well in making this a party to remember." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Mike Figgis, Terry Jones, Angelina Nikonova, Daniel Cretton, Daniel Green.
Fight Club

Fight Club

1999 / USA-Germany / 139m / Col / Satire, Psychological Drama
Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier, Eion Bailey, Ezra Buzzington, Richmond Arquette, Joel Bissonnette
"The sardonic, testosterone-fueled science fiction of Fight Club touches a raw nerve. In a film as strange and single-mindedly conceived as Eyes Wide Shut, Fincher's angry, diffidently witty ideas about contemporary manhood unfold. As based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk (and deftly written by Jim Uhls), it builds a huge, phantasmagorical structure around the search for lost masculine authority, and attempts to psychoanalyze an entire society in the process… This film twists and turns in ways that only add up fully on the way out of the theater and might just require another viewing." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Alejandro Amenábar, Dana Linssen, Pawel Pawlikowski, Duncan Jones, Christophe Goffette.
Firemen's Ball

The Firemen's Ball

Horí, má panenko (original title); The Fireman's Ball (UK title)
1967 / Czechoslovakia / 73m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Jan Vostrcil, Josef Kolb, Josef Svet, Josef Sebanek, Josef Valnoha, Frantisek Debelka, Jan Stockl, Vratislav Cermak, Josef Rehorek, Vaclav Novotny
"A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman’s first color film The Firemen’s Ball is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right—from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was “banned forever” in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jirí Menzel, Pavel Jech, Ivan Passer, Raoul Peck, Orlando Lubbert.
Fires Were Started

Fires Were Started

I Was a Fireman (alternative title)
1943 / UK / 80m / BW / Military & War, Documentary
Philip Dickson, George Gravett, Fred Griffiths, Johnny Houghton, Loris Rey
"Jennings' one venture into feature-length drama-documentary narrowly escaped being brutally chopped down by the publicity men at the Ministry of Information. Certainly it lacks the tight narrative structure common in good commercial films, but Jennings is a strong enough film-maker to ignore formulae and conventions to build his own unique structures… It is the epic quality of the firemen's struggle that excites Jennings, and his celebration of the courage and dignity of ordinary people working together in the shadow of disaster makes the film extraordinarily impressive." - Robert Murphy, Time Out
Selected by Kevin Jackson, Tom Vincent, Karel Reisz, Edgar Anstey, Tim Pulleine.
Fitzcarraldo

Fitzcarraldo

1982 / West Germany / 157m / Col / Adventure Drama, Jungle Film
Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jose Lewgoy, Miguel Angel Fuentes, Paul Hittscher, Huerequeque Bohorquez, Grande Otelo, Peter Berling, David Perez Espinosa, Milton Nascimento
"Werner Herzog's most ambitious film divides audiences between those who laud its astonishing portrait of obsession and its insightful commentary on the absurdity of ambition and those who complain that it is a sterile, loud, boring journey to nowhere. There is, however, no denying the visual and technical magnificence of Herzog's achievement, as the jungle scenes have a palpable sense of authenticity, and those poor natives really DID haul that boat over a mountain. - Dan Jardine, All Movie
Selected by Baz Luhrmann, Elizabeth Wood, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Mauro Andrizzi, Albert Maysles.
Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

1970 / USA / 98m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Lois Smith, Billy Green Bush, Susan Anspach, Helena Kallianiotes, William Challee, Fannie Flagg, Sally Struthers, Marlena MacGuire
"Following Jack Nicholson’s breakout supporting turn in Easy Rider, director Bob Rafelson devised a powerful leading role for the new star in the searing character study Five Easy Pieces. Nicholson plays the now iconic cad Bobby Dupea, a shiftless thirtysomething oil rigger and former piano prodigy immune to any sense of romantic or familial responsibility, who returns to his childhood home to see his ailing, estranged father, blue-collar girlfriend (Black) in tow. Moving in its simplicity and gritty in its textures, Five Easy Pieces is a lasting example of early 1970s American alienation." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andrew Haigh, Angelina Nikonova, Bálint Szalóky, Jonathan Demme, Ralph Bakshi.
Flaming Creatures

Flaming Creatures

1963 / USA / 43m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Horror
Joel Markman, Mario Montez
"Forget everything you might have heard about Jack Smith's legendary bisexual, orgiastic, superlow-budget experimental masterpiece—a lot more is going on here, artistically and otherwise… This jubilant, celebratory film holds up amazingly well; despite its notoriety and censorship during the 60s, it's more than just an orgy of nude and seminude male, female, and transvestite bodies. The camera and even the cheap hothouse decor participate in the joyful free-for-all, suggesting both the privacy of a Josef von Sternberg wet dream and the collective force of a delirious apocalypse. But the simplest way to describe it is to call it a vision." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by J. Hoberman, Eloísa Solaas, Klaus Wyborny, Nick Zedd, Russel Forster.
Floating Clouds

Floating Clouds

Ukigumo (original title)
1955 / Japan / 123m / BW / Drama, Urban Drama
Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada, Isao Yamagata, Chieko Nakakita, Daisuke Kato, Mayuri Mokusho, Roy H. James, Haruna Kaburagi, Nobuo Kaneko
"Mikio Naruse belongs with Ozu and Mizoguchi in the great classical tradition of Japanese cinema… Floating Clouds, which was a huge popular success in Japan and remains his best-loved film today, tells of a young woman's determined love for a man she knows to be worthless; the film piles betrayal upon betrayal, but her hope is never shaken. Naruse's visual style is austere to the point of invisibility; his meanings are contained in his actors' faces and in his distinctive dovetailing of dramatic incidents, a narrative pattern that allows his characters no rest, but affords a strange peace in its constancy." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Hirokazu Koreeda, Ann Hui, Chris Fujiwara, Shunichi Nagasaki, Huang Wenjie.
Floating Weeds

