Michael Sicinski

Critic, Cinema Scope, Cineaste; Academic, University of Houston

US

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

Stanley Kubrick

Cloud-Capped Star, The

1960

Ritwik Ghatak

Do The Right Thing

1989

Spike Lee

Earth

1930

Aleksandr Dovzhenko

Gertrud

1964

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Imitation of Life

1959

Douglas Sirk

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

1975

Chantal Akerman

Règle du jeu, La

1939

Jean Renoir

Tokyo Story

1953

Ozu Yasujirô

Wavelength

1967

Michael Snow

Comments

As is so often the case in compiling a list such as this, the inclusions are joyous and celebratory. It’s the exclusions that are truly agonising. Suffice to say, a few key figures from cinema history were right on the bubble, and some were in fact inside The Ten in early drafts. So where does the actual list come from? The ten films I selected not only exemplify a cross-section of the medium’s finest achievements – each of them represents the inscription of a space, whether through camera movement, dialectical montage, community ethos, the fixed frame, the porosity of the open frame across a given duration, or some combination thereof. Each filmmaker employs light and movement to register a unique, phenomenologically inhabitable world. To me, this is cinema at its essence.

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