Greg Mottola

The Daytrippers; Superbad


Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey


Stanley Kubrick

400 Blows, The


François Truffaut

dolce vita, La


Federico Fellini

General, The


Buster Keaton

Lady from Shanghai, The


Orson Welles



Woody Allen

Modern Times


Charles Chaplin

Pather Panchali


Satyajit Ray



Ingmar Bergman



Akira Kurosawa


2001: A Space Odyssey: A widescreen Hollywood studio epic unlike any other ever made. Completely original and groundbreaking but also a darkly funny cat-and-mouse thriller between a human and a passive-aggressive supercomputer.

La Dolce Vita: Episodic, pessimistic, existential, very personal, very Italian and extremely prescient about a sordid culture of fame worship that has only become more true over time.

Persona: My favourite of Bergman’s psychological chamber films.

Manhattan: I love the tension between Woody’s romantic longings and his scepticism about human nature. It’s Gershwin and Gordon Willis’s gorgeous cinematography in contrast with lost and lonely city-dwellers.

Modern Times: One of the last significant silent films, it is also one of Chaplin’s funniest and most profound.

The General: Orson Welles said this is arguably the greatest American film and he could’ve been right.

Yojimbo: One of the most influential movies ever made, a brilliantly crafted cross-fertilisation of American and Japanese genres.

Pather Panchali: A neorealist-inspired, poetic masterpiece.

The Lady From Shanghai: Because Orson Welles has to be on the list and of course I should choose Citizen Kane, but I feel its important to remember what a vital, flawed, inventive, dark, visually splendid movie this is. One of the great noirs, which is of course one of the most important genres in American movies. Like the lovely Magnificent Ambersons, it was tampered with but Welles’s singular genius still can’t be contained.

The 400 Blows: Direct, unsentimental, filled with life, this is a key movie in the French New Wave whose inspiration is felt across every generation of filmmakers since.

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