Claude Bertemes

Director, Cinémathèque Luxembourg

Voted for

Sherlock Jr.1924Buster Keaton
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927F.W. Murnau
Duck Soup1933Leo McCarey
L'Atalante1934Jean Vigo
Partie de campagne1936Jean Renoir
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
Faces1968John Cassavetes
Wanda1970Barbara Loden
La Maman et la Putain1973Jean Eustache
Annette2021Leos Carax


Sherlock Jr.

1924 USA

For Keaton's mastery of mechanical and lunatical excesses.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

1927 USA

For the sophistication, the poetry and the tears. The most beautiful film ever, as Truffaut rightly stated.

Duck Soup

1933 USA

As a child, it was the first film to make me cry with laughter. I hope it will be my last film before I die… with laughter!


1934 France

For the way that surrealism meets bric-a-brac, and vice versa.

Partie de campagne

1936 France

For the way that Renoir paints the volatility of life in a nutshell.


1966 Czechoslovakia

For her still unrivaled iconoclastic verve.


1968 USA

For its pure emotional rawness, and its vain tracking of the truth behind the faces.


1970 USA

A long-unrevealed female indie-masterpiece, shifting sublimely between the laconic and the melancholic.

La Maman et la Putain

1973 France

Because Eustache is the intimate and tragicomical Balzac of the post-’68 era.



Because Carax reinvents the codes of the film musical with a Mélièsien inventiveness and audacity.

Further remarks

Dear Sight and Sound: asking me for my Top 10 ever is a gift – thanks for that! – but evidently a poisoned one. I’ve been sleepless for five days, turning in vicious circles, spending my nights pondering between Duck Soup or Imitation of Life, Playtime or L’Atalante, À nos amours or The Tree of Life. An ocean of Cornelian dilemmas. I’m drowning in masterpieces. So please let me just smuggle 10 more films into the comment section. It will make me sleep again.

Here we go: Late Spring (1949) Yasujiro Ozu; Songs from the Second Floor (2000) Roy Andersson; À nos amours (1983) Maurice Pialat; Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962) Agnès Varda; Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) Werner Herzog; Pandora’s Box (1929) Georg Wilhelm Pabst; The Tree of Life (2011) Terrence Malick; Shanghai Express (1932) Josef von Sternberg; Playtime (1967) Jacques Tati; Tropical Malady (2004) Apichatpong Weerasethakul.