Charlotte Cook

Programmer, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

UK/Canada

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

Stanley Kubrick

Do The Right Thing

1989

Spike Lee

Dr. Strangelove

1963

Stanley Kubrick

Gimme Shelter

1970

Albert Maysles/David Maysles/Charlotte Zwerin

Man with a Movie Camera

1929

Dziga Vertov

North by Northwest

1959

Alfred Hitchcock

Playtime

1967

Jacques Tati

Portrait of Jason

1967

Shirley Clarke

Sans Soleil

1982

Chris Marker

Thin Blue Line, The

1989

Errol Morris

Comments

2001: A Space Odyssey is a filmmaking exploration of the greatest kind that leaves an audience with one of the most incredible cinematic experiences possible. The sound, visuals and ideas within allow us to get lost in a progression of thought and concept that fully challenges our every sense. One of the most referenced films since it was made, 2001: A Space Odyssey is pushes the lengths to which cinema can go in every capacity. That Errol Morris’ filmic investigation into the case of death row inmate Randall Dale Adams’ saved his life by proving his innocence marks only one of The Thin Blue Line’s many achievements. Creating a new style of storytelling through both reconstruction and reflective narrative, Morris broke new ground with the presentation of both historic and non-fiction investigative filmmaking. Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason is a much too unsung masterpiece of documentary cinema. The beautifully non-intrusive approach creates a captivating and striking means to allow the viewer to directly engage in one man’s story of race and sexuality in the 1960s. Dr. Strangelove is the pinnacle of political satire, and one that continues to remain prophetic and relevant. A stunning performance from Peter Sellers utilises a multitude of comedic levels to create a humorous and self-devouring warning to mankind. Chris Marker’s use of ideas and imagery in Sans Soleil will be imitated for decades to come. His exploration and essayistic style explored new possibilities in forming narratives and the ability to immerse viewers into a different relationship between sound and image. Do the Right Thing utilises a multitude of cinematic techniques to show a microcosm of a culture and world that hadn’t been shown on screen at the time of its release. It continues to serve as an important example of the effect of strong storytelling and technical craft in putting forward political and social issues through film. An example of how film can act both as a vital record of a moment and as a self-reflective medium, Gimme Shelter is superbly crafted to allow audiences to not only witness the events of the Rolling Stones’ tragic Altamont concert, but also to view to the Stones’ own reaction to the events. By turning the medium on itself, Gimme Shelter creates a comment only on the culture of the time and on the recollection and the reaction of cinema. Maintaining its allure to this day, Man with a Movie Camera stands witness to an evolution of cinema as it happened. The curiosity of the filmmaker radiates through every frame in its exploration of all aspects of life and cinema. Play Time shows the beauty and power of subtlety in both cinema and comedy. The nuances of performance and craft create a world that feels like no other but whose effect is universal to audiences. A thriller whose use of dialogue and suspense is unparalleled, North By Northwest subdues traditional ideas of the genre to create a new style of its kind. That any number of its scenes remain iconic is a testament to Hitchcock’s incredible directing prowess. This calibre of visual style, along with the use of subtlety and tone, make North by Northwest one of the most intriguing and beguiling thrillers ever made.

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