Miranda July

Me and You and Everyone We Know; The Future


Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

After Life


Koreeda Hirokazu



Frederick Wiseman


Mika Rottenberg

Fish Tank


Andrea Arnold

Punch-Drunk Love


Paul Thomas Anderson

Red Balloon, The


Albert Lamorisse

Room with a View, A


James Ivory

Smooth Talk

Joyce Chopra

Somewhere In Time


Jeannot Szwarc



Alfred Hitchcock


I'm not a cinephile – my movie collection consists of DVDs that were given to me as gifts and DP reels. So I had to think of a way to approach this that actually reflects my relationship to movies. This is simply a list of the movies I have thought about most often. Some of them I've only seen once, a couple of them I don't think are ‘great’, one of them took me a week to remember the name of, but that doesn't matter – they made the list purely because they haunt me with the greatest frequency. And these are the scenes or aspects of them I usually think about:

The endless shot of a blind child winding his way through the school, perhaps touching the walls for guidance, in Blind.

Laura Dern saying, "I'm not used to being this excited" – or something like that – when a guy rubs the crotch of her jeans in Smooth Talk.

In Vertigo, after he's worked so hard to remake her and finally she emerges: hair dyed platinum, grey suit, misty lens. It's her!

I don't actually remember a single frame of After Life, but I think about it all the time because it combines real people and their real stories with a narrative that's not only fictional but fantastical in a spiritual way. That hits pretty much all my buttons in terms of things I'm interested in doing with my own work. If you skimmed my notebooks, the phrase "like After Life" would repeat.

The terrifying moment in Somewhere in Time when Christopher Reeve casually reaches into his pocket and finds a 1972 penny he forgot to dispose of when he hypnotised himself to 1900. Jane Seymour calls out "Richard!" – and he goes hurtling back to the present.

Mika Rottenberg’s Cheese is an art video – is that OK? I used to think a lot about Fischli and Weiss's The Way Things Go, but now when I want to think about Rube Goldberg-type mechanisms (and I often want to), I think about this more surreal version of it. Particularly when a woman pumps her fist in a hole in the earth to make milk for cheese.

Punch Drunk Love has Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in love. I think a lot about this casting.

When all the balloons all over the city join together to lift the boy up after his balloon is killed: this moment in The Red Balloon always seemed very political to me.

When Helena runs after the car at the end of A Room with a View, crying and admitting she loves him – such a relief!

When they all three dance together at the end of Fish Tank – not quite realistic for the narrative, and that's what makes it great. It lifts off into just pure feeling.

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