Jamie Thraves

The Low Down; Treacle, Jr.

UK

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Blonde in Love, A

1965

Milos Forman

Fat City

1972

John Huston

Letter From an Unknown Woman

1948

Max Ophüls

Ordet

1955

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Return, The

2003

Andrei Zvyagintsev

Rio Bravo

1958

Howard Hawks

Taxi Driver

1976

Martin Scorsese

Tokyo Story

1953

Ozu Yasujirô

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

You Only Live Once

1937

Fritz Lang

Comments

Ordet: This film had the most moving, unique and profound effect on me, perhaps more than any other movie I’ve experienced to date. It’s also very funny.

Tokyo Story: Ozu is such an incredible and humane director. I love so many of his films but there is something about Tokyo Story that strikes a deeper chord. It’s about how youth can foolishly dismiss the elderly and their parents as less important; the flip side is Abbas Kiarostami’s brilliant film Where is the Friend’s House? where the adults dismiss the kids.

Rio Bravo: A desert island movie for me. I never get tired of watching it and all the characters feel like old friends that I have to hook up with every now and then, like the similar urge to listen to favourite albums by bands you love. Funny, thrilling and moving, this film has everything. The best western directors for me are Hawks, Boetticher, Mann, Ford and Peckinpah, in that order.

You Only Live Once: One of the most intelligent films I’ve seen about judgement and perception, George Wilson’s book Narration in Light turned me onto just how incredible and smart Fritz Lang’s film really is.

Vertigo: The greatest Hitchcock movie ever for me. I’d say this film is as close to cinema perfection as it gets.

Fat City: Tonally this is one of the most interesting movies I’ve ever seen and a massive influence. A very real film about alcoholics and depression and yet it manages to lift my spirits and is both incredibly funny and moving. It’s also the best boxing movie ever because it’s really not that interested in boxing. Poetic, gritty and deeply humanistic.

Taxi Driver: A mind blowing film, for me no other film captures loneliness so acutely. The blend of reality and expressionism is exhilarating. It’s probably Scorsese’s best film though I have a very soft spot for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, which is often overlooked and very underrated. For my number seven spot it was a toss-up between this film, Blue Velvet and Blood Simple but Taxi Driver was impossible to leave out.

A Blonde in Love: I’m a big fan of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest so I sought out Forman’s earlier films. This blew me away: the simplest of stories, it’s so real and yet poetic at the same time. Incredibly funny and moving.

Letter from an Unknown Woman: Max Ophuls was a camera magician. Again George M. Wilson’s book really helped me understand the inner workings of what’s really being said in this wonderful film.

The Return: I wanted to put in at least one film made in the past ten years and this is probably the movie that sticks in my head the most. It’s like Tarkovsky but with a very simple fable-like story. Beautiful and incredibly haunting.

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