Floating Weeds

Ukikusa (original title)
1959 / Japan / 119m / Col / Drama, Reunion Film
Ganjiro Nakamura, Machiko Kyo, Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Haruko Sugimura, Hikaru Hoshi, Yosuke Irie, Koji Mitsui, Hitomi Nozoe, Chishu Ryu
"Subtle, lyrical, and delicately bittersweet, Floating Weeds offers an excellent introduction to the cinema of Yasujiro Ozu—one of the greatest of all Japanese filmmakers… From the first shot, comically juxtaposing a lighthouse (background) with a sake bottle (foreground), to the last one of a train swiftly moving over a nighttime landscape, it’s plain we’re in the hands of a filmmaker whose prime concern is understatement and overtone. Rather than rush to the heat of a “big” dramatic moment, Ozu concentrates on the warmth of “small” ones. In scene after scene the way the characters walk, sit, stand, and speak is scrupulously observed." - David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jose Luis Guerin, Duane Hopkins, Paulino Viota, James Mangold, Liu Qing.
flowersofshanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

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

The Flowers of St. Francis

Francesco, giullare di Dio (original title); Francis, God's Jester (alternative title)
1950 / Italy / 83m / BW / Religious Drama, Biography
Aldo Fabrizi, Brother Nazario Gerardi, Arabella Lemaitre, Gianfranco Bellini, Pino Locchi, Peparuolo, Fra' Severino Pisacane, Roberto Sorrentino
"In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People’s Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis’s time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ramin Bahrani, Dan Callahan, Andrew Tracy, Jacques Aumont, Matías Piñeiro.
Top 25 of the 1970s: 1. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), 2. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979), 3. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), 4. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974), 5. Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974), 6. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974), 7. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975), 8. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979), 9. Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973), 10. The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970), 11. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975), 12. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975), 13. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972), 14. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977), 15. A. Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971), 16. The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache, 1973), 17. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975), 18. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974), 19. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973), 20. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974), 21. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977), 22. Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979), 23. Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973), 24. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973), 25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975).
The Fly

The Fly

1986 / USA / 100m / Col / Science Fiction, Horror
Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel, Les Carlson, George Chuvalo, David Cronenberg, Michael Copeman, Carol Lazare, Shawn Hewitt
"'What am I working on? I'm working on something that will change the world and human life as we know it!' So Seth Brundle (Goldblum) promises in the opening line of Cronenberg's inspired remake… This is a film about fusion. That of man and insect, of course; but also the emotional and physical fusion between man and woman - liberating and painful as that may be. The playful, quirky chemistry between Goldblum and Davis in the first half of the movie ensures that this gothic horror is heartbreaking as well as stomach-churning (the special effects by Chris Walas are still staggering)." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Roger Donaldson, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Hassan Hosseini, Kristian Lin, Tim Robey.
Foolish Wives

Foolish Wives

1922 / USA / 117m / BW / Drama
Erich von Stroheim, Maude George, Mae Busch, Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Dale Fuller, Al Edmundsen, Cesare Gravina, Malvina Polo, Louis K. Webb
"At the time of its release, Foolish Wives was the most expensive film ever produced, and though Von Stroheim was widely considered a lavish spendthrift, his films remain triumphs of period detail. The film features the most daring intertitles in the history of silent cinema, and Von Stroheim uses their stream-of-conscious nature to enhance the film's startling aesthetic shifts and to point to the politics at work throughout the narrative… Foolish Wives is a seductive film, but it's also supremely sad because Von Stroheim sees something morally and emotionally debilitating in the way his characters forcibly cling to facades." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Jesus Franco, Jesús Piquero, Martial Pisani, Carlos Garcia Brusco, Pere Gimferrer.
Forbidden Games

Forbidden Games

Jeux interdits (original title)
1951 / France / 87m / BW / Childhood Drama, War Drama
Brigitte Fossey, Georges Poujouly, Lucien Hubert, Suzanne Courtal, Jacques Marin, Laurence Badie, Andre Wasley, Amedee, Denise Pereonne, Louis Sainteve
"For English-speaking audiences, Forbidden Games remains one of the two or three most important French films of the pre-New Wave era. Under Clément's direction, the two children are inestimably fresher and more engaging than almost any other child actors of the time. But beyond its immediate appeal, Forbidden Games remains important as an early conjunction of the realist style of director René Clément on the one side and the "cinema of quality" of the Aurenche/Bost script on the other. A tension is created by the film's hesitation between social allegory and anthropology and between a natural and a prettified style." - Dudley Andrew, Film Reference
Selected by Hubert Cornfield, Bryan Forbes, Xavier Dolan, Kaneto Shindo, Kihachi Okamoto.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump

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

Fort Apache

1948 / USA / 127m / BW / Western, Cavalry Film
Henry Fonda, John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendariz, Ward Bond, George O'Brien, Victor McLaglen, Anna Lee, Irene Rich, John Agar
"The first film of John Ford's “cavalry trilogy”, this marked the beginning of his greatest (and most critically obscure) period. Its dual heroes (Henry Fonda as a West Point martinet and John Wayne as a veteran horse soldier) express Ford's growing ambivalence toward the values and practice of leadership. The nonlinear narrative, with its infinite digressions and asides, is designed less to tell a story than to present a world—a world dense in physical detail and fraught with moral challenges. With Fort Apache, Ford finally withdrew from the Oscar race and entered his own individual aesthetic, isolating himself in the glories and eccentricities of a great artist." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Francisco Algarín Navarro, Piers Handling, Ruy Gardnier, Benito Zambrano, Enrique Cerezo.
42nd Street

