Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu, Bill Bambridge, Jules, Ah Fong
"Murnau's last film was begun as a collaboration with the documentarist Robert Flaherty, but resolved itself into Murnau's purest and least inhibited celebration of physical sensuality and love. Its plot is a simple Pacific islands folk tale: a young man and woman fall in love, thereby violating a local taboo, and their romance ends in inevitable tragedy. The film is a rhapsody of textures and an exceptionally sensuous play of light, rhythm and composition… Fetishistic to a degree, the film is none the less never patronising to its subject or its actors. It plays as a pre-colonial anachronism, rather like one of Melville's South Seas novels. It's extremely beautiful." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Miguel Gomes, Miguel Marías, Rudolf Thome, Fred Camper, Enrique Bolado.
Chin Tsai, Hsiao-hsein Hou, I-Chen Ko, Su-Yun Ko, Nien-Jen Wu, Hsiu-Ling Lin, Shufang Chen, Te-nan Lai, De-ming Lyu, Fang Mei
"The film that introduced Yang's prodigious talent to the West is a quietly stunning drama which sees the various problems facing a rapidly modernised city reflected in the lives of a dozen or so subtly observed characters. At the centre are a troubled upper middle-class couple: a failed businessman lost in dreams of the past (Hou), and a budding executive whose reaction to redundancy is more in tune with the future. Though there's little in the way of story, Yang's insights and honesty about emotions ensure interest throughout; and it looks absolutely superb." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Tony Rayns, Wang Xiaoshuai, Charles Whitehouse, Joanna Hogg, Stanley Kwan.
Tale of Tales
"It’s as if Norshteyn sat with these images all his life, drawing them with such lucidity and palpable depth of feeling, that they make even the untold hours of ingenuity and laborious craft behind Pixar films feel relatively disposable. It summons a concept of the fermented image: a vision that has stayed with a person for as long as they’ve been breathing, and perhaps beyond that, like the wolf that lurks throughout the film, a folkloric figure as old as Russian blood. It’s a vision that nurtures, like the suckling breast that satiates the infant who sees the wolf just as its eyes pull into sleep." - Kevin B. Lee, Shooting Down Pictures
Selected by Peter Hames, Pietro Marcello, Alexei Popogrebsky, Carolina López Caballero, Clare Kitson.
A Tale of the Wind
Joris Ivens, Henxiang Han, Guilian Liu, Zhuang Liu, Hong Wang, Hongyu Liu, Marceline Loridan Ivens
"This poetic masterpiece serves as the crowning testament of Joris Ivens, the great Dutch documentarist and leftist who made this film in collaboration with his companion Marceline Loridan shortly before his death at the age of 90. Neither a documentary nor a fantasy but a sublime fusion of the two, the film deals in multiple ways with the wind, with Ivens’s asthma, with China, with the 20th century (and, more implicitly, with the 19th and the 21st), with magic, and with the cinema… For all its cosmic dimensions, this work is funny and lighthearted rather than pretentious and ponderous. It may even give you some renewed faith in life on this planet." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Charles Burnett, Adam Hyman, Fu Hongxing, Kim Ji-Seok, Giovanni Grazzini.
The Tales of Hoffmann
Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Robert Helpmann, Frederick Ashton, Pamela Brown, Meinhart Maur, Edmond Audran, Philip Leaver, Leonide Massine, Ludmilla Tcherina
"Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind take on a classic story. In Jacques Offenbach’s fantasy opera The Tales of Hoffmann, a poet dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger’s feverishly romantic adaptation is a feast of music, dance, and visual effects, and one of the most exhilarating opera films ever produced." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by George A. Romero, José Luis Garci, Martin Scorsese, Susumu Hani, Travis Mackenzie Hoover.
Talk to Her
Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores, Mariola Fuentes, Geraldine Chaplin, Pina Bausch, Malou Airaudo, Roberto Alvarez, Elena Anaya
"Like all great doomed affairs, Talk to Her is full of lovely, sweet suffering. And when it's over, the realization of how much the movie means to you really sinks in; you can't get it out of your heart. Pedro Almodóvar has created a tragic comedy about need, its liberating and shackling powers. Movies haven't been so rapturous about characters plummeting to an awful end at least since the last Almodóvar film, All About My Mother (1999). But he doesn't mine the comic strip soap opera mystique so extravagantly here; everything falls into place with an almost surreal delicacy." - Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
Selected by Paul Julian Smith, Youngmee Hwang, Dave Calhoun, Rob White, Shyamaprasad.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Tarnished Angels
Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Jack Carson, Robert Middleton, Troy Donahue, Alan Reed, Alexander Lockwood, Christopher Olsen, Robert J. Wilke
"Arguably Sirk's bleakest film - perhaps because it was shot in greyish monochrome rather than luridly stylised colour - and one of his finest, this adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon reassembles the three principles from Written on the Wind for a probing but sympathetic study in failure and despair… Inevitably, it all culminates in death, which ironically provides some sort of half-hearted liberation, but Sirk's sombre, tender awareness of the illusions that fuel his no-hopers' lives allows no respite. A film totally at odds with the bland optimism of postwar America, it might be depressing were it not for the consummate artistry on view." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, Rob White, Yoel Meranda, Hisham Bizri, Jean-Loup Bourget.
A Taste of Cherry
Homayon Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi, Mir Hossein Noori, Ahmad Ansari, Hamid Masoumi, Elham Emami, Ajmad Jahangiri, Nasrolah Amini
"There are plenty of miserablist films about suicide. Why does this one have such power? It is partly because Badii (Ershadi) never invites sympathy or compassion in any conventional way: watching Taste of Cherry I feel gripped; I feel scared, but I don't feel sad – or not exactly. And it is partly because of the implications of what he has in mind... The film has a remarkable austerity and starkness; watching it is like being waylaid by the Ancient Mariner, who grips you with a strange and terrible message in his tale. It is Kiarostami's greatest film." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Thomas Elsaesser, Darrell Roodt, Han Jie, Julie Rigg, Jytte Jensen.
Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Martin Scorsese, Steven Prince, Diahnne Abbott, Albert Brooks
"Martin Scorsese's searing portrait of loneliness and violence on the mean streets of New York, is an American original. Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle, the insomniac taxi driver of the title, is an angry, alienated Vietnam veteran who takes a job driving a taxi on the night shift… It remains one of the quintessential films of 1970s American cinema, a brooding blast of modern gothic cinema that boils over in madness and self destruction. Scorsese's uncompromising vision and vivid direction and a fierce, fearless performance by De Niro have inspired countless young filmmakers and actors in the decades since its release." - Sean Axmaker, TCM
Selected by Geoffrey Macnab, Asghar Farhadi, Gareth Edwards, James Marsh, Edgar Wright.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Roya Arabshahi, Katayoun Taleidzadeh, Mandana Sharbaf, Armene Moradi
"The minimalism of this Abbas Kiarostami film makes it one of the boldest experiments yet by the masterful Iranian filmmaker: its ten sequences transpire in a car driving through Tehran, with a stylish young divorcee at the wheel and a series of six characters in the passenger seat. Shot with two digital video cameras mounted on the dashboard, it's neither scripted nor directed in any ordinary sense… The film offers a fascinating glimpse of the Iranian urban middle class, and though it eschews most of the pleasures of composition and landscape found in other Kiarostami films, it's never less than riveting." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Geoff Andrew, Kristy Matheson, Ruth Barton, Catherine Breillat, David Robson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Ten Commandments
Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, John Derek, Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke, Debra Paget, H.B. Warner
"With a running time of nearly four hours, Cecil B. De Mille's last feature and most extravagant blockbuster is full of the absurdities and vulgarities one expects, but it isn't boring for a minute. Although it's inferior in some respects to De Mille's 1923 picture of the same title and some of the special effects look less plausible now than they did in 1956, the color is ravishing, and De Mille's form of showmanship, which includes a personal introduction and his own narration, never falters. Simultaneously ludicrous and splendid, this is an epic driven by the sort of personal conviction one almost never finds in more recent Hollywood monoliths." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by José Luis Garci, Jaime Chávarri, Mark Adnum, Camille Paglia, Laurie Anderson.
Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Shelley Winters, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, Bernard Fresson, Lila Kedrova, Claude Dauphin, Claude Pieplu, Rufus
"One of Polanski's most viscerally troubling movies. The plot, about a lodger who becomes convinced that the other residents of his apartment building are out to do him harm, has obvious similarities to Rosemary's Baby, but the familiar form is merely a vehicle for Polanski's neuroses, never unveiled so nakedly as here. The first movie Polanski directed after fleeing sexual assault charges in California, The Tenant is consumed with repulsion for its title character, not at all coincidentally played by Polanski himself (his only self-directed lead)… The Tenant goes off the rails in its last third. But damned if it doesn't almost take you with it." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Andrew Dominik, Juan Antonio Bayona, Mark Webber, Milcho Manchevski.
Terence Stamp, Silvana Mangano, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky, Laura Betti, Andres Jose Cruz, Ninetto Davoli, Luigi Barbini, Adele Cambria, Carlo de Mejo
"Apart from his final feature, Salo, this is probably Pier Paolo Pasolini's most controversial film, and to my mind one of his very best, though it has the sort of audacity and extremeness that send some American audiences into gales of derisive, self-protective laughter. The title is Italian for “theorem,” in this case a mythological figure: an attractive young man (Stamp) who visits the home of a Milanese industrialist and proceeds to seduce every member of the household—father, mother (Mangano), daughter (Wiazemsky), son, and maid (Betti)... It's an “impossible” work: tragic, lyrical, outrageous, indigestible, deeply felt, and wholly sincere." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Krzysztof Zanussi, Dāvis Sīmanis, Chadi Zeneddine, Inge de Leeuw, Nadav Lapid.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Shawn Schepps
"Is it only incidental that James Cameron's greatest film is also his only work to clock in at under two hours? His subsequent films have proven consistently entertaining and frequently excellent, but the lightning of his debut—a content-to-be-small B movie that nevertheless feels epic in scope and emotion—has yet to strike twice. The Terminator remains as intelligent and emotionally complex as any film of its kind (among sci-fi action noir, only Blade Runner is superior), and the reductive lens of pop culture—to say nothing of intellectual film snobs ignorant to genre pleasures—can't extinguish its mythic humanist power." - Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine
Selected by Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Wheatley, Ferenc Zalaba, Gareth Edwards, Mark Jancovich.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson, Xander Berkeley, Jenette Goldstein, Castulo Guerra
"James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a lustrous machine, all gleaming steel and burnished gunmetal, with state-of-the-art nuts and bolts. You relate to it the way you might relate to any overpowering machine, a little dispassionately but with a respect bordering on awe. It's a tank of a movie, big, powerful and hard to resist. But it's a tank with lightning treads and jaguar agility. The stunning special effects show something that's rare these days -- technical stunts that evoke a true sense of wonder; it's real jaw-to-the-floor stuff… No one in the movies today can match Cameron's talent for this kind of hyperbolic, big-screen action." - Hal Hinson, The Washington Post
Selected by Tobias Kniebe, Karsten Meinich, Marko Njegic, Thomas Hesterberg, Mark Glaser.
Terra em Transe
Jardel Filho, Paulo Autran, Jose Lewgoy, Glauce Rocha, Paulo Gracindo, Hugo Carvana, Danuza Leao, Jofre Soares, Modesto De Souza, Mario Lago
"Terra em Transe, an explosive study of art and politics in the third world, is Glauber Rocha’s most personal film as well as his most brilliant contribution to political cinema… Terra em Transe is a provocative, aggressive, intentionally difficult film, an advanced lesson in reading political and cinematographic significations. It consistently violates our expectations; it withholds spectacle when the story demands it, and denies romance where plot conventions would require it. Even its orgies are anti-erotic. Where we expect sharp political definition, the film gives us poetic, imagistic freedom." - Robert Stamm, Jump Cut
Selected by Bruno Barreto, Violet Lucca, Richard Porton, José Carlos Avellar, Tiago Mata Machado.
La Terra trema
Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Maria Micale, Sebastiano Valastro, Antonino Micale, Nelluccia Giammona, Agnes Giammona, Salvatore Vicari, Giuseppe Vicari, Giuseppe Arcidiacono
"Visconti's second feature (five years after Ossessione in 1942) was an improvised drama produced by the Communist Party, filmed with and among Sicilian fishermen in the village of Aci-Trezza. An overwhelmingly stark chronicle of a family which strives but fails to break out of the poverty trap, La Terra Trema‚ stands as a masterpiece of neo-realism, a social conscience cinema of proletarian ways and means. Yet, despite this, it's no less 'operatic' than the director's later decadent melodramas: it surges with great tides of emotion. The film is distinguished by its vivid camerawork, at once poetic and 'documentary'." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by José María de Orbe, Ulrich Gregor, Bryan Chang, Augusto M. Seabra, Ramin Bahrani.
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Oscar Beregi Sr., Paul Bernd, Henry Bless, Gustav Diessl, Paul Henckels, Oskar Hocker, Georg John, Karl Meixner
"A sequel to his enormously successful silent film Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, Fritz Lang’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse reunites the director with the character that had effectively launched his career. Lang put slogans and ideas expounded by the Nazis into the mouth of a madman, warning his audience of an imminent menace, which was soon to become a reality. Nazi Minister of Information Joseph Goebbels saw the film as an instruction manual for terrorist action against the government and banned it for “endangering public order and security.” A landmark of mystery and suspense for countless espionage and noir thrillers to come." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Inácio Araujo, Un-Seong Yoo, Thierry Méranger, Luís Oliveira, B. Kite.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, John Dugan, Robert Courtin
"Four decades haven't blunted the cutting edge of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not even the onslaught of sequels (the first of which, also under Hooper's direction, is actually kind of brilliant), rip-offs, and a couple of pitiful stabs at a remake could manage such a seemingly impossible task. The film has achieved the perfect storm necessary for enduring notoriety: It's a masterwork that flawlessly mirrors the time and place of its origin, while, at the same time, remaining one for the ages, thanks to its uncanny power of nearly subliminal suggestion, avant-garde editing and sound design, and its uncompromising vision of an American consumerist society run amok." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Takashi Miike, David Flint, Raya Martin.
That Obscure Object of Desire
Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Angela Molina, Julien Bertheau, Milena Vukotic, Andre Weber, Pierre Pieral, Maria Asquerino, Ellen Bahl, Valerie Blanco
"Luis Buñuel’s final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle the director’s lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. Buñuel regular Fernando Rey plays Mathieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita. With subversive flare, Buñuel uses two different actresses in the lead—Carole Bouquet, a sophisticated French beauty, and Angela Molina, a Spanish coquette. Drawn from Pierre Louÿs’s 1898 novel, La Femme et le Pantin, That Obscure Object of Desire is a dizzying game of sexual politics punctuated by a terror that harkens back to Buñuel’s brilliant surrealistic beginnings." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mike Figgis, Kong Rithdee, Jamie Graham, Long Tin Shum, Cui Zi'en.
