Director, editor and screenwriter
|Carl Th. Dreyer
|A Woman under the Influence
It's too hard to choose just one of Ozu’s films, and I'm not even sure that Tokyo Story is his best movie at all, but I have no doubts that one of his movies should be leading this list. I personally have a special preference for Ozu's colour films, but since I am not voting here based on taste, but on what the movies mean for film tradition, I feel Tokyo Story is the best Ozu ambassador.
To me, City Lights is as pure as cinema can get.
I had a hard time choosing between Dreyer's films; I also feel that Gertrud and The Passion of Joan of Arc could be here. However, a miracle is a miracle.
It took me a long time to fully grasp the scope of this movie and what it was doing with film itself as a medium. Since then, every time I rewatch I discover new angles.
A Woman under the Influence
I feel cinema has never been so alive, with all of life's complexities, as it was in Cassavetes’ movies. A Woman Under the Influence is masterful, made by a filmmaker in full possession of cinema’s tools. Freedom and control become one in this movie.
Sans Soleil invented a new way of looking at images, reinvented how we relate to them, explored their intimate relationship with memory and their strange and mysterious power. Mirror does the same thing in a different way, but for me Sans Soleil goes further.
I could have picked Man with a Movie Camera or 8½, but to me Close-Up is as powerful as cinema can get while thinking of itself.
Acting, framing, colors, wardrobe, music... Johnny Guitar is as splendorously flourishing and emotionally powerful as that combination of film tools can get. I can't understand how it wasn't even in the list before…
We are slowly realising that this film, in a subtle way, changed the way cinema looks at humanity through the body. And it has one of the best endings – copied again and again in contemporary cinema.
Oh yes, Citizen Kane is still Citizen Kane. It's a pity that it being on top of the list for so long sometimes makes us forget how perfect it is.
The list has some politics involved in it; it's not only a list of my favorite films, but also a list of movies that I believe have shaped our understanding of cinema today (not from a historian's point of view, but from a cinema-lover who started watching movies in the mid-90s and to whom many of these films still resonate as if they were made today).