42nd Street

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

The Fountainhead

1949 / USA / 114m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Kent Smith, Robert Douglas, Henry Hull, Ray Collins, Moroni Olsen, Jerome Cowan, Paul Harvey
"King Vidor turned Ayn Rand's preposterous “philosophical” novel into one of his finest and most personal films, mainly by pushing the phallic imagery so hard that it surpasses Rand's rightist diatribes and even camp (“I wish I'd never seen your skyscraper!”), entering some uncharted dimension where melodrama and metaphysics exist side by side. The images have a dynamism, a spatial tension, that comes partly from Frank Lloyd Wright (whose life Rand appropriated for her novel) and partly from Eisenstein, yet the pattern of their deployment is Vidor's own: the emotions rise and fall in broad, operatic movements that are unmistakably sexual and irresistibly involving." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Slavoj Zizek, Mark Savage, Jerry Lewis, Bernard Cohn, Tomas Fernandez Valenti.
The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

Top 100 Film / Ranking 23 (26) Orange Up-Arrow
Les Quatre cents coups (original title); The Four Hundred Blows (alternative spelling)
1959 / France / 99m / BW / Childhood Drama, Coming-of-Age
Jean-Pierre Leaud, Albert Remy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble, Patrick Auffay, Georges Flamant, Yvonne Claudie, Robert Beauvais, Claude Mansard, Jacques Monod
"Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows is one of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent. Inspired by Truffaut's own early life, it shows a resourceful boy growing up in Paris and apparently dashing headlong into a life of crime… The later films have their own merits, and Stolen Kisses is one of Truffaut's best, but The 400 Blows, with all its simplicity and feeling, is in a class by itself. It was Truffaut's first feature, and one of the founding films of the French New Wave. We sense that it was drawn directly out of Truffaut's heart." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Andrei Konchalovsky, Greg Mottola, Julian Schnabel, Dennis Hopper.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile (original title)
2007 / Romania-Netherlands-France-Germany / 113m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean, Ion Sapdaru, Teodor Corban, Tania Popa, Cerasela Iosifescu, Luminata Gheorghiu, Adi Carauleanu
"Cristian Mungiu's film is a nightmare of social-realist suspense, a jewel of what it is now considered the Romanian new wave, along with Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr Lazarescu and Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East of Bucharest. In more general terms, it is part of that emerging 21st-century phenomenon, ordeal cinema: a cinema that with great formal technique makes you live through a horrendous experience in what seems like real time. As a drama, it is superbly observed and telling in every subtle detail; yet it is also simply as exciting, in its stomach-turning way, as any thriller." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Lukas Moodysson, Mania Akbari, Jeon Chanil, James Franco, Stanley Rosen.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Four Nights of a Dreamer

Four Nights of a Dreamer

Quatre nuits d'un rêveur (original title)
1971 / France / 87m / Col / Drama, Romance
Isabelle Weingarten, Guillaume des Forets, Maurice Monnoyer, Lidia Biondi, Patrick Jouanne, Jerome Massart, Giorgio Maulini
"An adaptation of Dostoyevsky's White Nights, Robert Bresson's 1971 film is an exploration of romantic love rendered in the precise, austere style of his better-known studies in spirit (Lancelot du lac, Une femme douce). In the secular turn Bresson reveals an unexpected sense of humor and worldly irony. The transformation of Paris at night into a dream landscape pulsing with electric mystery is reminiscent of Minnelli, although the economy of expression is clearly Bresson's. A very beautiful and essential film." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Nathan Lee, Mrinal Sen, Ed Lachman, Kenji Fujishima, Veronika Ferdman.
Frankenstein

Frankenstein

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

Freaks

1932 / USA / 64m / BW / Melodrama, Psychological Thriller
Harry Earles, Olga Baclanova, Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Henry Victor, Daisy Earles, Roscoe Ates, Rose Dione, Daisy Hilton, Violet Hilton
"Freaks uses authentic circus performers and unapologetically exploits their real genetic malformations in a melodramatic masterpiece of black comic horror. A scheming trapeze artist marries a circus midget for his money; his fellow performers welcome her as an honorary "freak" and their chanting ritual - gabba gabba, one of us! - left me gasping… What cultural references are there for this? Poe? David Lynch? Antonin Artaud? Diane Arbus? Maybe. Freaks is filled with poignancy; it offers a premonition of eugenics, as well as a provocative comparison with the alienated condition of women and the freakish nature of all showbiz celebrity. It is a work of genius." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Guillermo Del Toro, Werner Herzog, Bálint Szalóky, Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Carlos Garcia Brusco.
French Cancan

French Cancan

1955 / France / 93m / Col / Comedy Drama, Musical Comedy
Jean Gabin, Francoise Arnoul, Maria Felix, Anna Amendola, Dora Doll, Giani Esposito, Philippe Clay, Michel Piccoli, Edith Piaf, Patachou
"Nineteenth-century Paris comes vibrantly alive in Jean Renoir’s exhilarating tale of the opening of the world-renowned Moulin Rouge. Jean Gabin plays the wily impresario Danglard, who makes the cancan all the rage while juggling the love of two beautiful women—an Egyptian belly-dancer and a naive working girl turned cancan star. This celebration of life, art and the City of Light (with a cameo by Edith Piaf) is a Technicolor tour de force by a master of modern cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tag Gallagher, Ain-Ling Wong, Daniel Kasman, Philip Strick, Huang Ailing.
The French Connection

The French Connection

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

From the Clouds to the Resistance

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

Full Metal Jacket

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

Funny Face

1957 / USA / 103m / Col / Musical, Romantic Comedy
Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair, Robert Flemyng, Suzy Parker, Dovima, Virginia Gibson, Sunny Harnett, Don Powell
"The musical that dares to rhyme Sartre with Montmartre, Funny Face - surprisingly from Paramount rather than MGM - knocks most other musicals off the screen for its visual beauty, its witty panache, and its totally uncalculating charm. The beauty is most irresistible in the sylvan scene, shimmering through gauze, when Astaire and Hepburn find they 'empathise', to use the film's joke… The charm is everywhere. Love triumphs over capitalist exploitation, joyless intellectualisation, and all things phony; and the thesis persuades because of the commitment and skill of the team and the lightness of the underrated Donen's touch." - W. Stephen Gilbert, Time Out
Selected by James King, John Russell Taylor, Steven Bach, Edward Margulies, Juan Carlos Frugone.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
Funny Games

