Marina Warner

Professor, literature, film and theatre studies, University of Essex

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Adventures of Prince Achmed, The

1926

Lotte Reiniger

Apartment, The

1960

Billy Wilder

Bringing Up Baby

1938

Howard Hawks

Celine and Julie Go Boating

1974

Jacques Rivette

Devil's Backbone, The

2001

Guillermo del Toro

Dodeskaden

1970

Akira Kurosawa

Donkey Skin

1970

Jacques Demy

Gleaners & I, The

2000

Agnès Varda

Lucía

1969

Humberto Solás

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Comments

Cinema works for me as a charm’d magic casement, making possible in image and action all manner of impossible experiences, realised as if they could happen and are happening. I haven’t chosen surrealist films as such, as they convey inner worlds of dream. This list presents fantasy as lived experience, some of it extremely funny. The Varda is there, too, because she uses the camera with such deep empathy for her subjects, as does Kurosawa.

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