Kutlug Ataman

Lola+Bilidikid; 2 Girls

Turkey

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

400 Blows, The

1959

François Truffaut

Avventura, L'

1960

Michelangelo Antonioni

Battle of Algiers, The

1966

Gillo Pontecorvo

Battleship Potemkin

1925

Sergei M Eisenstein

Breathless

1960

Jean-Luc Godard

Melancholia

2011

Lars von Trier

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Pather Panchali

1955

Satyajit Ray

Solaris

1972

Andrei Tarkovsky

Swimmer, The

1968

Frank Perry

Comments

Battleship Potemkin was very influential both on my art and film careers. It made me fall in love with cinema. I learned a lot from it, and still watch it with great pleasure.

Pather Panchali taught me that film was not just about politics, but politics could be more effective without politics, so to speak – by talking realistically and simply about human nature and human society.

The Battle of Algiers for me is the combination of Battleship Potemkin and Pather Panchali. It‘s not simply political. It has a documentary feel to it, which makes it convincing and strong.

L'avventura marks the point I crossed in my adolescence when my understanding of cinema transformed from social issues to more personal and existential ones. It’s one of those magical experiences where a seemingly everyday experience actually becomes meaningful and deep. It shifted my focus from plot to character development. It felt modern, contemporary and somehow more mature in its individualism.

Solaris taught me a story can be spiritual without being about spirituality. It’s powerful in its indirectness and contemporaneity.

The Passion of Joan of Arc taught me film could be just poetry and timeless.

The Swimmer is a film that makes me come back to it again and again in my life. I have to watch it once every five years. It’s a wonderful and modern metaphor of life – an amazing blend of the classical metaphor of the river as life and the swimming pool as life – structure, interruption, artificiality, which makes it very American.

Among the films I saw recently, Melancholia marked me the most. I love stories that tell a story without directly telling it. To me, it talks about the nature of melancholia in a very indirect way, so that the story becomes completely something else, almost to the point of breaking away from the original starting-point, where in fact it doesn't matter anymore. It simply becomes pure cinema.

Breathless: Pure Godard.

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top