Funny Games

1997 / Austria / 108m / Col / Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Muhe, Frank Giering, Arno Frisch, Stefan Clapczynski, Doris Kunstmann, Christoph Bantzer, Wolfgang Gluck, Susanne Meneghel, Monika Zallinger
"Funny Games, a blood-curdling portrait of a family imprisoned in its idyllic summer home by a pair of sadistic killers, puts that question to the test. This beautifully acted and paced German variant of Cape Fear is tricked out with a number of Brechtian devices to catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance. Twice in a film that is predominantly hyper-realistic, one of the killers turns to the camera with a conspiratorial leer and asks the wordless question: What are you looking at and why?" - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Jaime Chávarri, David Michôd, Git Scheynius, Mania Akbari, Hannah Fidell.
Top 25 of the 1980s: 1. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980), 2. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982), 3. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982), 4. Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985), 5. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986), 6. Sans soleil (Chris Marker, 1983), 7. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), 8. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989), 9. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982), 10. Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985), 11. Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984), 12. L’ Argent (Robert Bresson, 1983), 13. Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985), 14. A City of Sadness, A (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989), 15. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987), 16. Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985), 17. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989), 18. Dekalog (Krszystof Kieslowski, 1988), 19. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983), 20. My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988), 21. Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984), 22. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988), 23. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981), 24. Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1980), 25. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984).
The General

The General

Top 100 Film / Ranking 36 (36)
1926 / USA / 74m / BW / Adventure Comedy, Slapstick
Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley, Frederick Vroom, Joe Keaton, Charles Smith, Frank Barnes, Mike Donlin, Tom Nawn
"Keaton displays extraordinary and insouciant athleticism as a train driver during the American Civil War, who rescues both his beloved engine The General and the woman he adores from enemy forces. His stunts and sight gags, perfectly framed and presented for maximum clarity and comic impact, fit perfectly into an ambitious action epic. Spectacular chases, fires and explosions are captured with fluid camerawork. There are no stunt doubles for Keaton and of course no digital effects. This is the real thing you're watching - in every sense. It has incidentally, one of the cleverest "sniper" sequences to be seen in any war movie." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Geoff Andrew, Greg Mottola, Peter Jackson, John Lasseter.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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

Germany, Year Zero

Germania anno zero (original title)
1947 / Italy-West Germany / 74m / BW / War Drama, Childhood Drama
Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Barbara Hintz, Ingetraud Hinze, Franz-Otto Kruger, Erich Guhne, Alexandra Manys, Babsi Schultz-Reckewell, Hans Sangen, Hedi Blankner
"Roberto Rossellini followed Open City and Paisan with this film, the final chapter in what's come to be known as his “War Trilogy.” Filmed in the bombed-out Berlin of 1947, it deals with the aftermath of the war, a pervading moral crisis, and the fate of a young German boy. To the critics of the time, it seemed that Rossellini had betrayed the tenets of neorealism by introducing melodrama, an elliptical narrative, and intimations of a Christian consciousness. It now appears as Rossellini's first mature work, pointing to his masterpieces of the 50s." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Amos Gitai, Jean Narboni, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Michael Haneke, Bernardo Bertolucci.
Gertrud

Gertrud

Top 100 Film / Ranking 72 (70)
1964 / Denmark / 116m / BW / Psychological Drama, Marriage Drama
Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe, Ebbe Rode, Baard Owe, Axel Strobye, Karl Gustav Ahlefeldt, Vera Gebuhr, Lars Knutzon, Anna Malberg, Edouard Mielche
"Carl Dreyer’s last film neatly crowns his career: a meditation on tragedy, individual will and the refusal to compromise. A woman leaves her unfulfilling marriage and embarks on a search for ideal love—but neither a passionate affair with a younger man nor the return of an old romance can provide the answer she seeks. Always the stylistic innovator, Dreyer employs long takes and theatrical staging to concentrate on Nina Pens Rode’s sublime portrayal of the proud and courageous Gertrud." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, Adriano Aprà, Carlos F. Heredero, Bill Rothman, Gilbert Adair.
Get Carter

Get Carter

1971 / UK / 112m / Col / Crime Thriller, Gangster Film
Michael Caine, Britt Ekland, John Osborne, Ian Hendry, Bryan Mosley, Geraldine Moffatt, Dorothy White, Tony Beckley, George Sewell, Rosemarie Dunham
"'This is movie modernism British-style. The occasional stylistic flourishes suggest the imported influence of the New Wave, the brief bursts of sex, violence and soundtrack funk offer a trendsetting '70s take on the gangster movie. But its prime virtue now looks like its depiction of a nation slowly made to face its own moral and physical dilapidation, hope and glory gone way down and out… Mike Hodges' debut offers a tunnel vision of this landscape. He shoots it cold, sparse and ambivalent, the terse, gnomic plotting and dialogue doubtless contributing to the allure of what might otherwise be a relatively plain genre movie." - Nick Bradshaw, Time Out
Selected by Keith Griffiths, John Baldessari, Colin MacCabe, Bettina Thienhaus, Ulrich von Berg.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

1947 / USA / 104m / BW / Romance, Fantasy
Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best, Vanessa Brown, Anna Lee, Robert Coote, Natalie Wood, Isobel Elsom, Victoria Horne
"A beautifully crafted piece of Hollywood fantasy, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a far-fetched but moving fable about a sea captain who haunts a widow… Enormously winning performances from the underrated Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison drive the film, and the direction of veteran Joseph L. Mankiewicz is almost flawless… The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a superb illustration of how post-World War II Hollywood could deftly handle a romantic fable during an era when the movies could deliver escapism without big-budget pyrotechnics. " - Michael Betzold, All Movie
Selected by Anne Billson, Donald Clarke, Isild Le Besco, Mark Jancovich, Javier Marias.
Gilda

