Constantin Popescu

The Apartment; Portrait of the Fighter as a Young Man

Romania

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Badlands

1973

Terrence Malick

Blade Runner

1982

Ridley Scott

City Lights

1931

Charles Chaplin

E.T.

1982

Steven Spielberg

Full Metal Jacket

1987

Stanley Kubrick

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

1973

Sam Peckinpah

Punch-Drunk Love

2002

Paul Thomas Anderson

Reservoir Dogs

1991

Quentin Tarantino

Samouraï, Le

1967

Jean-Pierre Melville

Sting, The

1973

George Roy Hill

Comments

Almost everything to do with my choices is related to rhythm.

E.T., because it’s very difficult to make a film about children as an adult, but still seen through a kid’s point of view. When I go back in time to 1982 I remember the feeling of seeing the poster of the film for the first time – no other film later on in my life made me feel that. And no other film after that one made me dream more. It’s as simple as that.

Two things I consider important in a film (besides the story, which is the most important): rhythm and the final act. Badlands is a film that takes its time. The actors are masterfully directed, the cinematography is beautiful and the rhythm is perfect, pure and simple. Not to mention the choice of Carl Orff’s ‘Musica Poetica’, which I consider it to be among the best uses of music in all film history.

Blade Runner is the film for me. It’s like a dream in a dream, a film in a film in a film. So many questions, so many unanswered, yet so beautifully posed. I’ve seen all the versions, and I still think the 1982 version is the best one – the voiceover version.

I adore The Sting. The atmosphere of 1930s Chicago, the characters – everything seems to transport me there, back then, every time I see this film.

Full Metal Jacket, like Paths of Glory, offers a bold and different perspective of war. A masterpiece in terms of rhythm and information, it builds slowly, losing subjectivity as it gathers objectivity, slowly shifting its weight from characters to story. The camera movements, new to the genre, offer an eerie perspective of the conflict.

One of the most interesting westerns of all time, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is a simple 27 sequences telling the story in such an incredibly strange yet perfect pace.

Punch Drunk Love is a strange and magnificent ode to love, so crazy and so twisted, yet so true. Emily Watson is as good here as in the incredible Breaking the Waves. The cinematography captures perfectly the time-suspended feeling of love, which is so powerful that it needs these twisted characters to portray it in order for us to fully comprehend it. Superb.

Reservoir Dogs started a new way of moviemaking. There are so many innovations I could count in this extremely interesting, gripping and powerful movie that I respect it even more with every year that passes.

Melville’s masterpiece has a unique rhythm, unfolding a solitary character’s story in front of our eyes, so masterfully constructed that I cannot change the channel or leave my seat every time I watch it. Alain Delon’s portrayal that somehow reminded me, years later – although different in style completely – of Raging Bull: the same loneliness of a lost soul, struggling to find a purpose.

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