Andreas Fontana


Voted for

M1931Fritz Lang
Pickpocket1959Robert Bresson
Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
The Third Man1949Carol Reed
Vampyr1932Carl Th. Dreyer
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
To Be or Not to Be1942Ernst Lubitsch
The Ascent1976Larissa Shepitko
Foolish Wives1922Erich von Stroheim
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola



1931 Germany

There is a certain humour in Lang's work, a humour of rigour and fright, which is deployed, for example, in the parallels he draws between police procedures and the methods of the criminal underworld. And there is this extraordinary precision. I discovered the photographer August Sander before M, and both struck me in the same place. The idea that cinema, like Sander's portraits, is able to paint a landscape: that of an entire society, caught up in the turmoil of its time.


1959 France

The art of a gesture whose perfection lies in its absolute discretion. At the moment he works, the pickpocket must not exist for anyone. Bresson makes him a majestic figure of solitude.

Seven Samurai

1954 Japan

It is not just the memory of an extraordinary, epic, decisive battle. It is also the story of an era - that of the samurai - which is approaching its end and which, in so doing, reveals its essence: honour, not as a means, but as an end in itself.

The Third Man

1949 United Kingdom

In the very select pantheon of sublime villains, we can distinguish, among others, the Master of Ballentrae, Colonel Kurtz, Dr Mabuse, Iago... and Harry Lime.


1932 Germany, France

A dazzling, ghostly, indelible vision. Does the supernatural come from the vampire - this woman we never see - or from the gaze of this man obsessed by the strange, by death, by the invisible?

Cléo from 5 to 7

1962 France, Italy

Two women drive slowly in a convertible through the streets of Paris. "How I wish the street names in this city were named after living people. And we would change the name of the street as soon as they died, what do you think?” Paris seen through the eyes of a woman who wants to retain the passage of time. No man had filmed this city like this before. With a young Jean-Luc Godard who furtively reveals his eyes without sunglasses.

To Be or Not to Be

1942 USA

How we need the subtlety and nonconformism of a Lubitsch these days.

The Ascent

1976 USSR

Now in the shadow of Ivan's Childhood (1962) and Come and See (1985), Larissa Shepitko's contribution to the war film genre does not seek the spectacular, but something more absolute. Probing the intimacy of two men, one facing his own pain, the other facing himself. The collaborationist character played by Anatoli Solonitsyn is unforgettable.

Foolish Wives

1922 USA

Cinema as an art endowed with irony, the spectator as a voyeur, the gaze as a perverse impulse distorted by class prejudices.

The Godfather

1972 USA

If one were to try to describe each film as a weapon, figuratively speaking, then the Godfather's would be, for me, poison. The poison that infuses the veins and hearts of men (and some women). The one that cannot be seen, except by the slow and methodical destruction it inflicts on the bodies it invades. This poison that some refer to as power, money, ambition, or more generally capitalism, and which Coppola, rather than adding a name to this collection, scrupulously observes as it spreads death in the Corleone clan. Perhaps the real monster of the film is not the 'Don', nor his son, but this elusive, scary and so very human thing.

Further remarks

Who can claim in good faith to name the ten greatest films in the history of cinema without feeling like committing an unforgivable heresy? It's interesting though: I'm a child of VHS and DVD, a child of television, comics and noir novels, and despite this, cinema remains for me that most sacred of places, at once intimidating, attractive and mysterious. Long life to it.