Thelma & Louise
Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brad Pitt, Timothy Carhart, Lucinda Jenney, Jason Beghe
"As the film plunges toward its lacerating climax, some may have conflicting feelings about Thelma and Louise: Are they feminist martyrs or bitches from hell? Neither is the case. They're flesh-and-blood women out to expose the blight of sexism. Khouri's script isn't about rage or revenge; it's about waste. Director Scott, whose films (Alien, Blade Runner) are noted for their slick surface, cuts to the marrow this time. This wincingly funny, pertinent and heartbreaking road movie means to get under your skin, and it does." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Carol J. Clover, Marit Kapla, Yvonne Tasker, Havana Marking, B. Ruby Rich.
There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McAllister, David Willis, David Warshofsky, Colton Woodward, Colleen Foy
"With its lowering, psychotic atmosphere and its Bunyanesque surnames, There Will Be Blood is so potent and so strange that it almost seems to have been delivered here from another planet. I can only describe it as an epic portrait, running from the beginning of the 20th century to the great crash of 1929. The movie speaks of oil's savage, entrepreneurial pre-history... This is a dark, uncompromising film, thrillingly original and distinctive, with a visionary passion. It is a movie against which all directors, and all moviegoers, will want to measure themselves. Anderson is doing something new with cinema, and you can hardly ask for more than that." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Sarah Polley, Agnieszka Holland, Manohla Dargis, Sam Mendes, Wesley Morris.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
They Live by Night
Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, Howard da Silva, Jay C. Flippen, Helen Craig, Will Wright, Marie Bryant, Ian Wolfe, William Phipps, Harry Harvey
"A key film noir of the 40s, this was Nicholas Ray's first film as a director, and the freshness of his expressionist-documentary style is still apparent and gripping. Farley Granger found one of his few effective roles as the gangly teenager propelled into a life of crime; Cathy O'Donnell is his tough-minded lover, following him across the country through a succession of stolen cars and cramped motel rooms. Much of Wim Wenders's romantic despair can be found here in its original, more extravagant form. The film was drained of its dark poetry when Robert Altman remade it as Thieves Like Us." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Rod Stoneman, Ron Peck, Andrew Tracy, Cristián Jiménez, Ho Yuhang.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
They Were Expendable
Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt, Ward Bond, Marshall Thompson, Leon Ames, Louis Jean Heydt, Russell Simpson, Cameron Mitchell
"A major work in the career of John Ford, They Were Expendable reflects the great director's love of the U.S. Navy and admiration of the men and women who fought the Second World War. It's a product of wartime, meant to be stirringly patriotic and occasionally saccharine… They Were Expendable offers glimmers of the psychological complexity that marks later Ford films like The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. It's a classic that hasn't received its proper recognition." - Nick Sambides Jr., Allmovie
Selected by Christian Keathley, Patrick Russell, Karel Reisz, Peter von Bagh, John Milius.
Leading Production Designers/Art Directors
(Most production design/art direction credits within the 1,000 Greatest Films)
19 - Cedric Gibbons
17 - Hans Dreier
12 - Hal Pereira
9 - Alexander Golitzen, Jack Fisk, Richard Day
8 - Lyle Wheeler, Charles D. Hall, Pierre Guffroy, Richard Sylbert, Alexandre Trauner
7 - Dean Tavoularis, Jean d'Eaubonne
6 - Albert S. D'Agostino, Bansi Chandragupta, Bernard Evein, Yoshirô Muraki, James Basevi, Hiroshi Mizutani
5 - Piero Gherardi, William Chang, Van Nest Polglase, Alfred Junge, Stephen Goosson, Pierre Charbonnier, Henry Bumstead, Carol Spier, P.A. Lundgren, Mel Bourne, Eugene Lourie, Fred Gabourie, Boris Leven
The Thief of Bagdad
Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin, Rex Ingram, Miles Malleson, Mary Morris, Morton Selten, Bruce Winston, Hay Petrie
"Legendary producer Alexander Korda’s marvel The Thief of Bagdad, inspired by The Arabian Nights, is one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made, an eye-popping effects pioneer brimming with imagination and technical wizardry. When Prince Ahmad (Justin) is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar (Veidt), he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu (the incomparable Sabu, in his definitive role) to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess (Duprez). With its luscious Technicolor, vivid sets, and unprecedented visual wonders, The Thief of Bagdad has charmed viewers of all ages for decades." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Peter Hames, Diego Galán, Fredric R. Jameson, Ivan Passer.
The Thin Blue Line
Randall Adams, David Harris, Gus Rose, Jackie Johnson, Marshall Touchton, Dale Holt, Sam Kittrell, Edith James, Dennis White, Don Metcalfe
"Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line is more like a waking nightmare than a docudrama. A true story of murder and justice evidently miscarried, wrapped in the fictional haze of a surrealistic whodunit, it will leave you in a trance for days. Bold and brilliant, some might say reckless, Morris's defense of convicted prisoner Randall Dale Adams might not stand up in a court of law, or a screening room of documentary purists. But it would transfix the lot. Morris takes the hybrid docudrama genre to its outer limits, intercutting newspaper headlines, bullet-wound diagrams and Texas road maps with grade-B film noir fare… The Thin Blue Line shouldn't be missed." - Desson Howe, The Washington Post
Selected by Van Papadopoulos, Kevin MacDonald, Gary Tarn, Richard Sowada, Bill Nichols.
The Thin Red Line
Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, James Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte, John Savage
"After directing two of the most extraordinary movies of the 1970s, Badlands and Days of Heaven, American artist Terrence Malick disappeared from the film world for twenty years, only to resurface in 1998 with this visionary adaptation of James Jones’s 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal. A big-budget, spectacularly mounted epic, The Thin Red Line is also one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence… The Thin Red Line is a kaleidoscopic evocation of the experience of combat that ranks as one of the greatest war films ever produced." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Sarah Polley, David Michôd, Ryan Gilbey, Fernando Meirelles, Jean-Marc Vallée.
Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat
"A flop upon its release (by Universal, two weeks after Spielberg's E.T.), this spatial masterpiece of desolate Arctic vistas at odds with close-quarters claustrophobia has since been hailed as a high totem of modern horror-making. There remains something deeply unnerving about Carpenter's ambiguity as to whether the movie's shape-shifting alien is distorting its hosts' personalities or merely revealing something of their primal selves." - Scott Foundas, The Village Voice
Selected by Ben Wheatley, Edgar Wright, Mark Sinker, Ferenc Zalaba, Alejandro G. Calvo.
The Third Man
Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard, Paul Horbiger, Bernard Lee, Ernst Deutsch, Wilfred Hyde-White, Erich Ponto, Siegfried Breuer
"Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder. Thanks to brilliant performances by Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, and Orson Welles; Anton Karas’s evocative zither score; Graham Greene’s razor-sharp dialogue; and Robert Krasker’s dramatic use of light and shadow, The Third Man, directed by the inimitable Carol Reed, only grows in stature as the years pass." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kenneth Turan, Kenneth Branagh, Carrie Rickey, Peter Whitehead, Nasreen Munni Kabir.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
The 39 Steps
Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Godfrey Tearle, Lucy Mannheim, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Wylie Watson, Helen Haye, Frank Cellier, Peggy Simpson
"A heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay (Donat) as he stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors—a chase in which he is both the pursuer and the pursued—as well as into an unexpected romance with the cool Pamela (Carroll). Adapted from a novel by John Buchan, this classic wrong-man thriller from the Master of Suspense anticipates the director’s most famous works (especially North by Northwest), and remains one of his cleverest and most entertaining films." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ken Russell, Jane Lamacraft, Jacques Lourcelles, Paul Bartel, Bruce Goldstein.
This is Spinal Tap
Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, R.J. Parnell, David Kaff, June Chadwick, Ed Begley Jr., Tony Hendra, Bruno Kirby
"Since the antics of so many heavy metal bands already teeter on the edge of self-parody, it would have been no surprise if this spoof 'rockumentary' about a comeback tour by a has-been English rock group had turned out to be a one-joke movie. In the event, Reiner's brilliantly inventive script and smart visuals avoid all the obvious pitfalls, making this one of the funniest ever films about the music business. Filmed in cinéma vérité style, it follows the group from venue to venue, observing the trials and tribulations of life on the road, personal tensions within the group, and problems with expanding egos." - Nigel Floyd, Time Out
Selected by Claudia Winkleman, Jasper Sharp, Niki Caro, Sacha Gervasi, Antonia Quirke.
Three Colours: Blue
Juliette Binoche, Benoit Regent, Helene Vincent, Florence Pernel, Emmanuelle Riva, Charlotte Very, Philippe Volter, Hugues Quester, Florence Vignon, Yann Tregouet
"In the devastating first film of the Three Colors trilogy, Juliette Binoche gives a tour de force performance as Julie, a woman reeling from the tragic death of her husband and young daughter. But Blue is more than just a blistering study of grief; it’s also a tale of liberation, as Julie attempts to free herself from the past while confronting truths about the life of her late husband, a composer. Shot in sapphire tones by Sławomir Idziak, and set to an extraordinary operatic score by Zbigniew Preisner, Blue is an overwhelming sensory experience." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Josué Méndez, Riri Riza, Helena Koder, Andrzej Kolodynski, David Sorfa.
Three Colours: Red
Irene Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Federique Feder, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Samuel Le Bihan, Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Benoit Regent, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Marion Stalens
"Krzysztof Kieślowski closes his Three Colors trilogy in grand fashion, with an incandescent meditation on fate and chance, starring Irène Jacob as a sweet-souled yet somber runway model in Geneva whose life dramatically intersects with that of a bitter retired judge, played by Jean‑Louis Trintignant. Meanwhile, just down the street, a seemingly unrelated story of jealousy and betrayal unfolds. Red is an intimate look at forged connections and a splendid final statement from a remarkable filmmaker at the height of his powers." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Sarah Polley, Destin Daniel Cretton, Asghar Farhadi, Tim Lucas, Krzysztof Zanussi.
Three Colours: White
Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Janusz Gajos, Jerzy Stuhr, Juliette Binoche, Grzegorz Warchol, Jerzy Nowak, Aleksander Bardini, Cezary Harasimowicz, Jerzy Trela
"The most playful and also the grittiest of Kieślowski’s Three Colors films follows the adventures of Karol Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski), a Polish immigrant living in France. The hapless hairdresser opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife (Julie Delpy) sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson after setting her own salon ablaze. White, which goes on to chronicle Karol Karol’s elaborate revenge plot, manages to be both a ticklish dark comedy about the economic inequalities of Eastern and Western Europe and a sublime reverie about twisted love." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tian Zhuangzhuang, Zhang Yibai, Li Shaohong, Geoff Andrew, Steven Gaydos.
Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule, Robert Fortier, Ruth Nelson, John Cromwell, Sierra Pecheur, Craig Richard Nelson, Maysie Hoy, Belita Moreno
"In a dusty, underpopulated California resort town, a naive southern waif, Pinky Rose (Spacek), idolizes and befriends her fellow nurse, the would-be sophisticate and “thoroughly modern” Millie Lammoreaux (Duvall). When Millie takes Pinky in as her roommate, Pinky’s hero worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, this dreamlike masterpiece from Robert Altman careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Maura McHugh, Sean Durkin, John Greyson, Richard Combs.
Throne of Blood
Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Minoru Chiaki, Takashi Shimura, Akira Kubo, Hiroshi Tachikawa, Takamaru Sasaki, Kokuten Kodo, Kichijiro Ueda, Eiko Miyoshi
"One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare into film, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Starring Kurosawa’s longtime collaborator Toshiro Mifune and the legendary Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife, the film tells of a valiant warrior’s savage rise to power and his ignominious fall. With Throne of Blood, Kurosawa fuses one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies with the formal elements of Japanese Noh theater to make a Macbeth that is all his own—a classic tale of ambition and duplicity set against a ghostly landscape of fog and inescapable doom." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Agnieszka Holland, Clare Stewart, Nandini Ramnath, Moinak Biswas, Miroslaw Przylipiak.
Through the Olive Trees
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz, Farhad Kheradmand, Zarifeh Shiva, Hossein Rezai, Tahereh Ladanian, Hocine Redai, Zahra Nourouzi, Nasret Betri, Azim Aziz Nia, Astadouli Babani
"Get used to the long takes and what at first appears to be an inconsequential narrative, and pretty soon the many levels of intellectual and emotional meaning will work their magic: it's a witty, poignant, illuminating film about the problems that affect movie-makers faced with intractable reality, about cinema's potential as a unifying force, and about the determination and the ability of people to survive tragedy, poverty, injustice and the vicissitudes of love. Sheer brilliance." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ying Liang, Laura Mulvey, Gilberto Perez, Kristin Thompson, Khalil Joreige.
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks
"Bracketed by stunning long shots taken from the front of a moving freight train, Wang Bing’s epic, three-part documentary is an astonishingly intimate record of China’s painful transition from state-run industry to a free market… Wang and his sound engineer, Lin Xudong, painstakingly document the death throes of the Tie Xi industrial district in the city of Shenyang, in northeast China, a once-vibrant symbol of a thriving socialist economy. As factories close and workers lose not only their jobs but also their homes and social networks, the filmmakers patiently observe the end of an era and the fortitude of those left floundering in its wake." - Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times
Selected by João Moreira Salles, Sukhdev Sandhu, Berenice Reynaud, Lou Ye, Andrew Šprah.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Tiger of Eschnapur
Debra Paget, Walther Reyer, Paul Hubschmid, Claus Holm, Luciana Paluzzi, Valery Inkijinoff, Sabine Bethmann, Rene Deltgen, Jochen Brockmann, Victor Francen
"After his long and prolific Hollywood career, Fritz Lang returned to his native Germany at the behest of producer Artur Brauner and embarked on an ambitious two-film project that would eventually become known as his “Indian Epic.”… In the first of the two films, The Tiger of Eschnapur, Lang tells the story of a German architect (Hubschmid) who arrives in India to build a temple for a Maharaja, whereupon the he promptly falls in love with the Maharaja’s intended bride (Paget)… Impeccably directed on a modest budget, en route to a thrilling cliffhanger ending, Lang’s late-career triumph proves the old adage that the enemy of art is the absence of limitations." - Film Society Lincoln Centre
Selected by Miguel Marías, Pierre Rissient, Jesús Franco, Michel Mourlet, Jos Oliver.