Gilda

1946 / USA / 110m / BW / Film Noir, Romantic Mystery
Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia, Steven Geray, Gerald Mohr, Joseph Sawyer, Robert Scott, Ludwig Donath, Don Douglas
"Rita Hayworth’s nightclub queen is at once seductive and innocent, a mix of virgin and whore – the perfect male fantasy. Her striptease scene is erotic to the max – but all she peels off are those long black gloves. No wonder club manager Glenn Ford is obsessed, as is club owner George Macready, her arrival disrupting their borderline gay relationship. Hothouse passions were rarely steamier than in Charles Vidor’s 1946 thriller, and the close-knit triangle set-up plays itself out in classic noir style." - Philip Kemp, Total Film
Selected by Briony Hanson, David Overbey, Martin Casariego, Riyad Vinci Wadia, John Kobal.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

1970 / USA / 91m / Col / Music, Documentary
Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, Marty Balin, Sonny Barger, Melvin Belli, Dick Carter, Jack Casady
"Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Todd Phillips, Ally Derks, Charlotte Cook, Richard Sowada, Derek Cianfrance.
The Gleaners & I

The Gleaners & I

Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (original title)
2000 / France / 82m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Bodan Litnanski, Peter Rnic, Agnes Varda, Francois Wertheimer
"The French title of this delightful, encouraging documentary underlines how Agnès Varda identifies with her subjects - social marginals who 'glean' a living, from the earth (caravan dwellers) or from refuse (the teacher of Malian and Senegalese immigrants whom she befriends at a Paris street market). The veteran film-maker is newly inspired and energised by the freedom her DV camera brings. The film is marked by youthful freshness, and the integrity and sympathy of both the images and the commentary, as Varda hurtles us to Arras, Beaune or Paris in search of the new generation of foragers." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Sukhdev Sandhu, Charles Musser, Marina Warner, Elise Nakhnikian, Pier Marton.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Godfather

The Godfather

Top 10 Film / Ranking 7 (8) Orange Up-Arrow
1972 / USA / 175m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Diane Keaton, John Cazale
"The Godfather is just about as great as a movie's ever gonna be. The 1972 best picture Oscar-winner is a great pulp drama co-authored for the screen by Coppola and novelist Mario Puzo. And all the while, we think we're watching a Mafia crime story but we're actually watching one of the great American family melodramas. The casting is nothing to sneeze at either with Marlon Brando delivering one of the signature performances of his career (he, too, won an Oscar) and the very young Al Pacino seizing his screen destiny. So many great roles and characters in this movie and then there's that eternally haunting Nino Rota score." - Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle
Selected by Antoine Fuqua, M. Night Shyamalan, Andrei Konchalovsky, Asghar Farhadi, Bobby Farrelly.
The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II

Top 100 Film / Ranking 20 (21) Orange Up-Arrow
1974 / USA / 200m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, Richard Bright, Gastone Moschin
"Coppola's superior sequel to his own very fine Mafia epic extends the original film's timeframe both backwards (to Vito Corleone's arrival and struggles to get by in New York at the start of the 20th century) and forwards (to his son Michael's ruthless protection of his own power as capo during a post-war period of expanded influence into Vegas, Cuba and elsewhere)… The performances, Gordon Willis' memorably gloomy camerawork, the stately pace and the sheer scale of the story's sweep render everything engrossing and so, well, plausible that our ideas of organised crime in America will forever be marked by this movie." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ann Hui, David Denby, Joan Mellen, Alejandro Amenábar, F. Gary Gray.
The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush

Top 100 Film / Ranking 63 (63)
1925 / USA / 82m / BW / Slapstick, Adventure Comedy
Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Georgia Hale, Tom Murray, Betty Morrissey, Henry Bergman, Kay Deslys, Joan Lowell, Malcolm Waite, John Rand
"Charlie Chaplin’s comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as the dance of the dinner rolls and the meal of boiled shoe leather, The Gold Rush is an indelible work of heartwarming hilarity." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Aki Kaurismäki, Andrzej Zulawski, Bruce Robinson, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kauffman.
The Golden Coach

The Golden Coach

Le Carrosse d'or (original title)
1952 / Italy-France / 100m / Col / Costume Adventure, Romantic Adventure
Anna Magnani, Duncan Lamont, Odoardo Spadaro, Nada Fiorelli, Dante, George Higgins, Ralph Truman, Riccardo Rioli, Paul Campbell, Jean Debucourt
"Seen today by the international community of cinephiles as a truly “beauteous” and “ravishing” comic fantasy from Jean Renoir’s late period, The Golden Coach can best be appreciated as an illustrious filmmaker’s elegant tribute to the theater. The “comedy” does not consist of laugh-provoking gags or expertly timed slapstick, but is based instead on a clear-eyed vision of art’s denial of “normal” life… The brilliant, unforced ironies of The Golden Coach remind us that conventional cleverness and facility are no substitutes for genius. One must not merely look at The Golden Coach. One must look through it to discern the cinematic brush strokes of a great artist." - Andrew Sarris, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dan Callahan, Matías Piñeiro, George Sluizer, Daniel Serceau, James Leahy.
Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind

