Axel Kuschevatzky


Voted for

The Godfather Part II1974Francis Ford Coppola
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance1962John Ford
North by Northwest1959Alfred Hitchcock
All the President's Men1976Alan J. Pakula
Yojimbo1961Akira Kurosawa
Los olvidados1950Luis Buñuel
Singin' in the Rain1951Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
M1931Fritz Lang
The Third Man1949Carol Reed
El verdugo1963Luis García Berlanga


The Godfather Part II

1974 USA

This film did the unthinkable: it is an epic narrative spin on a mythology already established two years before, a deep exploration of the foundations of 20th-century America and a Shakespearean family tragedy, all at once. Probably the structurally most ambitious film ever produced by a Hollywood studio.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

1962 USA

Against all odds, venerable helmer John Ford reworked ideas from some of his previous films - The Prisoner of Shark Island, Young Mr Lincoln, Fort Apache and The Searchers - to create a close look at the bond between politics and myth. The movie's most often misquoted line actually means the complete opposite of what most people think: Ford is choosing truth over legend.

North by Northwest

1959 USA

Hitchcock outdid Hitchcock in a movie that ended one phase of his career and also created the modern spy film. North by Northwest, at times, is an absolute abstract film that bears no relation to the real world yet it manages to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. This is pinnacle Hitch, a highly sensual movie about the Cold War that defied the Hays code every two frames.

All the President's Men

1976 USA

Finally movie ads got it right. The film’s tagline was “The most devastating detective story of this century”. In the early to mid-seventies there was a whole wave of revisionist film noir pictures, made by directors ranging from Robert Altman to Roman Polanski. All The President's Men was able to bring a lot of noir elements to the genre to create a powerful piece about the abuse of power, only two years after Nixon ran away from the presidency. The film is a masterclass in letting the audience do the addition by themselves. This film has not lost any of its currency.


1961 Japan

Akira Kurosawa´s movie is an unofficial adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, with a lone samurai without a master (Toshiro Mifune) pitching opposite crime lords against each other. Yojimbo´s influence can be seen in spaghetti westerns, crime films and sci-fi features all around the world. Yet the strength of Kurosawa's vision is unique and his personal touch in handling drama, comedy and even satire in one single character arc makes this feature stand out among his many masterpieces.

Los olvidados

1950 Mexico

Spanish expatriate Luis Buñuel, a former communist and unapologetic atheist, hated the romanticized portrait of poverty of Vittorio de Sica´s Miracle in Milan. As much as Hawks reacted to High Noon making the way superior Rio Bravo, Buñuel subverted De Sica´s sugar-coated take to create a destructive and unsettling movie about destitution in the slums of Mexico City. Buñuel is clear: poverty doesn´t make people better. Maybe the most relevant Latin American film ever made.

Singin' in the Rain

1951 USA

Take the songs out, change the tone, eliminate the gags and Singin´in the Rain could be a devastating drama about the dangers of technology, akin to the Prometheus myth or even the Frankenstein story. The monster in this case is sound, and directors Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen decided to embrace music, dance, comedy and levity to show how lives were affected by the arrival of all-talking and all-dancing films to Hollywood.


1931 Germany

Fritz Lang's film about the hunt for a sex maniac is to sound what The Birth of a Nation is to visual storytelling. M is a groundbreaking, deeply modernistic piece that dared to create the movie rules for sound that we still use today. The fact that the film explores the morals of the place where Hitler rose to power at the same time is simply astounding.

The Third Man

1949 United Kingdom

This is the ultimate film about corruption, a film that equates greed with Nazism in their utter contempt for human life. The fact that the most crooked character of the film is American is a masterstroke from both director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene.

El verdugo

1963 Spain, Italy

Luis Garcia Berlanga made some amazing films under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship in Spain, usually working with writer Rafael Azcona. How Berlanga and Azcona's bitter films about life under the regime with a terrifically dark humour and a highly sophisticated social commentary escaped censorship is somehow a mystery. El verdugo (The Executioner) is a fable about a guy who inherits his father-in-law's job: killing people in the name of Government. Bureaucracy, catholic guilt, middle-class ambitions and political dissent are all over the place, while the comedy permeates a tale that couldn’t have existed at all if the team weren’t as brilliant as they were.