Time of the Gypsies
Davor Dujmovic, Bora Todorovic, Ljubica Adzovic, Husnija Hasimovic, Sinolicka Trpkova, Zabit Memedov, Elvira Sali, Suada Karisik, Predrag Lakovic, Mirsad Zulic
"This remarkable tragic-comic drama, set in a Yugoslavian gypsy community, is hard to take seriously at first. Perhan, the bastard boy hero, seems a clichéd victim figure - patched spectacles, gormless face - wandering the noisy shantytown like a holy fool… The film has an eclectic look: an off-the-hip semi-documentary style, punctuated with Paradjanov-style miraculous imagery. Anchoring it to reality are the stunning performances by a cast of mostly illiterate Romany non-professionals, its precise observation of gypsy life, and its immense humanity. Astonishing and deeply moving." - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Jurgis Krasons, Goran Gocic, Baltasar Komákur, Mira Nair, Philip Dodd.
The Time to Live and the Time to Die
Ann-Shuin Yiu, Feng Tien, Mei-Feng, Yu-Yuen Tang, Shufen Xin, Xiao Ai
"A subtle, deeply moving picture of Taiwanese history seen through the eyes of a boy whose family has recently emigrated from the Mainland… Hou's autobiographically-based film is as beautifully performed, shot and scored as his earlier Summer at Grandpa's, but there is a distinct progress in the depiction of the wider dynamics of society. It is the unflinching, unsentimental honesty that supplies the elegiac intelligence: Hou's quiet style bursts forth, here and there, into sudden, superlative scenes of untrammelled emotional power. It's a brilliantly simple but multi-faceted portrait of loss and the complacency of childhood: quite literally, we can't go home again." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Ann Hui, Bryan Chang, Phan Dang-Di, Heddy Honigmann, Tien-Hsiang Wen.
The Tin Drum
David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach, Daniel Olbrychski, Tina Engel, Berta Drews, Andrea Ferreol, Charles Aznavour, Heinz Bennent
"Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly on his beloved tin drum and perfects his uncannily piercing shrieks. The Tin Drum, which earned the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, is Volker Schlöndorff’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Balazs Vizer, Suzana Amaral, Phan Dang-Di, Tanvir Mokammel, M.F. Thomas.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Bill Paxton, Bernard Hill
"James Cameron's 194-minute, $200 million film of the tragic voyage is in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics. It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding. If its story stays well within the traditional formulas for such pictures, well, you don't choose the most expensive film ever made as your opportunity to reinvent the wheel... I found myself convinced by both the story and the saga. The setup of the love story is fairly routine, but the payoff--how everyone behaves as the ship is sinking--is wonderfully written, as passengers are forced to make impossible choices." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Javier Porta Fouz, Richard Woolley, Ching Siu-Tung, Jerome Bimbenet, Bilge Ebiri.
"Frederick Wiseman's first documentary is a masterpiece of muckraking in which he examines the workings and inhumanities of a state mental hospital in Massachusetts. Wiseman's focus is on the complex relationship among liberal professionals (who come off badly), guards (who come off not so badly), inmates whose only reason for being locked up is that they are “mentally ill” (whatever that means), and inmates who've committed serious crimes and have to be segregated. As with most Wiseman documentaries (High School, Law and Order, Hospital, Basic Training), the emphasis is on institutions and the way they dehumanize." - Don Druker, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ramin Bahrani, Karen Cooper, Tiago Mata Machado, Matthias Müller, Nick Broomfield.
Top 25 Horror Films
1. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
2. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
3. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
4. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922)
5. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
6. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
7. King Kong (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)
8. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975)
9. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
10. Vampyr (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932)
11. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1919)
12. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
13. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
14. Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968)
15. Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932)
16. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
17. Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983)
18. Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
19. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
20. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978)
21. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
22. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)
23. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)
24. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
25. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)
To Be or Not to Be
Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, Sig Ruman, Tom Dugan, Charles Halton, Peter Caldwell
"Ernst Lubitsch directed this 1942 film from his own story about a troupe of Polish actors stranded in the Nazi-occupied Warsaw of World War II. It could be his finest achievement, and it's certainly one of the most profound, emotionally complex comedies ever made, covering a range of tones from satire to slapstick to shocking black humor. The issues, as the title suggests, are deeply serious, but it's part of the film's strategy—and the strategy it endorses for its characters—never to openly acknowledge them." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Allan Arkush, Götz Spielmann, V.F. Perkins, Mika Kaurismäki, Michel Hazanavicius.
To Have and Have Not
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael, Dan Seymour, Marcel Dalio, Walter Molnar, Sheldon Leonard, Walter Sande
"An unassuming masterpiece, nominally based on Hemingway's novel and set in Martinique during World War II, this is Hawks' toughest statement of the necessity of accepting responsibility for others or forfeiting one's self-respect - the sum total of morality for Hawks - and the perfect bridge from the free and open world of Only Angels Have Wings to the claustrophobic one of Rio Bravo… Bogie and Bacall fell in love while making the film, and their scenes reflect this, giving To Have and Have Not a degree of emotional presence that is unusual in the 'bite on the bullet' world of Hawks." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Kim Newman, Todd McCarthy, Peter Bogdanovich, Péter Muszatics, Tobias Kniebe.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Philip Alford, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy, Brock Peters, Robert Duvall, Ruth White, Estelle Evans
"Robert Mulligan's lovingly crafted recreation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize- winning novel is an outstanding production on many different levels. The Oscar-winning sets by Henry Bumstead and Alexander Golitzen, and gorgeous black-and-white cinematography beautifully evoke the rural Alabama Depression-era setting, providing the perfect backdrop for this quiet-yet-potent study of racism. The suffocating summer heat is reflected in the film's deliberate pacing, which casts a trance over the audience. Horton Foote's Academy Award-winning screenplay is a model of book-to-movie adaptation." - Dan Jardine, All Movie
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Wes Craven, Peter Kosminsky, Joko Anwar, Bálint Szalóky.
Ge You, Gong Li, Niu Ben, Guo Tao, Jiang Wu, Ni Dahong, Liu Tianchi, Zhang Lu, Xiao Cong, Dong Fei
"Zhang Yimou's masterful, stirring To Live takes us from the turbulent, treacherous China of the '40s civil war to the brutal Cultural Revolution and beyond through the lives of one couple, who in the course of hardship and tragedy emerge as symbolic of the ordinary Chinese and their capacity to endure and to hope for a better future. Based on Yu Hua's Lifetimes, the superb To Live is fortunately more absorbing than grueling--and it is indeed the latter. It possesses both vast scope and intimacy, humor and sorrow, complex characterizations, richness of incident and an awareness of the quixotic role fate plays in all our destinies." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Selected by Todd Gilchrist, Wayne Wang, Leste Chen, Drewry Jones, Diego Galán.
Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, Soh Yamamura, Kuniko Miyake, Kyoko Kagawa, Eijiro Tono, Nobuo Nakamura, Shiro Osaka
"Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, postwar Tokyo… From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. Starring Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, the film reprises one of the director’s favorite themes—that of generational conflict—in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet so universal in its appeal that it continues to resonate as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Geoffrey Macnab, Ang Lee, Judith Williamson, Tadao Sato, Derek Malcolm.
Too Early, Too Late
Bahgat Elnadi, Daniele Huillet, Gerard Samaan
"From France and Egypt comes one of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s most beautiful works… Huillet herself provides voiceover for the first segment, which consists mainly of panned rural landscapes… Tranquil Nature, sparsely populated and filmed with contemplative calm, is brightened by the sound of chirping birds until a redundancy of this cacophony, enjoined with text that dwells on human poverty and class inequality, pierces the idyllic impression. The second, longer segment shifts to Egypt. Now a male voice is the unseen reader; the text, a journalistic essay by Mahmoud Hussein referring to the revolt by peasants against British occupation and the subsequent 1952 Egyptian Revolution.” - Dennis Grunes
Selected by George Clark, Volker Pantenburg, Edwin Mak, John Gianvito, Nicole Brenez.
Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Bill Murray, Sydney Pollack, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, Doris Belack
"The studio system collapsed in the '60s, but every now and then, attentive mainstream filmmakers are able to recreate the creative conditions that produced so many seamless prestige pictures during Hollywood's Golden Age. In many ways, the 1982 comedy Tootsie is a product of its time, from its bustling Dave Grusin score to its "boy, those modern women sure have it tough" theme. But it's also a study in craft, put together by a crew of actors, writers, and technicians at the top of their games. It's that rarest of high-toned Hollywood products: a pointed farce that ticks like a clock and rings like a bell." - Noel Murray, A.V. Club
Selected by Kenneth Branagh, Ray Lawrence, Cameron Crowe, J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow.
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Lucille Ball, Leonard Mudie, Donald Meek, Florence Roberts
"The third Astaire-Rogers movie and one of the best, with a superlative Irving Berlin score, and equally superlative Hermes Pan routines which spark a distinct sexual electricity between the pair. Oddly enough, the film is almost slavishly patterned on The Gay Divorcee, with the scene again shifting from London to a resort (Venice in this case), the plot again turning on mistaken identity, and the comedy again reliant on Horton, Blore and Rhodes. The reason you don't really notice this - with Top Hat readily springing to mind as the archetypal Fred'n'Ginger movie - is the booster given by Van Nest Polglase's stunning white Art Deco designs, which were to set the tone for the series." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Margarethe von Trotta, Andrzej Zulawski, Joshua Clover, Martha P. Nochimson, Catherine A. Surowiec.
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, Jose Legarreta, Alfonso Arau, Jose Luis Fernandez, Alf Junco, Gerard Zepeda, David Silva, Paula Romo
"An inexplicable amalgam of Buñuel, Herzog and Leone, Alejandro Jodorowsky's midnight movie par excellence is an endlessly ponderable, ultimately impenetrable glyph whose violent mysticism strikes at the gut and the soul. Jodorowsky plays the title character, a rogue gunfighter with delusions of deity who sets out to vanquish the four "masters of the gun," only to find that completed quest replaced with a new one: digging a tunnel to connect a group of Indian cave-dwellers with a cult-ruled frontier town. Jodorowsky's bold, alogical symbolism confounds rational interpretation, at least for the handful who've seen the film in an unaltered state." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Virginie Sélavy, Helen Dewitt, Slobodan Valentinčič, Wes Craven, Murat Tolga Şen.
Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Timothy Spall, Wendy Nottingham, Lesley Manville, Ron Cook, Kevin McKidd, Shirley Henderson, Dorothy Atkinson, Martin Savage
"The world of Gilbert and Sullivan comes to vivid life in director Mike Leigh’s extraordinary dramatization of the staging of the duo’s legendary 1885 comic opera The Mikado. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner brilliantly inhabit the roles of the world-famous Victorian librettist and composer… A lushly produced epic about the harsh realities of creative expression, featuring bravura performances and Oscar-winning costume design and makeup, Topsy-Turvy is an unexpected period delight from one of contemporary cinema’s great artists." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michal Oleszczyk, Luke McKernan, Christopher Fowler, Peter Wollen, Ken Mogg.
Touch of Evil
Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, Dennis Weaver, Ray Collins, Mercedes McCambridge, Lalo Rios
"Made in 1958, it was Orson Welles's last Hollywood film, and in it he makes transcendent use of the American technology his genius throve on; never again would his resources be so rich or his imagination so fiendishly baroque. Welles stars as the sheriff of a corrupt border town who finds his nemesis in visiting Mexican narcotics agent Charlton Heston; the witnesses to this weirdly gargantuan struggle include Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Akim Tamiroff, and Joseph Calleia, who holds the film's moral center with sublime uncertainty." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by James Naremore, Arturo Ripstein, Stephanie Zacharek, Abel Ferrara, Tony Rayns.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
A Touch of Zen
Billy Chan, Ping-yu Chang, Roy Chiao, Shih Chun, Hsue Han, Yin-Chieh Han, Feng Hsu, Ching-Ying Lam, Tien Miao, Peng Tien
"King Hu's remarkable Ming Dynasty epic deliberately makes itself impossible to define, beginning as a ghost story, then turning into a political thriller, and finally becoming a metaphysical battle as the role of the monk Hui-Yuan (Chiao) comes to the fore. Structured like a set of Chinese boxes, twice forcing you to expand your frame of reference and reassess the meaning of what you've seen, it begins with a realistic portrait of life in a sleepy town outside Peking, and ends with extended fantasies of Zen Buddhism in action - and in between has a core of action scenes that transform Peking Opera stagecraft into sheer flights of imagination." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Peter Rist, Alberto Pezzotta, Michael Berry, Okajima Hisashi, Michael Koller.
Touchez pas au Grisbi
Jean Gabin, Rene Dary, Paul Frankeur, Lino Ventura, Paul Oettly, Jeanne Moreau, Dora Doll, Daniel Cauchy, Vittorio Sanipoli, Denise Clair
"This model French gangster picture set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed. An ageing and weary Gabin attempts to retire after one last robbery. Instead he finds himself in a world of moody double-crosses. Becker's film, full of neat angles and delightful little bits of business, is laconic and admirably methodical. If its code of honour and its world of safe houses (and the absence of any police) make it seem like a wartime resistance film, it does also show what other gangster movies often ignore: that the reason for earning money dishonestly is to be able to live in style." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Shinji Aoyama, Ginette Vincendeau, Andris Feldmanis, Peter von Bagh, Fredric R. Jameson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Magaye Niang, Mareme Niang, Aminata Fall, Ousseynou Diop, Christoph Colomb, Ndou Labia, Mustapha Ture
"This 1973 first feature by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety is one of the greatest of all African films and almost certainly the most experimental. Beautifully shot and strikingly conceived, it follows the comic misadventures of a young motorcyclist and former herdsman (Magaye Niang) who gets involved in petty crimes in Dakar during an attempt to escape to Paris with the woman he loves (Mareme Niang). The title translates as Hyena's Voyage, and among the things that make this film so interesting stylistically are the fantasy sequences involving the couple's projected images of themselves in Paris and elsewhere." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ryan Gilbey, Keith Shiri, Drake Stutesman, Cameron Bailey, Wanuri Kahiu.
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, John Morris, Erik von Detten, R. Lee Ermey
"Seeing Toy Story, I felt some of the same exhilaration I felt during Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Both movies take apart the universe of cinematic visuals, and put it back together again, allowing us to see in a new way. Toy Story is not as inventive in its plotting or as clever in its wit as Rabbit or such Disney animated films as Beauty and the Beast… Its best pleasures are for the eyes. But what pleasures they are! Watching the film, I felt I was in at the dawn of a new era of movie animation, which draws on the best of cartoons and reality, creating a world somewhere in between, where space not only bends but snaps, crackles and pops." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Brad Bird, Tim J. Smith, Paul Wells, Lisa Mullen, Jane Lamacraft.
Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Pauline Lynch, Irvine Welsh, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo
"A shocking, painfully subjective trawl through the Edinburgh heroin culture of the 1980s, Irvine Welsh's cult novel is hardly an obvious choice for the team who made Shallow Grave. Yet the film's a triumph. Audaciously punching up the pitch-black comedy, juggling parallel character strands and juxtaposing image, music and voice-over with a virtuosity worthy of Scorsese on peak form, Trainspotting the movie captures precisely Welsh's insolent, amoral intelligence. Amoral, but not unthinking, and certainly not unfeeling… This may not have the weight of 'Great Art', but it crystallises youthful disaffection with the verve of the best and brightest pop culture. A sensation." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Guido Bonsaver, Claudia Winkleman, Anurag Kashyap, Fruit Chan, Michaela Boland.
The Travelling Players
Eva Kotamanidou, Aliki Georgouli, Stratos Pahis, Maria Vassiliou, Petros Zarkadis, Kiriakos Katrivanos, Yannis Firios, Nina Papazaphiropoulou, Alekos Boubis, Kosta Stiliaris
"Angelopoulos' defiantly subversive film follows a nomadic acting troupe that bears witness to a country ravaged by civil war… For Leftist sympathizer Angelopoulos, the shift from Nazi Occupation to field marshal Marcel Papagos' prevailing dictatorship was virtually indistinguishable… His firm grasp of politics and theater gives The Travelling Players enormous thematic complexity and relevance, however difficult it is to understand at times. But even the most clueless outsider can still soak in the magisterial beauty of Angelopoulos' images, which mournfully depict corroded buildings and emptied streets while celebrating the country's enduring natural beauty." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by David Stratton, Simon Louvish, Cui Zi'en, Alin Tasciyan, Pema Tseden.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett, Barton MacLane, Alfonso Bedoya, John Huston, Arturo Soto Rangel, Manuel Donde, Jose Torvay
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre remains one of the most insightful films ever made about greed and the thorny effects of temptation on human nature... Partly realistic, partly poetic (the controlled lighting rarely goes for natural effect, instead waxing poetic on the respective characters' internal struggles), fully moral, this deservingly canonized behemoth is one of the relatively few films that transcends the medium to become a mandatory viewing experience for anyone that identifies themselves as a human being, period." - Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine
Selected by Lawrence Kasdan, Sam Raimi, John Sayles, Dennis Hopper, Rian Johnson.
The Tree of Life
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Jessica Fuselier, Nicolas Gonda, Will Wallace
"Terrence Malick's mad and magnificent film descends slowly, like some sort of prototypical spaceship: it's a cosmic-interior epic of vainglorious proportions, a rebuke to realism, a disavowal of irony and comedy, a meditation on memory, and a gasp of horror and awe at the mysterious inevitability of loving, and losing those we love... This is visionary cinema on an unashamedly huge scale: cinema that's thinking big. Malick makes an awful lot of other film-makers look timid and negligible by comparison." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by David Denby, Roger Ebert, Guy Maddin, Fernando Meirelles, Juan Antonio Bayona.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
The Tree of Wooden Clogs
Luigi Ornaghi, Francesca Moriggi, Omar Brignoli, Antonio Ferrari, Teresa Brescianini, Giuseppe Brignoli, Carlo Rota, Pasqualina Brolis, Massimo Fratus, Francesco Villa
"The Tree of Wooden Clogs was taken from stories Olmi's grandmother told him. Using peasants from the area as actors, it was made with direct sound (very unusual in Italy)… Its strength lies not just in its ravishing depiction of the changing seasons in a stunning part of Lombardy nor in its human sympathies, which are never patronising to the ordinary people he finds so unordinary, but in its measured, cumulative approach to the hard life of those close to penury and exploited by the powerful. For instance, the tree of the title is cut down by a father to make a pair of clogs for his son to reach school. For which he pays a terrible price." - Derek Malcolm, The Guardian
Selected by Mike Leigh, Charles Burnett, Ken Loach, Zdena Škapová, M.F. Thomas.
Top 25 Comedies
1. City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
2. Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
3. The General (Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
4. Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)
5. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
6. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
7. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
8. The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)
9. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
10. To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
11. Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)
12. Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)
13. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
14. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
15. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
16. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
17. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972)
18. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
19. The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin, 1940)
20. Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)
21. Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)
22. Fargo (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 1996)
23. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
24. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
25. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
Anthony Perkins, Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Elsa Martinelli, Akim Tamiroff, Suzanne Flon, Madeleine Robinson, Arnoldo Foa, Fernand Ledoux
"Though debatable as an adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel, Orson Welles's nightmarish, labyrinthine comedy of 1962 remains his creepiest and most disturbing work; it's also a lot more influential than people usually admit. Anthony Perkins gives an adolescent temper to Joseph K, a bureaucrat mysteriously brought to court for an unspecified crime. Among the predatory females who pursue him are Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, and Elsa Martinelli; Welles himself plays the hero's tyrannical lawyer, and Akim Tamiroff is one of his oldest clients. Welles adroitly captures the experience of an unsettling and slightly hysterical dream throughout." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Robert Haller, Mark Romanek, Mark Fisher, Fernando Martin Pena, Raquel Abad.
Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey, Franco Nero, Lola Gaos, Antonio Casas, Jesus Fernandez, Vicente Solar, Jose Calvo, Fernando Cebrian, Candida Losada
"Luis Buñuel's 1970 masterwork, adapted from a novel by Benito Perez Galdos. Catherine Deneuve is a young woman unhappy with the constraints of turn-of-the-century Spanish society; her mild revolt is rewarded by an amputated leg. Buñuel conjures with Freudian imagery, outrageous humor, and a quiet, lyrical camera style to create one of his most complex and complete works, a film that continues to disturb and transfix." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Derek Malcolm, Albert Serra, June Givanni, Julio Pérez Perucha, Fernando Ganzo.
Triumph of the Will
Adolf Hitler, Max Amann, Martin Bormann, Walter Buch, Walter Darre, Otto Dietrich, Sepp Dietrich, Hans Frank, Josef Goebbels, Hermann Goring
"Triumph of the Will is one of the greatest examples of film propaganda ever made. Commissioned by Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl recorded the 1934 Nuremberg National Socialist Party rally, transforming it through innovative editing, montage, and lighting into a frighteningly impressive work of indoctrination… Its influence on post-war cinema has been long-lasting, and the contemporary advertising industry uses many of the techniques used to such great effect in the film to capture the minds and thoughts of the audience: the repetition of motifs, montage, and a use of emotive and stirring music to manipulate the audience." - A. Pillai, Film Reference
Selected by Amir Emary, Amos Poe, Richard Sowada, Dusan Makavejev, Denys Arcand.
Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Sirivech Jareonchon, Huai Dessom, Udom Promma, Saritpong Boonyadiwon
"Tropical Malady is an experiment, a strange, dreamlike meditation on humanity, our need for love and our inner demons. It is actually two films; the first half describes the tender courtship of a soldier and a country boy who works in an ice-cutting plant, then it switches gears to follow another soldier (or is it the same soldier? Both are played by Sakda Kaewbuadee) into the jungle, where he pursues the ghost of a tiger, which at times transforms itself into a shaman... Tropical Malady is an intriguing emotional and intellectual puzzle that made me feel exhilarated and contemplative. There are far too few films that do that." - G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lisandro Alonso, Manu Yáñez-Murillo, Lalitha Gopalan, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Ben Rivers.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Philippe Leroy, Marc Michel, Jean Keraudy, Raymond Meunier, Michel Constantin, Andre Bervil, Jean-Paul Coquelin, Eddy Rasimi, Catherine Spaak, Dominique Zardi
"A secular response to Bresson's A Man Escaped. No question of grace here, simply of grind and grime as four prisoners - joined and eventually betrayed by a fifth - laboriously tunnel their way to a derisory glimpse of freedom. Telling a true story, Becker maintains a low-key approach, courting reality, avoiding music in favour of natural sound, constantly stressing the sheer physicality. Yet there is more than a touch of Bresson (even more, however, of Becker's mentor Renoir) to the close-ups which punctuate the evolving relationship between the escapees… Classical in its intense simplicity, this is certainly Becker's most perfectly crafted film." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Joe Lawlor, José Luis Garci, Agnieszka Holland, Yang Shupeng, Carlos Aguilar.
Trouble in Paradise
Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Charlie Ruggles, Edward Everett Horton, C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Greig, George Humbert, Rolfe Sedan, Luis Alberni
"When thief Gaston Monescu (Marshall) meets his true love in pickpocket Lily (Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Francis). But when Gaston becomes romantically entangled with Mme. Colet, their larcenous ruse is jeopardized and Gaston is forced to choose between two beautiful women. Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise, a pinnacle of the sophisticated romantic comedy, loaded with sparkling dialogue, witty innuendo, and elegant comic invention." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Joseph McBride, Wes Anderson, Michel Ciment, Edgardo Cozarinsky, James Naremore.
True Heart Susie
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour, Kate Bruce, Raymond Cannon, Carol Dempster, George Fawcett, Wilbur Higby, Loyola O'Connor
"One of D.W. Griffith's most beautiful films, a pastoral fable of a sort that no one could ever make again, because the sensitivity and spirit have vanished along with the landscape. Made in 1919, it's a souvenir of an even earlier time when man and his environment were still in perfect harmony. The city is just beginning to intrude on Griffith's setting, and its effects are potentially devastating. But Susie (Gish) shines through, rescuing her lover from the arms of an evil woman. The plot is pure archetype, but if you fail to be moved, you have a very cold heart indeed." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Udagawa Koyo, Tomoyo Kawai, David Phelps, Alexandre Astruc, Daniel Kasman.
The Turin Horse
Janos Derzsi, Erika Bok, Mihaly Kormos, Ricsi
"Béla Tarr claims his ninth feature will be his last. If true, he departs with an intimate epic of grim, formal beauty and disconcerting foreboding. Opening with an equine anecdote about Nietzsche, the action switches to a cottage on a wind-blasted plain where carter János Derzsi ekes out a desperate existence with daughter Erika Bók, whose days are divided between fetching water from the well, cooking potatoes and gazing through the window. It’s gruelling, but utterly riveting: Tarr insists it’s simply a study in arduous monotony, but much can be read into this exceptional exercise in so called ‘remodernist’ cinema. It may be bleak, but this lingers in the mind long after you've seen it." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Pere Portabella, Arturo Ripstein, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Jaan Ruus, Jiří Barta.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
12 Angry Men
Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Jack Klugman, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, George Voskovec, Robert Webber
"12 Angry Men, by Sidney Lumet, may be the most radical courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, this iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the dissenting member on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. The result is a saga of epic proportions that plays out over a tense afternoon in one sweltering room. Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature film debuts." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Tata Amaral, David Leland, Richard Sowada, Akin Omotoso, Antonia Bird.
Twenty Years Later
Eduardo Coutinho, Tite de Lemos, Ferreira Gullar
"Twenty Years Later is a film about a film. Sort of. It begins with the story of João Pedro Teixeira, a political activist in a small tropical town murdered by police in 1962… A film crew came to his town and began dramatizing his life, casting his wife Elizabeth and their children as themselves. But the police stopped the shooting, and the film wasn't finished… Twenty Years Later is a marvelously human affront to dictatorship, showing a person's spirit can't be censored. It's also a high point in the great Coutinho's career. His films focus on people bursting with talk, often performers of one kind or another, but so full of hopes and aspirations that the naked self keeps bleeding through." - Aaron Cutler, The House Next Door
Selected by José Carlos Avellar, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Vladimir Carvalho, Andrés Di Tella, Tetê Moraes.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, James Marshall, Pamela Gidley
"Fire Walk With Me is deliberately oblique, even by Lynch standards, asking questions without answers and providing clues to no mystery. Its narrative is split in two, seemingly without reason, a division introduced when our hero is apparently swallowed up by a gaping hole in the center of the picture (a hole he finds beneath a parked RV in America's least inviting trailer park, naturally)… It isn't especially funny, or quirky, or even much in keeping with the spirit of the series. But in its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch's masterpiece." - Calum Marsh, The Village Voice
Selected by Gregg Araki, Richard Kuipers, Arthur Mas, Sam C. Mac, Bong Joon-ho.
Two English Girls
Jean-Pierre Leaud, Kika Markham, Stacey Tendeter, Sylvia Marriott, Marie Mansart, Philippe Leotard, Irene Tunc, Mark Peterson, Georges Delerue, Marie Irakane
"The importance of Two English Girls lies in its sheer vitality. The film is an extraordinary cinematic conjuring trick in which Truffaut draws the viewer both physically and visually into his own personal pleasures. He does this on a multitude of levels—if the pastoral scenes salute the work of Jean Renoir, then the washed pastel colors of Nestor Almendros’ Impressionist-influenced cinematography perfectly evoke Truffaut’s delight in the paintings of Renoir’s father, Auguste… Two English Girls sets itself apart by its sheer grace and palpable beauty." - Bruce Eder, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kent Jones, Carlos Losilla, Toni Junyent, Jonás Trueba, Todd McCarthy.
James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird, Dennis Wilson, David Drake, Richard Ruth, Rudy Wurlitzer, Jaclyn Hellman, Bill Keller, Harry Dean Stanton
"Drag racing east from Los Angeles in a souped-up ’55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic (singer-songwriter James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson)… Along the way, they meet Warren Oates’s Pontiac GTO–driving wanderer and challenge him to a cross-country race… But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of Two-Lane Blacktop. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Nicole Brenez, Vic Pratt, Marcelo Alderete, Rolando Caputo, Regina Schlagnitweit.
Two or Three Things I Know About Her
Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Montsoret, Joseph Gehrard, Raoul Levy, Jean Narboni, Yves Beneyton, Juliet Berto, Christophe Bourseiller, Marie Bourseiller
"The “her” of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1966 masterpiece is Paris in the throes of redevelopment. It’s also a Parisian housewife (the glowing Marina Vlady) who moonlights (or, rather, daylights) as a prostitute in order to afford the luxuries that come part and parcel with urban living. Less a narrative than a succession of loosely interconnected scenes laced through with Godard’s whispered musings on everything from the origins of language to the war in Vietnam, the film finds one of cinema’s greatest innovators at the height of his playfulness… For anyone who still wonders what “the big deal” was about Godard in the 1960s, this is one ticket you can’t afford to miss." - Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
Selected by Amy Taubin, J. Hoberman, James Quandt, Peter Rist, Henry Bean.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Beatty, Sean Sullivan, Frank Miller, Alan Gifford
"The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Denis Villeneuve, Gaspar Noé, Ang Lee, Esteve Riambau, Michael Dudok de Wit.