1939 / USA / 222m / Col / Romantic Epic, Historical Epic
Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Hattie McDaniel, Olivia de Havilland, Thomas Mitchell, Ona Munson, Ann Rutherford, Evelyn Keyes, Fred Crane
"Frankly you would have to be as black-hearted as Rhett Butler not to give a damn. In nearly four hours of ravishing Technicolor, Gone With the Wind does it bigger and better than almost anything else. The story opens in the last graceful, lazy days of the Old South, soon to be ripped apart by civil war, and sees out the painful reconstruction years. But what's history next to the epic love story of bad seeds Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler?.. Directed with pace and spirit by tough guy Victor Fleming, this is a love story to get your teeth into." - Cath Clarke, The Guardian
Selected by Peter Whitehead, José Luis Garci, Ken Russell, Graham Shirley, Camille Paglia.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo (original title)
1966 / Italy-Spain / 161m / Col / Spaghetti Western, Outlaw (Gunfighter) Film
Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffre, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Enzo Petito, Claudio Scarchilli, John Bartha, Mario Brega
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly remains an overpowering cinematic experience. From its first image, in which a vast landscape is suddenly blocked out as a cowboy’s crater-cheeked, beady-eyed visage fills the screen, it’s evident that we’re in an Old West closer to Mars than to Monument Valley… And then there’s Ennio Morricone’s mad hyena of a score, cackling and piercing and swelling like a bestial physical outgrowth of the story. Above all an epic of visceral saturation, Leone’s feverish behemoth demands to be seen on a screen big enough to accommodate every inch of its bracing, luxuriant spectacle." - Fernando F. Croce, Reverse Shot
Selected by Peter Tscherkassky, Errol Morris, Quentin Tarantino, Amat Escalante, Annette Melville.
Goodbye South, Goodbye

Goodbye South, Goodbye

Nan guo zai jian, nan guo (original title)
1996 / Taiwan / 124m / Col / Drama, Crime Drama
Hsiang Hsi, Kuei-Ying Hsu, Annie Shizuka Inoh, Jack Kao, Ming Kao, Ming Lei, Pi-tung Lien, Giong Lim, Vicky Wei
"Hou Hsiao-hsien's discursive 1996 drama follows the wanderings of Kao, a small-time gangster with big dreams; his sidekick Flathead; their girlfriends Ying and Pretzel; and a motley cast of characters—including a rural cop and a crooked politician—as they struggle to get ahead. We're treated with splendid shots of the countryside, whose beauty is lost on the protagonists: the land they love is a stagnant backwater of urbanized Taipei despoiled by industrialization. Using intimate vignettes and keeping most of the violence offscreen, Hou opens a fascinating window onto modern Taiwan." - Berenice Reynaud, Chicago Reader
Selected by Luca Guadagnino, Tim Sutton, Qiao Nasen, Katja Nicodemus, Christian Petzold.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Bu san (original title)
2003 / Taiwan / 82m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Tien Miao, Chun Shih, Chao-Jung Chen, Kuei-Mei Yang
"Goodbye Dragon Inn concerns the inner life of a poured-concrete cavern in the heart of Taipei, a shabby temple unspooling an old martial arts flick—namely King Hu's 1966 Dragon Inn—to a handful of devotees. Because the theater is about to shut down, there's a superficial resemblance to the canned nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso. But Goodbye Dragon is far less sentimental and considerably funnier than the old Miramax pocket liner. And because Tsai is the director, Goodbye Dragon Inn is also a movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lalitha Gopalan, Monte Hellman, Zheng Binghong, Lorena Cancela.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Goodfellas

GoodFellas

Top 100 Film / Ranking 91 (92) Orange Up-Arrow
1990 / USA / 146m / Col / Gangster Film, Crime Drama
Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Gina Mastrogiacomo, Frank Vincent, Chuck Low, Tony Darrow
"Based on the memoir of mafia thug turned government witness Henry Hill, GoodFellas dazzles foremost as a piece of pure craftsmanship. In tracking Ray Liotta's Hill as he works his way up through the organization, conspires with vicious lowlifes played by De Niro and an unforgettable Joe Pesci, and suffers a precipitous fall from grace, the film's style and texture shifts with the times. Moving from the romanticized first half to the fractured, jittery closing act, Scorsese adds Hill to a long list of consummate outsider heroes, bringing the audience closer to understanding a fringe-dweller who was seduced and abandoned by "the life." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Guillermo Del Toro, Geoffrey Macnab, Peter Jackson, Floyd Mutrux.
The Gospel According to St. Matthew

The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Il Vangelo secondo Matteo (original title)
1964 / France-Italy / 135m / BW / Hagiography, Religious Drama
Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini, Marcello Morante, Mario Socrate, Settimo Di Porto, Otello Sestili, Ferruccio Nuzzo, Giacomo Morante, Alfonso Gatto
"Although or maybe becuase he was an atheist, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s life of Christ is one of the most powerful biblical films ever made. Using a cast of non-pro actors and dialogue drawn straight from Matthew’s gospel, Pasolini tells his story with unblinking simplicity, shooting documentary-style. The miracles, meanwhile, are low-key. Pasolini’s is a Marxist Christ, angered by social injustice – but even so, the film was approved by the Vatican and given a screening in Notre Dame." - Philip Kemp, Total Film
Selected by Jonathan Glazer, Olivier Assayas, Paul Greengrass, Michael Radford, Scott Hicks.
The Graduate

The Graduate

1967 / USA / 105m / Col / Comedy, Coming-of-Age
Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, William Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson, Norman Fell, Buck Henry, Brian Avery, Walter Brooke
"Classic 1967 comedy about a recent college grad who drifts into an affair with an older woman, then falls goofily in love with her daughter and scrambles to escape the traps he's fallen into. Dustin Hoffman gives the inspired performance that launched his movie career, and director Mike Nichols shows a gift for social satire that has never glistened quite so brightly since. Anne Bancroft and Katherine Ross head the marvelous supporting cast. Simon & Garfunkel spice up the soundtrack with "The Sound of Silence" and other hits." - David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
Selected by Charles Gant, Claudia Winkleman, Gareth Edwards, Scott Rosenberg, Taika Waititi.
La Grande illusion

