Víctor Fowler Calzada

Critic

Cuba

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Battleship Potemkin

1925

Sergei M Eisenstein

Black God, White Devil

1964

Glauber Rocha

Breathless

1960

Jean-Luc Godard

Clockwork Orange, A

1971

Stanley Kubrick

Greed

1925

Erich von Stroheim

Jetée, La

1962

Chris Marker

Ordet

1955

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Rashomon

1950

Akira Kurosawa

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

Yeelen

1987

Souleymane Cisse

Comments

In my opinion, Battleship Potemkin is the greatest film ever made. All of the future search of experimentalism is contained within it. The story moves ahead in a permanent tension between novelty (in terms of style and the changes in Russian life at the time) and the big frame of history in which the action takes place. The seeds of naturalism and the psychological exploration of human soul are present in Greed. It is full of innovations in the areas of photography, acting and the depiction of hallucinations, violence and madness. The film was made exactly at the edge of sound, announcing it and demanding its presence. Vertigo is the perfect example of classical film style. An incredible use of symbolism throughout the fable creates a new space of intertwining reality and fiction, truth and nightmares, and immediacy and dreams; its story is based on the meaning of love and its relation to loss. And it has a perfect script, accurate like clockwork. A narrative experiment in history told from three different (and opposed between them) points of view, truth and lies run along the story of Rashômon. It has a beautiful, powerful script and staging. The extraordinary use of the word, the silences, the contrast of black and white, the performances hiding turbulent emotion – all these make The Word a great example of the art of cinema. A true lesson. A Clockwork Orange abounds with invention: the irreverence, the break with convention, the use of parody and the grotesque as stylistic procedures, the cult and mockery of violence, and the insertion of elements of the mass culture. It also has a superb script, spectacular staging and unforgettable performances. Great cinema has to be about discovery: of new cultures, of new ways of thinking, of feeling the weight of the light, of the course of time, of colour, of a means of relating a history and even of how to perform that for the screen. I believe that Yeleen is the finest example of this. Black God, White Devil combines to great effect: the explosion of popular culture; narration; hallucinations rooted in mystic delirium; a mix of syncretic religion; magic; popular fable; epic poetry; and a deep portrait of poverty, rage and the struggle of poor people in rural areas. It is popular and avant garde at the same time. Few works have gathered so many elements that would come to transform film narration as Breathless. Even today, we feel that Godard reinvented the art of the cinema, pushing it to the boundaries of risk and experimentation. In The Pier we see the possible future of human race via a fable about images and imagination. A feast of stills with few seconds of moving image, it takes an incredible risk in a bet for dreams and freedom. All this in a beautiful circular story of love and memory told from the ruins.

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