Benjamin Safdie

Go Get Some Rosemary

US

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Man Escaped, A

1956

Robert Bresson

Broadway Danny Rose

1984

Woody Allen

City Lights

1931

Charles Chaplin

Kings of the Road

1976

Wim Wenders

Meantime

1983

Mike Leigh

Milestones

1975

Robert Kramer

Vacances de M. Hulot, Les

1953

Jacques Tati

Nashville

1975

Robert Altman

Sorcerer

1977

William Friedkin

Super Cops, The

1973

Gordon Parks

Comments

Sorcerer: It is hard for me to say this, but I this movie takes wages of fear to new levels. Friedkin shows us what the lives of criminals are and the need for exile. But exile to what? More exile? It makes the world harsher and the solitude and need for escape more extreme. Friedkin uses Tangerine Dream to create a wasteland. I still get nightmares and flashbacks from the soundtrack.

Milestones: What can I say? When John Douglas is playing the saxophone while his friend uses the pottery wheel and they both are singing I cried. That combined with the ridiculously beautiful cinematography put me in a mindset I wasn't aware cinema can take me too. It gave me memories I never had.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday: The silence and precision of the gags is almost avant-garde. Monsieur Hulot is clumsily precise and when the vacation ends on this film, I was left feeling like I’d met a good friend.

Meantime: This movie is so complex in ways movies don’t reach for anymore. It is an emotional ball of mess and all of the characters are trying to detangle themselves or make it worse. The window changing scene alone has so many different points of view and shifting biases that I couldn’t help but laugh (also because it is very funny). The jangly score adds to it all.

Broadway Danny Rose: Somehow this is the movie I always see when it plays on TV or in theatres. I always know what is going to happen and I know every joke, yet I laugh and smile through the whole film. I would say this is a perfect Woody Allen movie. It is missing some of the dirtiness of Husband and Wives, but who cares?

The Super Cops: Stuff happens! I had a good time, not in the conventional way, but in the sense that I really felt like I was getting to know and hang out with Ron Leibman and David Selby. It’s the sloppiness of the film and their police work that makes this so much fun. I never wanted it to end so I just watched it again.

City Lights: This is Chaplin’s most perfect film. It has the grace and skill of a Buster Keaton film and the pathos of Chaplin’s own work leading to a final shot for the ages. The skating and boxing scenes show some on-point physical humour, and little details like the slamming of a car door or using a Rolls Royce to beat a bum to a cigarette butt make this film amazing. The journeys we go on and the emotions we feel along the way make this one step above everything else.

Kings of the Road: This adult adult Alice in the Cities had me with the title card. When it comes up I got goosebumps. It might’ve been the saxophone or Rüdiger Vogler and his portable 45 player. There was only one direction the movie could go in and yet I was hoping the roads lasted long enough. I’ve never seen a movie that really shows what it’s like to develop a friendship. And to top it off, who else could pull off a motorcycle scene like this?

A Man Escaped: Not quite sure what to say about this movie other than it’s one of the top five movies ever made. When they touch the ground at the end, I feel like I’ve been escaping with them. Never has a movie that gives away its ending the title been more suspenseful. The spoon slot, the little broom, the handkerchief pulley system… Like Fontaine, Bresson is the master.

Nashville: Nashville is so jam-packed with information it is a pleasure to sit and watch for over two hours. I got lost in the people and music. It is strange because I sit back and think, ‘How the hell did he do it?’ There are real people and you really feel like you experience everything with them. He uses full songs and concerts and yet even within the concerts there’s emotions going on. The ‘I’m easy’ scene says it all. But so does the striptease scene, or when Barabra Jean has a nervous breakdown, or…  

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