Ashley Clark

Curatorial director, The Criterion Collection

Voted for

Limite1931Mário Peixoto
Suna no onna1964Hiroshi Teshigahara
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty1979Med Hondo
Turumba1981Kidlat Tahimik
Born in Flames 1983Lizzie Borden
Leila and the Wolves1984Heiny Srour
Do the Right Thing1989Spike Lee
Compensation2000Zeinabu irene Davis
The Nine Muses2010John Akomfrah


Every film on this list is distinguished by a unique, alchemical cinematic artistry; these films are nothing like each other, and nothing like anything else. Save for the measured yet relentless rigour of Akerman's intimate monolith Jeanne Dielman, these are protean, elastic, expansive works – singular, yet thrillingly volatile in tone and form – that change as much moment to moment on screen as they've done inside my head over the years. Each has profoundly affected the way I feel about, think about, understand, and even participate in the world around me. This is just a list, yes – but if it sends just one person in the direction of, say, Kidlat Tahimik's astounding, criminally unheralded Turumba, a playful yet heartbreaking parable about the local impact of globalisation, I'll be thrilled.