Julie Rigg

Senior film critic, ABC Radio National

Australia

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Beau Travail

1998

Claire Denis

Blade Runner

1982

Ridley Scott

Leopard, The

1963

Luchino Visconti

Mulholland Dr

2001

David Lynch

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Rashomon

1950

Akira Kurosawa

Some Like It Hot

1959

Billy Wilder

Taste of Cherry, The

1997

Abbas Kiarostami

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

Werckmeister Harmonies, The

2000

Béla Tarr

Comments

According to Marina Warner, the Sanskrit aesthetic distinguishes nine ‘rasas’, meaning juices or essences. A fully realised work of art, she writes, should flow with all nine of these. They are: wonder, joy, sexual pleasure, pity, anguish, anger, terror, disgust and laughter. This idea has guided my thinking. I dread the weight of canons. This list also grew from a challenge: a contribution to a panel called ‘Five Films to Screen for an Alien’, held in 2011 at the Australian Film and Television School in Sydney. The idea was to explain the history of cinema to an alien (or screen studies student) in five films: itself a challenge derived from Mark Cousins’ assertion that he could illustrate the history of cinema in five films. I was surprised to see how many of the original five – Blade Runner, Rashomon, Some Like it Hot, Werckmeister Harmonies – I chose were about truth, lies and storytelling (and how many were in black and white).

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