Tony Leung, Gong Li, Takuya Kimura, Faye Wong, Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau, Chen Chang, Wang Sum, Ping Lam Siu, Maggie Cheung
"Very few films look this dreamy. Very few sound this romantic (the eclectic soundtrack features Francois Truffaut's main composer, Georges Delerue, as well as Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and a haunting theme by Shigeru Umebayashi). Fewer still move this way. In short, very few films are Wong Kar- wai films, a phrase that in the future will carry the same weight as an Antonioni film or a Godard film. In 2046, lovelorn loneliness has never been this mouth-watering." - G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Peter Körte, César Ballester, Joshua Clover, Ho Wen-long.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, Eitaro Ozawa, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito, Sugisaku Aoyama, Ryosuke Kagawa, Kichijiro Tsuchida, Mitsusaburo Ramon, Ichisaburo Sawamura
"The mood of Kenji Mizoguchi's 1953 masterpiece is evoked by the English translation most often given to its title, Tales of the Pale and Silvery Moon After the Rain. Based on two 16th-century ghost stories, the film is less a study of the supernatural than a sublime embodiment of Mizoguchi's eternal theme, the generosity of women and the selfishness of men. Densely plotted but as emotionally subtle as its name, Ugetsu is one of the great experiences of cinema." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Thomas Elsaesser, Graham Fuller, Arturo Ripstein, Michel Mourlet, Manoel de Oliveira.
Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Alberto Albani Barbieri, Memmo Carotenuto, Elena Rea, Ileana Simova, Lamberto Maggiorani
"This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto struggles to maintain his dignity in a city where human kindness seems to have been swallowed up by the forces of modernization. His simple quest to satisfy his basic needs—food, shelter, companionship—makes for one of the most heartbreaking stories ever filmed, and an essential classic of world cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Derek Malcolm, Andrzej Zulawski, Maura McHugh, Edna Fainaru, Martha P. Nochimson.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Ellen Farnen, Marc Michel, Mireille Perrey, Jean Champion, Harald Wolff, Dorothee Blank, Pierre Caden
"Jacques Demy's 1964 classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which demonstrates that it is possible for a drama sung from beginning to end to be not just emotionally involving but artistically innovative… This everyday love stuff is without a doubt one of the most romantic films ever made, but the psychological details are firmly rooted in reality, and it's lifted into another, magical dimension by dazzling, colour-coded production design… Michel Legrand's music, with its plaintive love theme, is exquisite, but it's when you stop being aware that everyone's singing their lines and start getting swept along by the story that you know the film really hits the spot." - Anne Billson, The Telegraph
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Hirokazu Koreeda, Flavia de la Fuente, Isabelle Stever, David Panos.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakam Aphaiwonk, Geerasak Kulhong, Kanokporn Tongaram, Matthieu Ly, Vien Pimdee
"Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Thai movie has a cumbersome title, but it is a gloriously worthy winner of the Palme d'Or... This is a visionary film in the director's characteristic style: mysterious, dreamlike, gentle, quiet, magical. It has elements that are at first glance absurd, and at second or third glance, too, come to that. But they are beguiling and beautiful as well: the extended, wordless opening sequence in which a water buffalo appears to break free from its rope and roam the plains and forests of north-east Thailand at dusk is superbly filmed." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Nigel Andrews, Jean-Michel Frodon, Cui Zi'en, Gonçalo Tocha, Isamu Hirabayashi.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Miki Manojlovic, Lazar Riztovski, Mirjana Jokovic, Slavko Stimac, Mirjana Karanovic, Srdjan Todorovic, Ernst Stotzner, Milena Pavlovic, Bata Stojkovic, Bora Todorovic
"Emir Kusturica's tragic-farce Underground may be the most important film of the last 25 years, a sweltering, morally inquisitive work of political narrative fiction that laments our propensity for auto-destruction. In a time when supposedly serious journalism fails to illuminate the horrors of the world (pop quiz: what did Milosevic do to his people and why?), films like Underground exist to make amends. "Once upon a time there was a country…" So begins Kusturica's parable of self-annihilation, a deliriously metaphorical, emotionally gut-wrenching and devastatingly funny chronicle of a death foretold." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Zhao Liang, Ying Liang, Ed Gonzalez, Han Jie, Audrius Stonys.
Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Saul Rubinek, Frances Fisher, Anna Thomson, David Mucci, Anthony James
"Unforgiven is a classic Western for the ages. In his 10th excursion into the genre that made him a star more than 25 years ago, Clint Eastwood has crafted a tense, hard-edged, superbly dramatic yarn that is also an exceedingly intelligent meditation on the West, its myths and its heroes. With its grizzled cast of outstanding actors playing outlaws who have survived their primes, this is unapologetically a mature, contemplative film… Eastwood's telling of this grim, compelling tale is at least as impressive as in his best prior outings as a director -- The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bird and White Hunter, Black Heart." - Todd McCarthy, Variety
Selected by Ti West, Pablo Trapero, Diego Batlle, Pablo Fendrik, Lisa Mullen.
"In 1961 Peter Kubelka was asked to make a documentary about a group of Europeans on an African hunting trip. He accompanied them, recorded many hours of film and sound, and then spent five years editing this material into a most unconventional film. The result, Unsere Afrikareise, is one of the most densely packed 12½ minutes in film history, and makes truly extraordinary use of the creative possibilities of sound… What is most extraordinary about Kubelka's achievement is not the specific connections he establishes between elements, but rather the system that the entire network of connections form." - Fred Camper, Film Reference
Selected by Vinzenz Hediger, Scott MacDonald, Michael Glawogger, Ashim Ahluwalia, Michael Sicinski.
The Usual Suspects
Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, Giancarlo Esposito, Kevin Pollak, Suzy Amis, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Bartel
"Writer Christopher McQuarrie's original notion was to make a film called The Usual Suspects, in which five criminals meet in a police line-up. He thought it would make a wonderful poster. The poster's O.K. The movie is sensational, a modern-day noir about petty crime, a mythic gangster, loyalty, going straight and double crosses. This movie has everything but Humphrey Bogart, and I'm sure he's sorry he was unavailable… Most of the time I hardly knew what was going on, but I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Singer is not a fancy director, or ostentatious or ornate. The beauty of The Usual Suspects is in its simplicity." - Barbara Shulgasser, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lisa Mullen, Ferenc Zalaba, Philip Kemp, Jurgen Egger, Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Sandrine Bonnaire, Setti Ramdane, Francis Balchere, Jean-Louis Perletti, Urbain Causee, Christophe Alcazar, Dominique Durand, Joel Fosse, Patrick Schmit, Daniel Bos
"Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of Vagabond. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. With its sparse, poetic imagery, Vagabond is a stunner, and won Varda the top prize at the Venice Film Festival." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Sterritt, Carol Morley, Kim Young-Jin, Nina Menkes, Jill Godmilow.
Musidora, Edouard Mathe, Marcel Levesque, Jean Ayme, Fernand Herrmann, Stacia Napierkowska, Edmund Breon, Renee Carl, Miss Edith, Louis Leubas
"Louis Feuillade's extraordinary ten-part silent serial of 1916, running just under eight hours, is one of the supreme delights of film—an account of the exploits of an all-powerful group of criminals called the Vampire Gang, headed by the infamous Irma Vep (Musidora), whose name is an anagram for “vampire.” Filmed mainly in Paris locations, Feuillade's masterpiece combines documentary with fantasy to create a dense world of multiple disguises, secret passageways, poison rings, and evil master plots that assumes an awesome cumulative power." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ed Park, David Meeker, Kevin B. Lee, J. Hoberman, Chung Sung-ill.
Julian West, Henriette Gerard, Jan Hieronimko, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz, Albert Bras, N. Babanini, Jane Mora
"With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s brilliance at achieving mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery (The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath) was for once applied to the horror genre. Yet the result—concerning an occult student assailed by various supernatural haunts and local evildoers in a village outside Paris—is nearly unclassifiable, a host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creating a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, Vampyr is one of cinema’s great nightmares." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ben Rivers, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Richard Combs, Jean Narboni, Pierre Leon.
Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Lecoq, Gerard Sety, Corinne Bourdon, Elsa Zylberstein, Jacques Vidal, Chantal Barbarit, Claudine Ducret, Frederic Bonpart
"This stunningly photographed and skilfully acted film uses an accretion of naturalistic detail to present an emotionally restrained but utterly compelling account of the last three months of Van Gogh's life… Since Pialat has no desire to canonise the artist, there is no attempt to trace the origins and development of his 'creative genius'; nor, avoiding the hazards of biopic cliché, does he seek to illuminate these dark corners of his subject's troubled soul. In the leading role, Dutronc has exactly the right quality of physical frailty and stooped sadness to complement Pialat's beautiful, poignant images." - Nigel Floyd, Time Out
Selected by Olivier Assayas, Jean-Michel Frodon, Satu Laaksonen, Erik Syngle, Gilles Jacob.
Vengeance is Mine
Ken Ogata, Mayumi Ogawa, Rentaro Mikuni, Mitsuko Baisho, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Chocho Miyako, Moeko Ezawa, Toshie Negishi, Kazuko Shirakawa, Taiji Tonoyama
"Imamura’s 1979 case history of a murderous con-man on the loose in 1960s Japan is, like Roberto Succo, free of facile psychology and moral judgement; and like M or 10 Rillington Place, it’s concerned less with the individual than with how his acts illuminate the society that spawned him… We’re finally left wondering: is anyone here not in pain, not living a lie? Are compromise, oppression, madness, violence and a death wish par for the Japanese course? At once darkly comic and quasi-tragic, Imamura’s often brilliant tale of Eros and Thanatos is perverse, powerful and subversive." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Nicoletta Romeo, Kim Young-Jin, Park Kiyong.
Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, Jose Isbert, Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, Angel Alvarez, Guido Alberti, Julia Caba Alba, Maria Luisa Ponte, Maria Isbert, Erasmo Pascual
"Although his projects were often halted and cut by censors during the dictatorship, Berlanga managed to challenge the Franco myth through comedy, ridiculing Spanish foibles with chaotic farces and outlandish sight gags... His finest film, El Verdugo is a somewhat Buñuelian black tragicomedy about a mild-mannered undertaker's assistant who, through a bizarre series of circumstances, becomes a public executioner. Formally Berlanga's most elegant film, it was shot by Pasolini and Leone's cinematographer, the great Tonino Delli Colli. Despite censor cuts, Verdugo remains a powerful condemnation of capital punishment and the Francoist myths of duty and patriotism." - Elliott Stein, The Village Voice
Selected by Carlos Reygadas, Pedro Almodóvar, Fernando Colomo, Pablo Stoll, Nuria Vidal.
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Ann-Marie Duringer, Cornelia Froboess, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Gunther Kaufmann, Sonja Neudorfer, Lilo Pempeit
"Once-beloved Third Reich–era starlet Veronika Voss (Zech) lives in obscurity in postwar Munich. Struggling for survival and haunted by past glories, the forgotten star encounters sportswriter Robert Krohn (Thate) in a rain-swept park and intrigues him with her mysterious beauty. As their unlikely relationship develops, Krohn comes to discover the dark secrets behind the faded actresses’ demise. Based on the true story of a World War II UFA star, Veronika Voss is wicked satire disguised as 1950s melodrama." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ira Sachs, Luca Guadagnino, Shion Sono, Ashim Ahluwalia, Geoffrey Macnab.
James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Ellen Corby, Lee Patrick, Raymond Bailey, Konstantin Shayne, Paul Bryar
"Nowhere else did Hitchcock's perfectionism yield such feverish results, in an eerily perverse exploration of this director's obsessive themes. Way ahead of its time in dreamily suggestive power, Vertigo lures James Stewart's Scottie Ferguson, a man terrified of falling, onto the trail of the voluptuous ice blonde who will bring him down. The lure of death, the power of the past, the guilty complicity of a clean-cut hero, the near-fetishistic use of symbol and color: these Hitchcock hallmarks are all mesmerizingly on view… Hitchcock deliberately violated the conventions of the thriller to heighten tensions and abruptly shift the audience's point of view." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Margarethe von Trotta, Wim Wenders, Geoffrey Macnab, Richard Dyer, Paul Schrader.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Jack Creley, Les Carlson, Lynne Gorman, David Bolt, Lally Cadeau, Harvey Chao
"When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called Videodrome. As he struggles to unearth the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey… Videodrome is one of writer/director David Cronenberg’s most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. With groundbreaking special effects makeup by Academy Award®-winner Rick Baker, Videodrome has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and mind-bending science fiction films of the 1980s." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Nicolas Rapold, Vladan Petkovic, Edgar Pêra, Roee Rosen, Erik Skjoldbjærg.
The Virgin Spring
Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson, Axel Duberg, Tor Isedal, Allan Edwall, Ove Porath, Axel Slangus, Gudrun Brost
"Bergman won his first Oscar for this cruel but unsensational medieval allegory, a tale of superstition, religious faith, rape and revenge set in a 14th century Sweden where the populace is vacillating between Christianity and paganism… The formal simplicity and overt symbolism (light and dark, fire and water) undercut the potentially sensationalist elements of the material, Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspiring with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge." - Nigel Floyd, Time Out
Selected by Wes Craven, Tara Brady, Péter Muszatics, Juan Antonio García Borrero, Srdan Golubovic.
Silvia Pinal, Francisco Rabal, Fernando Rey, Jose Calvo, Margarita Lozano, Jose Manuel Martin, Victoria Zinny, Luis Heredia, Joaquin Roa, Teresa Rabal
"Banned in Spain and denounced by the Vatican, Luis Buñuel’s irreverent vision of life as a beggar’s banquet is regarded by many as his masterpiece. In it, novice nun Viridiana does her utmost to maintain her Catholic principles, but her lecherous uncle and a motley assemblage of paupers force her to confront the limits of her idealism. Winner of the Palme d’or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, Viridiana is as audacious today as ever." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Krzysztof Zanussi, Roy Andersson, Ulrich Seidl, Pere Portabella, Gilberto Perez.
Franco Interlenghi, Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Leopoldo Trieste, Riccardo Fellini, Leonora Ruffo, Lida Baarova, Arlette Sauvage, Jean Brochard, Achille Majeroni
"Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches… An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin MacDonald, Francis Ford Coppola, Margaret Brown, Maria Kuvshinova, Mike Newell.
