Alberto Lechuga

Journalist, editor of Sofilm (Spain)

Voted for

Journey to Italy1954Roberto Rossellini
Rio Bravo1958Howard Hawks
Gertrud1964Carl Th. Dreyer
Empire1964Andy Warhol
Diaries, Notes & Sketches: Walden1969Jonas Mekas
La Maman et la Putain1973Jean Eustache
Top Secret!1984Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
Shoah1985Claude Lanzmann
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya2013Isao Takahata
Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot2016Hong Sangsoo


Sister André – born in February 1904 as Lucile Randon – is now officially the oldest person alive at 118 years old. That means that when the lovely French nun celebrated her latest birthday with a port-and-chocolate cocktail (her favourite), she might have spent the evening remembering almost all-of-cinema history while sitting on the porch in the nursing home at Toulon, along the Mediterranean coast. Because our lovely French nun, Sister André (née Lucile Randon), might have gone to the cinema every year of her life since 1904 – that is, merely eight years after the first projection of moving pictures to a paying audience by the Lumière brothers in December 1895 in Paris. She might have be amazed by one Charles Chaplin, charmed by the Lubitsch touch, moved by Jean Renoir and then waited eagerly for the next John Ford western to come out. Imagine an art so young that you could have been there for all its history.

What has cinema offered to Sister André in her 118 years of old? Beautiful pictures by D. W. Griffith, F. W. Murnau, Buster Keaton, Josef von Sternberg, Fritz Lang, Allan Dwan, Jean Vigo, Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, William A. Wellman, Max Ophüls, Dave Fleischer, Luis Buñuel, Otto Preminger, Frank Capra, George Cukor, Leo McCarey, Jacques Tourneur, Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Ub Iwerks, Frank Borzage, Douglas Sirk, Tex Avery, Frank Tashlin, Nicholas Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Maya Deren, Roberto Gavaldón, Emeric Pressburger & Michael Powell, Luchino Visconti, José Val del Omar, Vincente Minnelli, Emilio Fernández, Ida Lupino, Hugo Fregonese, Robert Bresson, Satyajit Ray, David Lean, Sergio Leone, Chuck Jones, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Rouch, John Cassavetes, Jerry Lewis, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Manoel de Oliveira, Éric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Paulo Rocha, Paul Grimault, Maurice Pialat, Chantal Akerman, Francis Ford Coppola, Eiichi Yamamoto, Brian De Palma, Víctor Erice, Yuri Norstein, Philippe Garrel, Clint Eastwood, João César Monteiro, Charles Burnett, Hayao Miyazaki, Steven Spielberg, Abbas Kiarostami, John Carpenter, Gus Van Sant, Claire Denis, David Lynch, Terence Davies, Michael Mann, Richard Linklater, Whit Stillman, Quentin Tarantino, Satoshi Kon, Kelly Reichardt, M. Night Shyamalan, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Safdie brothers, Masaaki Yuasa…

And that’s just a bunch of filmmakers off the top of my head. An ever-growing list of examples of what cinema have offered us in it’s short and glorious life. And I'm sure our lovely Sister André could point to us to a lot of films and filmmakers that somehow we've overlooked through the decades. In that spirit, I've chosen 10 movies that hav made me happy by showing me 10 different forms of what cinema can be. Here's to many more movies, many more (old and new) 'greatest films of all time' to be discovered and many more Sister André birthdays.