Carmen Gray

Film critic and Berlin International Film Festival programmer
New Zealand/Germany

Voted for

Mirror1975Andrei Tarkovsky
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
The Exterminating Angel1962Luis Buñuel
Shoah1985Claude Lanzmann
Die BITTEREN TRÄNEN DER PETRA VON KANT1972Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Sátántangó1994Béla Tarr
The Colour of Pomegranates1968Sergei Paradjanov
Empire1964Andy Warhol
The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On1987Kazuo Hara
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola



1975 USSR

This intuitive, uncanny channeling of memories, dreams and the compulsion to return home is vivid with mystery and longing. The essence of cinematic poetry.


1966 Czechoslovakia

Rebellion against institutionalised power has scarcely before or since embraced such audacity, glee or playful invention as this anarchic crowning glory of the Czech New Wave.

The Exterminating Angel

1962 Mexico

The ultimate skewering of privileged hypocrisy, this surrealist satire and social leveller reveals decorum as a ruse, in the most madcap, disquieting of ways.


1985 France

The devastating, essential power of cinema in bearing witness to history through testimony, and confronting what can never be fully understood, is exemplified by this record of the Holocaust, the defining horror of the last century in Europe.


1972 Federal Republic of Germany

Radical melodrama, or maximalist artifice as worldview: what Fassbinder's extravagant take on power and obsession doesn't offer in romantic consolation, it makes up for in arch delight.


1994 Hungary, Germany, Switzerland

The mud of relentless rain grounds us deep in a world that's winding down. A last gust of weighty, old-world beauty, transmitted into our hyper-consumerist, disposable present.

The Colour of Pomegranates

1968 USSR, Armenian SSR

Parajanov, as a visionary of the past and future of the Caucasus, transforms the life of 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova into sublime visual poetry of esoteric, surreal tableaux.


1964 USA

The ultimate landmark, and object of elusive fantasy. Warhol channels the thrall of American make-believe, and its ability to perpetuate itself through time as a reality.

The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

1987 Japan

As bonkers as it is riveting, this documentary shadowing a relentless, enraged investigator, who seeks accountability for secret atrocities, complicates the question of what constitutes reasonable human behaviour.

The Godfather

1972 USA

The ultimate epic morality drama of the human condition, and the epitome of blockbuster greatness. Its immersive world has a magic that transcends its commercial confines.