Chao-Jung Chen, Kang-Sheng Lee, Kuei-Mei Yang
"Tsai Ming-liang’s striking and beautiful second feature, a haunting look at alienation among three young individuals in Taipei–a real estate agent, a street vendor, and a gay and painfully withdrawn burial-plot salesman–won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival and remains one of the key modernist works of the Taiwanese New Wave. Working principally without dialogue–with a feeling for both modern architecture and contemporary urban despair that often recalls Michelangelo Antonioni–it gathers force slowly but builds to a powerful and devastating finale." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Paolo Bertolin, Jane Yu, Pawel Pawlikowski, Cui Zi'en, Andrew Yusu Cheng.
Vivre sa vie
Anna Karina, Saddy Rebbot, Andre S. Labarthe, Guylaine Schlumberger, Brice Parain, Peter Kassovitz, Gerard Hoffman, Monique Messine, Paul Pavel, Dimitri Dineff
"Vivre sa vie was a turning point for Jean-Luc Godard and remains one of his most dynamic films, combining brilliant visual design with a tragic character study. The lovely Anna Karina, Godard’s greatest muse, plays Nana, a young Parisian who aspires to be an actress but instead ends up a prostitute, her downward spiral depicted in a series of discrete tableaux of daydreams and dances. Featuring some of Karina and Godard’s most iconic moments—from her movie theater vigil with The Passion of Joan of Arc to her seductive pool-hall strut—Vivre sa vie is a landmark of the French New Wave that still surprises at every turn." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ronald Bergan, Béla Tarr, Jean-Michel Frodon, Jørgen Leth, Rudolf Thome.
Le Voyage dans la lune
Victor Andre, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet, Jeanne d'Alcy, Henri Delannoy, Depierre, Farjaut, Kelm, Georges Melies
"Partly inspired by Jules Verne's early work of science fiction De la terre à la lune (1865) and by H. G. Wells's prophetic novel The First Men in the Moon (1901), Georges Méliès's Le voyage dans la lune (1902) is remarkable for its imaginative, and continually diverting, narrative development. The serious, didactic purpose of the literary antecedents is ignored to provide an engaging entertainment… Méliès was director, producer, set designer, and leading actor. In his exuberant narrative Méliès successfully mixes traditional stage-craft with his extensive repertory of special effects." - R.F. Cousins, Film Reference
Selected by Pam Cook, Jeff Masino, Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Frank Kessler, Marit Kapla.
Voyage in Italy
Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban, Leslie Daniels, Natalia Ray, Anna Proclemer, Jackie Frost, Paul Muller, Anthony La Penna, Anthony La Penna
"Roberto Rossellini's finest fiction film, and unmistakably one of the great achievements of the art. Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders play a long-married British couple grown restless and uncommunicative. On a trip to Italy to dispose of a piece of property, they find their boredom thrown into relief by the Mediterranean landscape—its vitality (Naples) and its desolation (Pompeii). But suddenly, in one of the moments that only Rossellini can film, something lights inside them, and their love is renewed as a bond of the spirit. A crucial work, truthful and mysterious." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michel Mourlet, Manoel de Oliveira, Richard Brody, Tag Gallagher, Rudolf Thome.
W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism
Milena Dravic, Jagoda Kaloper, Zoran Radmilovic, Miodrag Andric, Jim Buckley, Jackie Curtis, Betty Dodson, Nancy Godfrey, Dragoljub Ivkov, Tuli Kupferberg
"What does the energy harnessed through orgasm have to do with the state of communist Yugoslavia circa 1971? Only counterculture filmmaker extraordinaire Dušan Makavejev has the answers (or the questions). His surreal documentary-fiction collision WR: Mysteries of the Organism begins as an investigation into the life and work of controversial psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and then explodes into a free-form narrative of a beautiful young Slavic girl’s sexual liberation. Banned upon its release in the director’s homeland, the art-house smash WR is both whimsical and bold in its blending of politics and sexuality." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dina Iordanova, Richard Porton, Michal Oleszczyk, Roee Rosen, Robert Gardner.
The Wages of Fear
Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter Van Eyck, Vera Clouzot, Folco Lulli, Dario Moreno, William Tubbs, Jo Dest, Antonio Centa, Louis de Lima
"In a squalid South American oil town, four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route. As they ferry their explosive cargo to a faraway oil fire, each bump and jolt tests their courage, their friendship, and their nerves. The result is one of the greatest thrillers ever committed to celluloid, a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Steve McQueen, John Sayles, Chris Shepherd, Péter Muszatics.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Alan Mowbray, Jane Darwell, Russell Simpson, James Arness, Ruth Clifford
"The film that John Ford most often cited as his personal favorite among his westerns, Wagon Master stars Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr. as two drifters assigned to lead a Mormon train to the Utah frontier. Ford treats one of his central themes—the birth of a community—through a sweeping visual metaphor of movement. Seldom has the western landscape seemed such a tangible emblem of hope and freedom. A masterpiece beyond question—but a masterpiece that never degenerates into pomposity or self-consciousness. It's American filmmaking at its finest and most eloquent." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Joseph McBride, Gilberto Perez, Whit Stillman, Santos Zunzunegui, Michael Baute.
Jenny Agutter, Lucien John, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Peter Carver, John Illingsworth, Barry Donnelly, Noelene Brown, Carlo Manchini, Robert McDarra
"A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his “walkabout,” a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by J.M. Tyree, Nana Asfour, Mark Cosgrove, Farai Sevenzo, Jeremy Deller.
Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, MacInTalk, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver, Kim Kopf, Lori Alan
"Many will attempt to describe WALL-E with a one-liner. It’s R2-D2 in love. 2001: A Space Odyssey starring The Little Tramp. An Inconvenient Truth meets Idiocracy on its way to Toy Story. But none of these do justice to a film that’s both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate—and, for a good long while, absolutely bereft of dialogue save the squeals, beeps, and chirps of a sweet, lonely robot who, aside from his cockroach pet, is the closest thing to the last living being on earth." - Robert Wilonsky, The Village Voice
Selected by Richard Corliss, Wally Hammond, Leslie Felperin, Kjetil Lismoen, Wendy Ide.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins, Dorothy Shupenes, Peter Shupenes, Jerome Thier, Marian Thier, Anthony Rotell, M.L. Kennedy, Charles Dosinan, Frank Jourdano
"One of the most notorious orphans of the American New Wave, Barbara Loden's Wanda is actually a benchmark of the era—in a period of gritty, working-class neo-neorealism, here was a genuine indie (unlike most of the "wave" 's important films) that out-low-classed the competition… Loden wrote, directed, and starred in this fascinating portrait of a dim, soul-beaten woman… Equal parts Cassavetes-style vérité, Actors Studio resolve, and remarkable prophecy of the say-little, know-less, just-watch minimalism of recent Asian cinema, Wanda is also an overwhelming portrait—caught in grainy 16mm—of Middle America in the late '60s. " - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Margarethe von Trotta, Adrian Martin, Ray Carney, James Naremore, Berenice Reynaud.
War and Peace
Lyudmila Savelyeva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Gennadi Ivanov, Irina Gubanova, Antonina Shuranova, Sergei Bondarchuk, N. Afrikyants, V. Alakhverdova, Rodion Aleksandrov, Igor Alekseyev
"Sergei Bondarchuk's seven-hour 1967 monster is still the biggest, most astonishingly profligate movie ever made, involving more than a quarter-million extras and eating up resources enough to support a small nation (today, it would cost close to $1 billion). Since its foreign-film Oscar win, it's been roundly derided as a boring nationalist waste. Not so: The unwavering fidelity to Tolstoy is served by a constantly roving camera, complex mise-en-scène, baroque compositions, and expressive double exposures. The chakras of Ophüls and Eisenstein are as palpable as the startling sense of the entire republic being placed at the film's disposal." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Baz Luhrmann, Judith Crist, Daniel Walber, Tad Richards.
Hollis Frampton, Amy Taubin, Lyne Grossman, Naoto Nakazawa, Roswell Rudd, Joyce Wieland, Amy Yadrin
"The decisiveness with which Snow staked out a territory for investigation, the simplicity and clarity of the film's overall gesture, and the intricacy of its details, were factors in the immediate and continuing attention this film has claimed. Wavelength describes a single zoom movement for three quarters of an hour across an almost empty New York loft, resting eventually with the frame of a black-and-white photograph of waves pinned to the wall of the room… Other avant-garde films have dwelled upon the uniqueness of the cinematic images, but none so systematically as Wavelength." - P. Adams Sitney, Film Reference
Selected by Kent Jones, Laura Mulvey, David Sterritt, Jean-Claude Rousseau, Malcolm le Grice.
We All Loved Each Other So Much
Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, Stefania Sandrelli, Stefano Satta Flores, Giovanna Ralli, Aldo Fabrizi, Mike Bongiorno, Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni, Nello Meniconi
"We All Loved Each Other So Much is a true gem of a comedy. Ettore Scola has written and directed a film that examines the passage of time and how it affects a trio of men and the woman with whom they intersect. It is very definitely a comedy, often a laugh-out-loud comedy, but also one that is as concerned with emotional impact as it is with setting up the next gag… Scola is blessed with a quartet of lovely performances, none more so than Vittorio Gassman's, as well as a scene stealing turn from Aldo Fabrizi." - Craig Butler, Allmovie
Selected by Edward Zwick, Juan José Campanella, Giovanni Veronesi, Jan-Olov Andersson, Gael Garcia Bernal.
The Wedding March
Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray, Matthew Betz, ZaSu Pitts, George Fawcett, Maude George, George Nichols, Dale Fuller, Hughie Mack, Cesare Gravina
"Like Foolish Wives, Greed and Queen Kelly, The Wedding March survives as a mutilated masterpiece, even this first part having been cut from 14 reels to ll. Charting the ill-starred romance between a Viennese prince and a lowly commoner, the film would perhaps appear to be its cynical creator's most romantic work, were it not for the marvellously detailed portrait of the corruption of society in general, rich and poor. Nevertheless, it is the love scenes, played beneath shimmering apple blossoms in lyrical soft focus, that stick in the memory, ironically turning what is now the film's ending - the frustration of that love - into one of the director's most bitterly pessimistic scenes." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Jean Narboni, Bernard Eisenschitz, Peter von Bagh, Stefan Grissemann, Richard Koszarski.
Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Yves Beneyton, Juliet Berto, Anne Wiazemsky, Valerie Lagrange, Paul Gegauff, Daniel Pommerulle
"This scathing late-sixties satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travel across the French countryside while civilization crashes and burns around them. Featuring a justly famous sequence in which the camera tracks along a seemingly endless traffic jam, and rich with historical and literary references, Weekend is a surreally funny and disturbing call for revolution, a depiction of society reverting to savagery, and— according to the credits—the end of cinema itself." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lizzie Francke, Mike Figgis, Ben Wheatley, Enno Patalas.
Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, Janos Derzsi, Djoko Rossich, Tamas Wichmann, Ferenc Killai, Mihaly Kormos, Putyi Horvath, Eva Almassy Albert
"Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies is a totally sustained immersion in the magisterially bleak, voluptuously monochromatic, undeniably beautiful universe of muddy villages and cell-like rooms that the Hungarian filmmaker has created in collaboration with reclusive novelist László Krasznahorkai… Werckmeister Harmonies is a work of bravura filmmaking—mainly a series of extremely long, largely mobile takes, edited without the normal pattern of shot-countershot. Tarr's camera style has its equivalent in Krasznahorkai's lengthy, convoluted sentences, although the results are quite different. Werckmeister is largely taciturn and anything but literary." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Peter Hames, Carlos Reygadas, David Michôd, Ben Hopkins, Kata Anna Varo.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
West Side Story
Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, Tucker Smith, Simon Oakland, Tony Mordente, Eliot Feld, David Winters
"West Side Story is a superb musical, one of the best combinations of music and dance ever put to film. This seemed to have been the underlying quest of Gene Kelly's career at MGM - as soon as he was successful enough to push his own ideas, his musicals steered toward complex ballet sequences. Jerome Robbins apparently had the same filmic goal. There are plenty of musicals that display some of the charm of original Broadway choreography, such as Fosse's Damn Yankees, and The Pajama Game, but West Side Story seeks to re-invent the stage dancing for the camera. The guts of the play are the dancing and the music, and both are heavily altered." - Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant
Selected by Andrew Birkin, Will Brooker, Gurinder Chadha, Grégory Valens, Spike Lee.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Daisuke Kato, Reiko Dan, Tatsuya Nakadai, Ganjiro Nakamura, Eitaro Ozawa, Keiko Awaji, Jun Tatara, Yu Fujiki
"When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, who entertains businessmen after work. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs shows the largely unsung yet widely beloved master Naruse at his most socially exacting and profoundly emotional." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Roger Garcia, Ulrich Köhler, Laura Waddington, Scott McGehee, Chris Fujiwara.
Where is the Friend's Home?
Babak Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Kheda Barech Defai, Iran Outari, Ait Ansari, Sadika Taohidi, Biman Mouafi, Ali Djamali, Aziz Babai, Nadir Ghoulami
"It's entirely possible that Abbas Kiarostami, who's been making films in Iran for about three decades, is our greatest living filmmaker… Where Is the Friend's House? is a miniature epic about a schoolboy trying to return a classmate's notebook… This is a sustained meditation on singular landscapes and the way ordinary people live in them; an obsessional quest that takes on the contours of a parable; a concentrated inquiry that raises more questions than it answers; and a comic as well as cosmic poem. It's about making discoveries and cherishing what's in the world—including things that we can't understand." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Nicolas Philibert, Judith Williamson, Tadao Sato, Werner Herzog, Sanjeewa Pushpakumara.
