Luis Miñarro

Blow Horn; Familystrip

Spain

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Au Hasard Balthazar

1966

Robert Bresson

Faraon

1965

Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Germany Year Zero

1948

Roberto Rossellini

Music Room, The

1958

Satyajit Ray

Ordet

1955

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Playtime

1967

Jacques Tati

River, The

1951

Jean Renoir

Strange Case of Angelica, The

2010

Manoel de Oliveira

Touch of Evil

1958

Orson Welles

Viridiana

1961

Luis Buñuel

Comments

This list represents films that have had a big impact on my own way of understanding movies. Unfaithfully, there is no Chaplin, Murnau, Hitchcock or Godard – films that are really pinnacles of cinematic calligraphy – but I guess others will emphasise them.

Ordet touches your inner side deeply. You feel the invisible world. From the moment you see this film, you start to believe in miracles – motion pictures being one of them! There might not be a better film in white (nor in black-and-white) and no better hypnotism of space. If this film didn’t exist, I’d select Bergman’s The Virgin Spring.

Germany Year Zero makes me cry. The horror of war. Rossellini invented everything. Even in a fragment of his film India Matri Bhumi we can find Jia Zhangke’s Still Life. Any Rossellini film could have been in this list.

Au Hasard, Balthazar – never before in cinema had an animal been the hero like this. It becomes a tender film without pretence or concession. You need to keep the emotion until the very end. It taught me that animals have souls (the Latin is ‘anima’) and we must respect them. A lesson in ethics.

Viridiana – Un Chien Andalou is still one of the most revolutionary films ever made but Viridiana has all Buñuel’s modernity in one mature work that contains the contradictory essence of the Spanish way.

The River: Life and death. The spirit of India. One of the most romantic and poetic of films with marvellous use of colour cinematography.

The Music Room: This film represents something I’d like to do the day I stop making films: invite my family, friends and colleagues and find a nice way to say goodbye to them.

Touch of Evil: Before Psycho, Welles introduces a motel, a maniac and Janet Leigh. He denounced corrupt police practices and plays with time, linking present and past in unity.

Playtime: Ha ha ha! The most subtle of the comics.

The Strange Case of Angelica: Written in 1952, before Vertigo, this shows us fascination with a phantom and obsessive love with all the irony of the master.

Faraon: Another way to approach history, this drowns us in ancient Egypt in a minimalistic way. It’s also a useful political metaphor for the present.

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