Marc Munden

Miranda; The Mark of Cain

UK

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Close-Up

1989

Abbas Kiarostami

Headless Woman, The

2008

Lucrecia Martel

Hidden

2004

Michael Haneke

In The Mood For Love

2000

Wong Kar Wai

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

2011

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Safe

1994

Todd Haynes

Son, The

2002

Jean-Pierre Dardenne/Luc Dardenne

There Will Be Blood

2007

Paul Thomas Anderson

Time Out

2001

Laurent Cantet

Werckmeister Harmonies, The

2000

Béla Tarr

Comments

I want to put forward some late-20th/early-21st century masterpieces – a case for the continuing persistence of surprising, breathtaking and challenging cinema. Are any of these films as great as those of the geniuses I’ve left out: Scorsese, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel, Kubrick, Godard, Tarkovsky? Who knows, but today they feel just as vital and relevant. It’s heartbreaking to exclude all those masters. My more traditional list would include: Sweet Smell of Success; L’Atalante; Cries and Whispers; Viridiana; Spirit of the Beehive; Les Vacances de M. Hulot; The Godfather Part II; Taxi Driver; Blue Velvet; Fargo.

I’m not sure whether L’Emploi du Temps is prescient of the 21st century or a summing-up of the 20th. Le Fils offers pure elegance in its storytelling. Every aspect of Haneke’s storytelling is magisterial, down to the tiniest technical detail. The shot of Majid’s son outside the school, meeting the Laurent boy, is a masterclass in itself. I’ve included Safe for all of us lost searchers and The Headless Woman because it’s so beautifully mysterious.

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