La Grande illusion

Top 100 Film / Ranking 39 (39)
Grand Illusion (English title)
1937 / France / 117m / BW / Anti-War Film, War Drama
Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim, Dita Parlo, Julien Carette, Georges Peclet, Werner Florian, Jean Daste, Sylvain Itkine, Gaston Modot
"Not only hugely important in film history — it was the first foreign-language movie ever to be Oscar-nominated for Best Picture — but a sorrowful, acutely thoughtful, and wholly imperishable masterpiece, Renoir’s drama about First World War fortunes and the demise of Old Europe holds up sublimely: better, even, than La Règle du jeu (1939), which is more often called his crowning achievement. The friendship forged between Pierre Fresnay’s French captain and Erich von Stroheim’s refined German commandant lends a core of humanity as vulnerable as it is profound." - Tim Robey, The Telegraph
Selected by Andrzej Zulawski, David Robinson, Ginette Vincendeau, Peter Bogdanovich, Stanley Kauffman.
The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

1940 / USA / 129m / BW / Rural Drama, Americana
Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, Dorris Bowdon, Russell Simpson, John Qualen, O.Z. Whitehead, Eddie Quillan, Zeffie Tilbury
"Inspired by childhood memories of the great potato famine, John Ford's magnificent adaptation of John Steinbeck's book is somehow both sentimental and austere; it reminds you that Ireland is the land of Samuel Beckett as well as Sean O'Casey. Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland manage the unbelievable task of making Henry Fonda unrecognizable at first: His haggard, sallow face holds no trace of movie-star familiarity. The masterful Toland outdoes himself, surpassing even Steinbeck's rough-hewn poetry. The harsh light and menacing shadows split the world into temporary winners and all-time losers, with community the only way to weather the storm." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Dina Iordanova, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Caton-Jones, Julio Medem, Dennis Hopper.
Top 25 of the 1990s: 1. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990), 2. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994), 3. GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990), 4. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991), 5. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), 6. Histoire(s) du cinéma (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998), 7. Beau travail (Claire Denis, 1998), 8. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994), 9. Three Colours: Blue (Krszystof Kieslowski, 1993), 10. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998), 11. Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier, 1996), 12. The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998), 13. Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1996), 14. Three Colours: Red (Krszystof Kieslowski, 1994), 15. The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993), 16. Underground (Emir Kusturica, 1995), 17. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993), 18. The Double Life of Veronique (Krszystof Kieslowski, 1991), 19. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992), 20. The Puppetmaster (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1993), 21. Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1993), 22. Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992), 23. Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami, 1994), 25. Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999), 25. Festen (Thomas Vinterberg, 1998).
Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

Hotaru no haka (original title)
1988 / Japan / 93m / Col / Anime, War Drama
Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayani Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi
"A teenage boy and his young sister struggle to survive the Allied assault on Japan in this wrenching antiwar drama, which rivals the films of Hayao Miyazaki in elevating anime to the level of fine art… Writer-director Isao Takahata, a frequent collaborator of Miyazaki's at Studio Ghibli, adapted a partly autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, and his handling of the tragic story is masterfully understated." - J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andrew Osmond, Carlo Chatrian, Mark Dujsik, Jean-Max Mejean, Robbie Collin.
The Great Dictator

The Great Dictator

1940 / USA / 128m / BW / Comedy, Anti-War Film
Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Maurice Moscovich, Billy Gilbert, Emma Dunn, Grace Hayle, Carter DeHaven
"In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona. Chaplin, in his first pure talkie, brings his sublime physicality to two roles: the cruel yet clownish “Tomainian” dictator and the kindly Jewish barber who is mistaken for him. Featuring Jack Oakie and Paulette Goddard in stellar supporting turns, The Great Dictator, boldly going after the fascist leader before the U.S.’s official entry into World War II, is an audacious amalgam of politics and slapstick that culminates in Chaplin’s famously impassioned speech." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dina Iordanova, Richard Brody, Julio Medem, Michel Gondry, Amir Emary.
The Great Escape

The Great Escape

1963 / USA / 168m / Col / Escape Film, War Adventure
Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum, John Leyton
"John Sturges' The Great Escape could easily be the most under-appreciated movie of its genre and decade, which may seem a strange thing to say about a movie that is one of the most popular World War II adventure films ever made. It not only defined the screen personae of Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough and much of the rest of the cast, but along with The Magnificent Seven represented a high-water mark in Sturges' career." - Bruce Eder, All Movie
Selected by Quentin Tarantino, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Tetsuo Shinohara, Yoko Narahashi, Sathyan Ramesh.
Great Expectations

Great Expectations

1946 / UK / 118m / BW / Drama, Period Film
John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Martita Hunt, Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Finlay Currie, Jean Simmons, Anthony Wager, Alec Guinness, Freda Jackson
"The adaptation by Lean and his collaborators is a model of intelligent adaptation, rich with character and atmosphere yet focused firmly on the journey of Pip, from young orphan on the Kent marshes to young man in London society. Lean fills Great Expectations with a wealth of visual detail and vivid characters and personalities without allowing them to swamp his hero, and he directs with a warmth and humor often missed in such costume dramas and reverent literary adaptations. Though greatly pared down, this third screen version of Dickens' novel remains to this day the quintessential cinematic incarnation." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Terence Davies, Matthew Sweet, Jason Solomons, Bryan Forbes, James Mangold.
Greed

Greed

Top 100 Film / Ranking 94 (91)
1924 / USA / 140m; 239m (reconstructed version) / BW / Melodrama, Psychological Drama
Gibson Gowland, ZaSu Pitts, Jean Hersholt, Chester Conklin, Sylvia Ashton, Oscar Gottell, Otto Gottell, Frank Hayes, Tempe Pigott, Dale Fuller
"Originally planned to run around ten hours but hacked to just over two by Thalberg's MGM, von Stroheim's greatest film still survives as a true masterpiece of cinema. Even now its relentlessly cynical portrait of physical and moral squalor retains the ability to shock, while the Von's obsessive attention to realist detail - both in terms of the San Francisco and Death Valley locations, and the minutely observed characters - is never prosaic: as the two men and a woman fall out over filthy lucre, their motivations are explored with a remarkably powerful visual poetry, and Frank Norris' novel is translated into the cinematic equivalent of, say, Zola at the peak of his powers." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Guillermo Del Toro, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Simon Louvish, Gavin Lambert, Alexei Balabanov.
The Green Ray

