Julie Rigg

Senior film critic, ABC Radio National


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Beau Travail


Claire Denis

Blade Runner


Ridley Scott

Leopard, The


Luchino Visconti

Mulholland Dr


David Lynch

Passion of Joan of Arc


Carl Theodor Dreyer



Akira Kurosawa

Some Like It Hot


Billy Wilder

Taste of Cherry, The


Abbas Kiarostami



Alfred Hitchcock

Werckmeister Harmonies, The


Béla Tarr


According to Marina Warner, the Sanskrit aesthetic distinguishes nine ‘rasas’, meaning juices or essences. A fully realised work of art, she writes, should flow with all nine of these. They are: wonder, joy, sexual pleasure, pity, anguish, anger, terror, disgust and laughter. This idea has guided my thinking. I dread the weight of canons. This list also grew from a challenge: a contribution to a panel called ‘Five Films to Screen for an Alien’, held in 2011 at the Australian Film and Television School in Sydney. The idea was to explain the history of cinema to an alien (or screen studies student) in five films: itself a challenge derived from Mark Cousins’ assertion that he could illustrate the history of cinema in five films. I was surprised to see how many of the original five – Blade Runner, Rashomon, Some Like it Hot, Werckmeister Harmonies – I chose were about truth, lies and storytelling (and how many were in black and white).

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