James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran, John Archer, Paul Guilfoyle, Fred Clark, Wally Cassell, Ford Rainey
"Psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn... With its 13 slayings, White Heat was hot stuff for 1949, prompting Bosley Crowther of the New York Times to declare it was "A cruelly vicious film"… Bridging the gap between the rise-and-fall pictures of the 1930s and the syndicate dramas that would dominate the 1950s, the film ends with a symbolic mushroom cloud, as Cody (Cagney) blows up a gas tank rather than be taken alive… Magnificent examination of the criminal mind and Cagney's finest moment." - David Parkinson, Empire
Selected by Fritz Göttler, Jonathan Kaplan, Michel Ciment, Woody Allen, Richard Schickel.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
Top 25 Climbers within the 1,000
718 to 395 - Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
864 to 548 - Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006)
748 to 435 - The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
915 to 602 - Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
948 to 639 - Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
931 to 622 - Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán, 2010)
871 to 575 - Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
990 to 694 - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
966 to 672 - Still Life (Jia Zhangke, 2006)
909 to 616 - Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
927 to 647 - Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
953 to 675 - Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
671 to 412 - Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
678 to 428 - The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005)
808 to 561 - No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 2007)
829 to 585 - Hana-Bi (Takeshi Kitano, 1997)
923 to 682 - The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
803 to 563 - Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
658 to 419 - Masculin Feminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)
959 to 723 - Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
741 to 509 - The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
777 to 549 - A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
834 to 609 - Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
651 to 427 - The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, 2011)
814 to 591 - Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2003)
The White Ribbon
Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Leonie Benesch, Ulrich Tukur, Ursina Lardi, Fion Mutert, Michael Kranz, Burghart Klaubner, Steffi Kuhnert, Maria-Victoria Dragus
"Michael Haneke’s period political epic tells the lacerating saga of collective brutality and guilt in a northern-German village two decades before Hitler came to power… The film is both draining and enthralling, sternly minimalist and beautifully filmed (in black and white). Working with the skill of an autopsy surgeon, Haneke depicts a town where the adults’ passions have soured into prejudices, yet children are so desperate to please their parents, they often burst into tears. The White Ribbon is as epic as any Tolkien or Rowling movie adaptation, but it’s also an epic tragedy: of the monstrous evil that corrupts and destroys ordinary folks." - Richard Corliss, TIME
Selected by Mike Newell, Lone Scherfig, Sabine Niewalda, Paul Whitington, Nachman Ingber.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis
"Seething with acidic ill will and unmitigated vitriol, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? remains one of the cinema's most honest, affecting trips down the corpse-strewn path of marital dysfunction… Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? became known as one of the most successful examples of stage-to-screen adaptation. Much of this was due to Ernest Lehman's script, which remained scrupulously faithful to the original material, and the legendary Haskell Wexler's gorgeous black-and-white cinematography. Above all, Who's Afraid owed its success to Nichols' direction, here comprising one of the screen's most self-assured and controlled debuts." - Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie
Selected by Wes Anderson, Jay Duplass, Pablo Fendrik, Edward Norton, Joyce Yang.
The Wicker Man
Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt, Lindsay Kemp, Russell Waters, Aubrey Morris, Walter Carr, Lesley Mackie
"Anthony Shaffer’s script – written at the end of an annus mirabilis in which he also wrote Sleuth and Frenzy – brews together a heady concoction of police procedural and post-Hammer horror with a pagan pastiche of counter-cultural faddishness, with scenes of dancing naked pregnant women in stone circles or a ranting, windswept Christopher Lee in drag beautifully filmed by Harry Waxman and accompanied by Paul Giovanni’s risible ’60s-style folk revival soundtrack. Essentially, it’s an insane guilty pleasure.” - Wally Hammond, Time Out
Selected by Tim Burton, Nicolas Barbano, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Antero Alli, Peg Aloi.
Wild at Heart
Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Willem Dafoe, Isabella Rossellini, Harry Dean Stanton, Crispin Glover, Grace Zabriskie, J.E. Freeman, William Morgan Sheppard
"Imagine The Wizard Of Oz with an oversexed witch, gun-toting Munchkins and love ballads from Elvis Presley, and you'll get some idea of this erotic hellzapoppin from writer-director David Lynch. Lynch's kinky fairy tale is a triumph of startling images and comic invention. In adapting Barry Gifford's book Wild at Heart for the screen, Lynch does more than tinker. Starting with the outrageous and building from there, he ignites a slight love-on-the-run novel, creating a bonfire of a movie that confirms his reputation as the most exciting and innovative filmmaker of his generation." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Warwick Thornton, Keren Yedaya, Christoph Hochhäusler, Havana Marking, Takeshi Kitano.
The Wild Bunch
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez, Ben Johnson, Emilio Fernandez, Strother Martin, L.Q. Jones
"Sam Peckinpah's notorious western depicted an outlaw gang, made obsolete by encroaching civilization, in its last burst of violent, ambiguous glory. By 1969, when the film was made, the western was experiencing its last burst as well, and in retrospect Peckinpah's film seems a eulogy for the genre (there is even a dispassionate audience—Robert Ryan's watchful Pinkerton man—built into the film). The on-screen carnage established a new level in American movies, but few of the films that followed in its wake could duplicate Peckinpah's depth of feeling." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andrzej Zulawski, Paul Schrader, Michael Mann, Edgar Wright, Leonardo García Tsao.
The Wild Child
Jean-Pierre Cargol, Francois Truffaut, Jean Daste, Francoise Seigner, Annie Miller, Claude Miller, Paul Ville, Nathan Miller, Mathieu Schiffman, Jean Gruault
"The story, based on fact, of a late 18th century behavioural scientist's attempts to condition a wild boy found in the woods in the ways of 'civilisation'… Given the semi-documentary treatment and the subject itself, the film could have been excruciatingly dull in lesser hands. In fact it's as lucid and wryly witty a film as you could wish for, uncluttered by superfluous period detail. A beautiful use of simple techniques - black-and-white photography, Vivaldi music, even devices as outmoded as the iris - give it a very refreshing quality… A deeply moving film." - Rod McShane, Time Out
Selected by Amos Gitai, Fernando Trueba, Wim Wenders, Robert Benton, Alberto Rodríguez.
Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Naima Wifstrand, Bjorn Bjelvenstam, Max von Sydow, Jullan Kindahl, Folke Sundquist, Gunnel Brostrom
"The film that catapulted Bergman to the forefront of world cinema is the director’s richest, most humane movie. Traveling to receive an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg (masterfully played by the veteran Swedish director Victor Sjöström), is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and accept the inevitability of his approaching death. Through flashbacks and fantasies, dreams and nightmares, Wild Strawberries captures a startling voyage of self-discovery and renewed belief in mankind." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Philip French, Walter Salles, Ginette Vincendeau, Jan Troell, Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming, Edward Earle, William Orlamond, Leon Janney, Carmencita Johnson, Billy Kent Schaefer
"One of cinema's great masterpieces… Swedish emigré Sjöström directs with immaculate attention to psychological detail, while making perfectly credible the film's transition from low-key, naturalistic comedy of manners to full-blown hysterical melodrama. Filmed under extremely difficult conditions on location in the Mojave desert, its climactic sandstorm sequence has to be seen to be believed, although the entire film - erotic, beautiful, astonishing - demonstrates such imagination and assurance that it remains completely modern." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Paolo Mereghetti, Tata Amaral, Núria Bou, Jesús Piquero, Frank Kessler.
The Wind Will Carry Us
Behzad Dourani, Farzad Sohrabi, Shahpour Ghobadi, Noghre Asadi, Roushan Karam Elmi, Bahman Ghobadi, Reihan Heidari, Masood Mansouri, Ali Reza Naderi, Masoameh Salimi
"The Wind Will Carry Us... is oblique, evocative and visually stunning. Abbas Kiarostami's views of hillsides, valleys and gnarled, solitary trees seem almost otherworldly in their clarity and depth, and his story, about a morose engineer who has come to a remote Kurdish village on an enigmatic mission, is as simple and mysterious as a folk tale. This is one of those rare movies that completely absorb your attention and demand your concentration while you're watching, and that stay in your thoughts, growing richer and more powerful, for a long time afterward." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Scott Foundas, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Geoff Andrew, Rima Mismar, Richard Peña.
Wings of Desire
Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois, Peter Falk, Lajos Kovacs, Hans Martin Stier, Elmar Wilms, Sigurd Rachmann, Beatrice Manowski
"Wings of Desire is one of cinema’s loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, dreams—of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality and come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Borislav Andjelic, Babak Payami, Minky Schlesinger, Audrius Stonys, Gareth Evans.
The Wings of Eagles
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey, Ward Bond, Ken Curtis, Edmund Lowe, Kenneth Tobey, Sig Ruman, James Todd, Barry Kelley
"John Ford's unfairly overlooked 1957 film is the biography of Frank “Spig” Wead, a World War I fighter pilot who was grounded by paralysis and went on to become a Hollywood screenwriter. (He wrote Hell's Angels for Howard Hughes and Air Mail for John Ford, among others.) John Wayne plays Wead, and the character, of course, becomes him, turning the film into a brave, memorable study of a man of action who suddenly finds himself unable to act... Ford directs with complete disdain for period detail—rightly, for it doesn't matter—designing his film instead around the growing stillness of Wead's life: it begins in frenzy and ends in tranquillity." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Miguel Marias, Félix García de Villegas Rey, Jesús Cortés, Iván Aledo, Simon Mizrahi.
Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Max von Sydow, Gunnel Lindblom, Allan Edwall, Kolbjorn Knudsen, Olof Thunberg, Elsa Ebbesen, Lars-Olof Andersson, Eddie Axberg
"God, why did you desert me?” With Winter Light, master craftsman Ingmar Bergman explores the search for redemption in a meaningless existence. In this stark depiction of spiritual crisis, small-town pastor Tomas Ericsson (Björnstrand) performs his duties mechanically before a dwindling congregation. When he is asked to assist with a troubled parishioner’s (von Sydow) debilitating fear of nuclear annihilation, Tomas is terrified to find that he can provide nothing but his own uncertainty. Beautifully photographed by Sven Nykvist, Winter Light is an unsettling look at the human craving for personal validation in a world seemingly abandoned by God." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Fernando Mendez-Leite, Robert Beeson, Jan Holmberg, David Cox, Catharine Des Forges.
Withnail & I
Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown, Michael Elphick, Daragh O'Malley, Michael Wardle, Una Brandon-Jones, Noel Johnson, Irene Sutcliffe
"London. The 1960s. Two unemployed actors—acerbic, elegantly wasted Withnail (RGrant) and the anxiety-ridden “I” (McGann)—drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and lighter fluid. When Withnail’s Uncle Monty (Griffiths) offers his cottage, they escape the squalor of their flat for a week in the country. They soon realize they’ve gone on holiday by mistake when their wits—and friendship—are sorely tested by violent downpours, less than hospitable locals, and empty cupboards. An intelligent, superbly acted, and hilarious film." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Steven Galvin, Justin Kurzel, Andrew Birkin, Paul Tanter, Sacha Gervasi.
Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Brent Jennings, Angus MacInnes
"Weir's first film set in America explores a theme familiar from his earlier work: the discovery of an all but forgotten culture in modern society: in this case the Amish, a puritanical sect whose life in Pennsylvania has remained unchanged since the 18th century. Threat explodes into this community when an Amish boy witnesses a murder… Powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and thankfully devoid of easy moralising, it also offers a performance of surprising skill and sensitivity from Ford." - Richard Rayner, Time Out
Selected by Laura Kern, Michael Dudok de Wit, Baltasar Komákur, Derek Adams, Klaus Härö
The Wizard of Oz
Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick, Pat Walshe
"The Wizard of Oz remains the weirdest, scariest, kookiest, most haunting and indelible kid-flick-that's-really-for-adults ever made in Hollywood… The Wizard of Oz is our most indelible fairy tale because it prophesies, with mythic surrealism, a society in which the patriarchal brain (i.e., the Wizard) is about to be torn down, in which women (i.e., the Witch) have matched the male will to destruction and power, but where there also appears a benevolent new breed of valiant softy-man (i.e., the Scarecrow et al.), who can make the world safe again. In 1939, this was but a dream somewhere over the rainbow of tomorrow." - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Selected by Steve Buscemi, Manohla Dargis, Miguel Gomes, Peter Farrelly, James Cameron.
Woman in the Dunes
Eiji Okada, Kyoko Kishida, Hiroko Ito, Koji Mitsui, Sen Yano, Ginzo Sekiguchi, Kiyohiko Ichiha, Hiroyuki Nishimoto, Tamotsu Tamura, Hideo Kanze
"One of the sixties’ great international art-house sensations, Woman in the Dunes was for many the grand unveiling of the surreal, idiosyncratic worldview of Hiroshi Teshigahara. Eija Okada plays an amateur entomologist who has left Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle that resides in a remote, vast desert; when he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night in the home of a young widow (Kishida) who lives in a hut at the bottom of a sand dune. What results is one of cinema’s most bristling, unnerving, and palpably erotic battles of the sexes, as well as a nightmarish depiction of everyday Sisyphean struggle." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Yorgos Lanthimos, Doris Dörrie, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Mike D'Angelo, Ben Rivers.
The Woman Next Door
Gerard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Henri Garcin, Michele Baumgartner, Roger Van Hool, Veronique Silver, Philippe Morier-Genoud, Nicole Vauthier, Muriel Combe, Olivier Becquaert
"The Woman Next Door is a key film in the final phase of François Truffaut's career… The Woman Next Door has a story line right out of a soap opera. Fortunately, it plays like variations of a half-dozen other intelligent Truffaut films on the vagaries of love. Depardieu and Ardant evince such potent chemistry that it's hard not to root for their characters, Bernard and Mathilde, even as you see them slide toward tragedy... Darker and more compact than his previous film The Last Metro, and more substantial than his follow-up and last film Confidentially Yours, The Woman Next Door may prove the summation of a great career tragically cut short by Truffaut's death in 1984." - Tom Wiener, All Movie
Selected by Mike Figgis, Bruno Barreto, Andreas Kilb, Taylor Hackford, Cedric Kahn.
A Woman of Paris
Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller, Lydia Knott, Charles K. French, Adolphe Menjou, Betty Morrissey, Malvina Polo
"Charles Chaplin wrote and directed this sophisticated comedy-drama for his longtime leading lady, Edna Purviance, in 1923. Chaplin's themes are emotional failure and moral blindness, effectively worked out through a tightly structured story of a girl who leaves her provincial hometown to become the mistress of a Parisian millionaire (Menjou). Because the film was unavailable for decades, it has acquired a reputation that it doesn't quite deserve. But it is a moving and entertaining work, executed with high finesse by a master cineast." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by José Luis Guerín, Igor Soukmanov, Martin Tudor Caranfil, Paulino Viota, Julio Pérez Perucha.
A Woman Under the Influence
Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands, Katharine Cassavetes, Lady Rowlands, Fred Draper, O.G. Dunn, Elsie Arnes, Vincent Barbi, Cliff Carnell, Nick Cassavetes
"John Cassavetes’ devastating drama details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. Starring Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands (in two of the most harrowing screen performances of the 1970s) as a married couple deeply in love yet unable to express that love in terms the other can understand, the film is an uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil… One of the benchmark films of American independent cinema—a heroic document from a true maverick director." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Derek Cianfrance, Abel Ferrara, David Sterritt, Tom Charity, Hirokazu Koreeda.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Maria Barranco, Rossy De Palma, Fernando Guillen, Kiti Manver, Chus Lampreave, Yayo Calvo, Loles Leon
“To attempt a synopsis of this extravagantly stylish farce would be daft and forgettable: suffice it to say that a lot happens in the absence of anything actually happening. What lingers in the memory is a sustained desperation, and scenes of Wilder-like sophistication dotted with improbable props, actions, inflated campery, and most of Almodóvar's usual repertory-style company. Somehow a deranged and oddly distanced plot is contrived from elements including infidelity, tranquiliser-spiked gazpacho, interior decor, bad fashion, beds on fire, caged animals, demented telephone answering machines, Shi-ite terrorists, motorbikes, sentimentalism, property rental, and madness.” - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Baltasar Komákur, Sanam Hasan, Andy Medhurst, Nick Kroll, Cherien Dabis.