The Green Ray

Le Rayon vert (original title); Summer (USA title)
1986 / France / 96m / BW / Romantic Drama, Urban Drama
Marie Riviere, Vincent Gauthier, Carita, Lisa Heredia, Beatrice Romand, Basile Gervaise, Rosette, Eric Hamm, Joel Comarlot, Amira Chemakhi
"Eric Rohmer's compassionate, humane masterpiece was only made in 1986, but seems from another age entirely. Delphine (Rivière), a thoughtful young twentysomething, has no boyfriend and can't find anyone to go on holiday with - and becomes very unhappy. Delphine has nothing to guide her, nothing to help her stem or understand the tears: this is before Prozac, before therapy, before Ally McBeal… This simple, improvised tale tells an unglamorous truth about being young: how restless and frustrating it really often is… Its delicacy, charm and tenderness are irresistible." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Carlos F. Heredero, Hong Sang-soo, Mia Hansen-Love, Anne Keijser, Dou Jiangming.
Gregory's Girl

Gregory's Girl

1980 / UK / 91m / Col / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy, Clare Grogan, Robert Buchanan, Billy Greenless, Alan Love, Caroline Guthrie, Carol Macartney, Allison Forster
"Bill Forsyth's slightly-plotted tale of an ungainly teenager's romantic yearning is arguably the warmest and most thoroughly charming British film to emerge from the dark days of the early 1980s. Though it deals, in its own wryly playful way, with the torture of adolescence, and despite the opening scene, in which Gregory and his mates spy on a nurse undressing, Gregory's Girl is strikingly innocent. No drugs or violence stalk the school playground, and the boys' toilets are the province not of bullies or smokers but of a thriving home-made confectionary business - and a rival venture selling very demure photographs of football heroine Dorothy." - Mark Duguid, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Roger Avary, Mick McConnell, Rainer Knepperges, John Coleman, Geoffrey Macnab.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

1975 / USA / 95m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Jerry Torre, Jack Helmuth, Brooks Hyers, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Norman Vincent Peale, Lois Wright
"Arguably the most complex and controversial work in the storied career of cinema verite pioneers Albert and David Maysles is this intimate study of Edith Bouvier and “Little” Edie Beale, two relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis secluded in a dilapidated estate in the Hamptons… The film is a masterpiece of editing, weaving over a hundred hours of footage to create a world that is hermetically sealed... The surreal outcome – perhaps inevitable given the subjects’ remove from reality – further conflates the film’s status as both documentary and fiction." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Carol Morley, Petra Seliskar, Sandra Hebron, Havana Marking, Amy Nicholson.
Il Grido

Il Grido

The Cry (English title); The Outcry (alternative English title)
1957 / Italy / 111m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Dorian Gray, Betsy Blair, Gabriella Pallotta, Lynn Shaw, Mirna Girardi, Pina Boldrini, Guerrino Campanini, Lilia Landi
"Michelangelo Antonioni's The Cry provides a missing link between Italian neorealism and the director's later work. A factory mechanic loses his moorings when the woman he loves abandons him and their daughter; he and the child drift aimlessly through a nearly empty, semi-industrial landscape. The camera's spare, stunning compositions and the tone of loss and disaffection anticipate Antonioni's later, brilliant explorations of bourgeois anomie." - Leslie Camhi, The Village Voice
Selected by Erica Gregor, Firat Yucel, Francesco Pitassio, Lin Xudong, Hans Helmut Prinzler.
Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

1993 / USA / 103m / Col / Fantasy Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray, Marita Geraghty, Angela Paton, Rick Ducommun, Rick Overton, Robin Duke
"Groundhog Day is a film that finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is… The movie, as everyone knows, is about a man who finds himself living the same day over and over and over again… What amazes me about the movie is that Murray and Ramis get away with it. They never lose their nerve. Phil undergoes his transformation but never loses his edge. He becomes a better Phil, not a different Phil. The movie doesn't get all soppy at the end." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Ryan Gilbey, Terry Jones, David O. Russell, Michel Gondry, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Gummo

Gummo

1997 / USA / 88m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Teen Movie
Jacob Sewell, Nick Sutton, Lara Tosh, Jacob Reynolds, Darby Dougherty, Chloe Sevigny, Carisa Glucksman, Jason Guzak, Max Perlich, Linda Manz
"This impressionistic portrait of a half-imaginary Midwestern suburb confirms Harmony (Kids) Korine as a creative force to be reckoned with. Be warned, however, it is often an unpleasant experience. When the two teenage boys at its centre aren't killing stray cats, they're sniffing glue, paying for sex or messing with life support machines… Twisting from cinéma vérité to improvisation to pre-scripted lines, often within the same scene, he's audaciously upfront about his stratagems. Problematic, troubling, dangerous even, but breathtakingly original, and absolutely true to the times. The cutting edge doesn't get any sharper than this." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Carlos Reygadas, Michel Lipkes, José Luis Cienfuegos, Tim Sutton, David Michôd.
Gun Crazy

Gun Crazy

Deadly is the Female (original title)
1949 / USA / 86m / BW / Film Noir, Crime Thriller
Peggy Cummins, John Dall, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky, Anabel Shaw, Harry Lewis, Nedrick Young, Trevor Bardette, Mickey Little, Russ Tamblyn
"If you had to select a single film to justify the present enthusiasm for film noir and define its allure, few movies could compete with Gun Crazy. The same goes for celebrating the potential of B-movies to achieve grade-A flair, excitement, and artistic intelligence. The picture taps brazenly into a sexual, almost feral energy that makes it unique, even in a school of film known for perverse psychology and smoldering subtexts." - Richard T. Jameson, Parallax View
Selected by Jesus Franco, Enno Patalas, Lluis Bonet Mujica, Claudius Seidl, John A. Riley.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon