Film critic - Les cahiers du cinéma
|Erich von Stroheim
|La Règle du jeu
|GERMANIA, ANNO ZERO
|Vivre sa vie
|2001: A Space Odyssey
|La Maman et la Putain
|Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
It might seem strange that there are only two northern American films in my list, but I stand by this choice. Indeed, I feel much more attached to the heritage of European cinema, to the tradition of the so-called 'Art Cinema' (clumsy title, I agree), than to the American cinema. Basically, my list is a tribute to the masters of European cinema (Renoir, Rossellini, Tarkovsky) and to the great representatives of European modernity which, in my opinion, reached its highest with the New Wave and the Post New Wave (Godard, Eustache, Akerman).
Maybe it’s not by chance that one of my northern American films (Greed) was made by a European director and illustrates the enormous influence of European directors on Hollywood cinema during its golden age. As for Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, it seems as visionary today as it was in 1968 and, in a way, even more relevant nowadays by its way of dealing with the issue of artificial intelligence, its potential and its dangers.
The only 'non-western' film I chose, Close-up by Abbas Kiarostami, is highly important for me not only because of its ethical reflection on cinema itself, but also because it symbolises a turning point in cinema history – that crucial moment when the creative energy in worldwide cinema shifted from western hegemonic nations to what were seen, until then, as peripheral ones (the revelation of Iranian cinema, followed by the discovery of many Asian and Latin-American extraordinary new talents, around the years 1990-2000).
Finally, as I’m very interested in the relationship between cinema and history – mostly in connection with the most traumatic event of the 20th century, the Second World War – I choose two films which deal with this period and defy Adorno’s statement: “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric” (Germany, Year Zero; Shoah ).