The World of Apu
Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Swapan Mukherji, S. Alke Chakravarty, Alok Chakravarty, Dhiresh Majumdar, Sefalika Devi, Dhiren Ghosh, Balarani, Shanti Bhattacherjee
"The third installment in Satyajit Ray's internationally acclaimed Apu Trilogy, The World of Apu displays all of Ray's trademark restraint and lyricism… Like the neorealists, Ray leaves his takes long, shoots on location, and employs non-actors, creating a beautifully wrought film that unfolds at an unhurried pace and focuses on simple moments of everyday life… Rarely has a film so eloquently and sensitively captured young love, even though barely a word is exchanged. The World of Apu is a profound and deeply moving exploration of the human condition, exuding a transcendent wisdom rarely seen in cinema outside of the works of Yasujiro Ozu or Robert Bresson." - Jonathan Crow, All Movie
Selected by Allan Arkush, Rachel Dwyer, Rolf De Heer, Stephanie Zacharek, Luciano Barisone.
Written on the Wind
Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Rock Hudson, Robert Keith, Grant Williams, Robert J. Wilke, Edward Platt, Harry Shannon, John Larch
"Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring. Features an all-star quartet that includes Robert Stack as a pistol-packin’ alcoholic playboy; Lauren Bacall as his long-suffering wife; Rock Hudson as his earthy best friend; and Dorothy Malone (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance) as his nymphomaniac sister." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dominik Graf, Elisabeth Bronfen, Richard Kwietniowski, Laura Marks, Clare Stewart.
Top 25 Sliders within the 1,000
692 to 911 - The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, 1997)
715 to 930 - Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker, 1977)
656 to 853 - Othello (Orson Welles, 1952)
573 to 765 - Twenty Years Later (Eduardo Coutinho, 1985)
732 to 921 - Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999)
642 to 830 - The Last Bolshevik (Chris Marker, 1993)
779 to 957 - The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957)
736 to 914 - War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk, 1967)
781 to 958 - Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)
717 to 890 - Floating Weeds (Yasujiro Ozu, 1959)
822 to 983 - Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980)
738 to 897 - As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)
824 to 982 - L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat (August & Louis Lumière Lumière, 1895)
747 to 903 - Yol (Serif Gören & Yilmaz Güney, 1982)
599 to 754 - Numéro deux (Jean-Luc Godard, 1975)
699 to 852 - Not Reconciled (Jean-Marie Straub, 1965)
823 to 972 - Une Femme est une femme (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)
557 to 704 - The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1933)
739 to 885 - National Lampoon's Animal House (John Landis, 1978)
798 to 943 - Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984)
835 to 980 - The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993)
755 to 893 - L'Enfance (Maurice Pialat, 1968)
782 to 919 - From the Clouds to the Resistance (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1979)
598 to 735 - Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1949)
775 to 912 - Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)
Fatim Diagne, Makhouredia Gueye, Thieno Leye, Dieynaba Niang, Myriam Niang, Iliamane Sagna, Seune Samb, Abdoulaye Seck, Douta Seck, Younouss Seye
"An invigorating film which tells, in leisurely fashion, of a middle-aged Dakar businessman whose social standing begins to slip when he takes a third wife and finds that he's lost his touch in bed ('xala' means impotence). There's no sniggering humour, though; instead, Sembene aims satirical thrusts at the Senegalese bourgeoisie, who impotently ape the worst aspects of their former colonial masters, particularly their corruption and extravagance (our hero, for instance, uses imported mineral water to wash his car). The jokes and details are delightful, yet there's real anger behind them, and it bursts spectacularly into view in the concluding frames." - Geoff Brown, Time Out
Selected by Stuart Klawans, Laura Mulvey, Steven Markovitz, Manthia Diawara, Claire Monk.
Y tu mamá también
Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Marta Aura, Diana Bracho, Emilio Echeverria, Veronica Langer, Arturo Rios, Ana Lopez Mercado, Nathan Grinberg
"This smash road comedy from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón is that rare movie to combine raunchy subject matter and emotional warmth. Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna shot to international stardom as a pair of horny Mexico City teenagers from different classes who, after their girlfriends jet off to Italy for the summer, are bewitched by a gorgeous older Spanish woman (Maribel Verdú) they meet at a wedding. When she agrees to accompany them on a trip to a faraway beach, the three form an increasingly intense and sensual alliance… Shot with elegance and dexterity by the great Emmanuel Lubezki, Y tu mamá también is a funny and moving look at human desire." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ryan Fleck, Christopher Fowler, David Ansen, Jean-Christophe Berjon, Barbara Schweizerhof.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo, Balla Moussa Keita, Soumba Traore, Ismaila Sarr, Youssef Tenin Cisse, Koke Sangare, Youssouf Coulibaly, Manzon Coumare
"Souleymane Cisse's extraordinarily beautiful and mesmerizing fantasy is set in the ancient Bambara culture of Mali long before it was invaded by Morocco in the 16th century… Apart from creating a dense and exciting universe that should make George Lucas green with envy, Cisse has shot breathtaking images and accompanies his story with a spare, hypnotic, percussive score. Sublimely mixing the matter-of-fact with the uncanny, this wondrous work provides an ideal introduction to a filmmaker who is, next to Ousmane Sembene, probably Africa's greatest director." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Peter Hames, Víctor Fowler Calzada, Manthia Diawara, Lizelle Bisschoff, Jean-Pierre Garcia.
Bai Xue, Xueyin Wang, Tuo Tan, Quiang Liu
"The first 'modern' film to emerge from China, and one of the most thrilling debut features of the '80s. Its storyline couldn't be simpler. A Communist soldier visits a backward village in 1939, and is billeted with a taciturn widower and his teenage daughter and son… There are political undercurrents here that got the film into trouble in China… But what really stirred things up in old Beijing was the film's insistence on going its own way. Chen Kaige and his cinematographer Zhang Yimou have invented a new language of colours, shadows, glances, spaces, and unspoken thoughts and implications; and they've made their new language sing." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Jia Zhangke, Sek Kei, Sean Cubitt, Anchalee Chaiworaporn, Li Cheuk-to.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul Angelis, John Clive, Dick Emery, Geoffrey Hughes, Lance Percival, Peter Batten
"The result, like Fantasia, is a music-based animated film for the ages. The songs sound dramatically better, and the story avoids the usual gee-whiz urgency of so much animation and reflects the same deadpan understatement that the Beatles used in A Hard Day's Night. Perhaps because the Beatles were considered such a draw, perhaps because the songs were counted on to sell the film, there was no agenda to dumb down the material or hard-sell the story. Instead of contrived urgency, there's unpressured whimsy, and the movie exists as pure charm, expressed in fantastical imagery. And then there are the songs." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Gary Thomas, Dana Linssen, Norton Virgien, Raymond Durgnat, Luc Moullet.
Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issei Ogata, Kelly Lee, Jonathan Chang, Hsi-Sheng Chen, Su-Yun Ko, Michael Tao, Shu-shen Hsiao, Adrian Lin
"The extraordinary, internationally embraced Yi Yi, directed by the late Taiwanese master Edward Yang, follows a middle-class family in Taipei over the course of one year, beginning with a wedding and ending with a funeral. Whether chronicling middle-age father NJ’s tentative flirtations with an old flame or precocious young son Yang-Yang’s attempts at capturing reality with his beloved camera, the filmmaker deftly imbues every gorgeous frame with a compassionate clarity. Warm, sprawling, and dazzling, this intimate epic is one of the undisputed masterworks of the new century." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Wesley Morris, Carlo Chatrian, Nick James, Aditya Assarat, Kim Young-Jin.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Kamatari Fujiwara, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yoko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada, Daisuke Kato, Seizaburo Kawazu, Takashi Shimura, Hiroshi Tachikawa
"Akira Kurosawa has any number of dramatic and cinematic cliches (both American and Japanese) to overcome—and does so brilliantly—in this action-packed, highly comic 1961 translation of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest to the samurai movie tradition. Toshiro Mifune is again incomparable as the masterless samurai who wanders into a small war between two rival gangs and proceeds to set things right by further stirring them up." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Greg Mottola, Francis Ford Coppola, Lawrence Kasdan, Philip Kemp, Duncan Jones.
Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergun, Meral Orhonsay, Necmettin Cobanoglu, Semra Ucar, Hikmet Celik, Sevda Aktolga, Tuncay Akca, Hale Akinli
"In Yilmaz Güney's extraordinary Turkish odyssey (filmed by Gören from his script and detailed instructions while he was in jail), five prisoners are allowed a week's parole to journey home… The film's poetry, its combination of sound and image especially, has an unconscious innocence no longer available to most European and American narratives, and it is inspired by an enormous compassion for the suffering people endure at each other's hands in a world where the strong pick upon the weak, the weak upon the weaker." - Chris Petit, Time Out
Selected by Barbara Wurm, Sadullo Rakhimov, Okajima Hisashi, Hamid Dabashi, Laura Waddington.
Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Gene Hackman, Richard Haydn, Liam Dunn
"Few movies have offered up such satisfying parody and un-self-conscious wit as this Mel Brooks spoof, and all with the scatological flair that only Brooks can provide… Silly but always respectful, Brooks wants to honor the old Frankenstein films rather than skewer them, and as a result he serves up a film that is a cinematic achievement rather than a half-baked knock-off of better efforts. One of the funniest films of the 1970s, Young Frankenstein has lost none of its hilarity to the passing of time, serving as a reminder of how innovative parody can be." - Rebecca Flint Marx, All Movie
Selected by Rob Zombie, David O. Russell, Peter Segal, Trevor Groth, Kevin Murphy.
The Young Girls of Rochefort
Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac, George Chakiris, Jacques Perrin, Michel Piccoli, Jacques Riberolles, Grover Dale, Henri Cremieux, Danielle Darrieux, Gene Kelly
"There’s an enchanting minor strain in French cinema devoted to visually reproducing the heady sensation of going to the cinema. And so it is with Jacques Demy’s pastel-hued masterpiece Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, a luminous musical about dreams, romance and destiny which lovingly reworks the classic Hollywood ‘putting on a show’ template into an essay on the emotional rollercoaster ride that is movie-going… The film centres on Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac as the ‘pair of twins, born in the sign of Gemini’ looking to escape the sleepy environs of Rochefort for life in the big city… See it, and swoon." - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Geoff Andrew, Michael Omasta, Keith Uhlich, David Jenkins, Girish Shambu.
Young Mr. Lincoln
Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan, Richard Cromwell, Ward Bond, Donald Meek, Eddie Quillan, Milburn Stone, Francis Ford
"Few historical figures are as revered as Abraham Lincoln, and few director-star pairings embody classic American cinema as perfectly as that of John Ford and Henry Fonda. In Young Mr. Lincoln, their first collaboration, Fonda gives one of the finest performances of his career, as the young president-to-be, struggling with an incendiary murder case as a novice lawyer. Compassionate and assured, this is an indelible piece of Americana." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Hong Sang-soo, Luís Oliveira, José Manuel Costa, Jesús Piquero, Un-Seong Yoo.
Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Perrin, Irene Papas, Charles Denner, Francois Perier, Georges Geret, Pierre Dux, Julien Guiomar, Bernard Fresson
"A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials… Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Aki Kaurismäki, Paul Greengrass, Stephen Gaghan, Pia Marais, Karim Aïnouz.
Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Rod Taylor, Paul Fix, G.D. Spradlin, Bill Garaway, Kathleen Cleaver, Harrison Ford, Peter Lake
"Though Michelangelo Antonioni's only American film was very poorly received when it was released in 1969, time has been much kinder to it than to, say, La Notte, which was made a decade earlier. Antonioni's nonrealistic approach to American counterculture myths and his loose and slow approach to narrative may still put some people off—along with the uneven dialogue—but his beautiful handling of 'Scope compositions and moods has many lingering aftereffects, and the grand and beautiful apocalyptic finale is downright spectacular." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Dario Oliveira, Ron Peck, Bill Pullman, Tag Gallagher.
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Garrett Brown, Stephanie Farrow, Mary Louise Wilson, Sol Lomita, John Rothman, John Buckwalter, Martin Chatinover, Stanley Swerdlow
"Woody Allen's flawlessly realised fantasy about a 1920s man with "chameleon disorder" looks even more prescient and brilliant today. Released in 1983, Woody Allen's mockumentary drama Zelig was in some quarters regarded as a one-joke technical novelty. But in 2011, it looks like a masterpiece: a brilliant, even passionate historical pastiche, a superbly pregnant meditation on American society and individuality, and an eerie fantasy that will live in your dreams… Allen's recent comedy Midnight in Paris was a very decent homage to the jazz age, but it's not in the same league as this outstanding film." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Paul Wells, Antonio Mariotti, Federico Veiroj, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, Xu Jinglei.
Zero for Conduct
Louis Lefevre, Gilbert Pluchon, Gerard de Bedarieux, Jean Daste, Constantine Goldstein-Kehler, Robert Le Flon, le nain Delfin, Louis de Gonzague-Frick, Du Verron, Leon Larive
"So effervescent and charming that one can easily forget its importance in film history, Jean Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students is one of cinema’s great acts of rebellion. Based on the director’s own experiences as a youth, Zéro de conduite presents childhood as a time of unfettered imagination and brazen rule-flouting. It’s a sweet-natured vision of sabotage made vivid by dynamic visual experiments—including the famous, blissful slow-motion pillow fight." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Guy Maddin, Steve McQueen, Gilberto Perez, James Marsh.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Richmond Arquette, Bob Stephenson, John Lacy, Chloe Sevigny
"David Fincher’s magnificently obsessive film tracks the story of the serial killer who left dead bodies up and down California in the 1960s and possibly the ’70s, and that of the men who tried to stop him. Set when the Age of Aquarius disappeared into the black hole of the Manson family murders, the film is at once sprawling and tightly constructed, opaque and meticulously detailed. It’s part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is an unexpected repudiation of Mr. Fincher’s most famous movie, the serial-killer fiction Seven, as well as a testament to this cinematic savant’s gifts." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Felix Chong, Vadim Rizov, Henry K. Miller, Joshua Rothkopf, Florence Maillard.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.