|Do the Right Thing
|F for Fake
|Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
|WELT AM DRAHT
|Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Truly pushes the boundaries of genre style and narrative. Schematic and human in equal parts – a genuine critique of capitalism that understands why people get sucked into the machine. Sometimes the characters feel like they are spinning around and around a roulette wheel. Bombastic, opulent, hilarious, shocking cinema.
Do the Right Thing
A north star for populist political American filmmaking. I adore the way this movie uses colour, the way it blends expressionism, realism and theatricality to create a form and identity all its own. Sometimes, doing the right thing means starting a riot.
Proof that, sometimes, to redefine the form you have to start a filmmaking collective with your friends. I love this movie, and I love the way this movie was made. It understands the magical potential of the cinema. The nightmarish images are seared into my subconscious. I can still hear the sounds of factories and howling wind in my dreams.
F for Fake
The ultimate documentary that understands the manipulative tendencies and powers of non-fiction filmmaking. Everything true is a lie and everything that's a lie is all that's real. One of the best-edited movies of all time. I easily also could have put The Act of Killing here instead. But I'm going back to the source.
Justice for Elaine May! Justice for Showgirls! Justice for Southland Tales and Monsieur Verdoux and Heaven's Gate and Popeye and Speed Racer and every other noble failure that was generations ahead of its time. I love what this movie does with star power. I love what this movie says about Hollywood.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Seeing this in 35mm was one of the most powerful, spiritual moments I've had in a theater. Akerman has full command of the cinematic form – and knows exactly what to do with it.
Long live sensual cinema.
Every time I see this, I remain staggered by its craftsmanship, its epic scale and the sheer complexity of the story. It delivers narratively just as much as it does thematically. This is how nature looks when it's dying. This is why we killed it.
My favorite fairy tale. The collective “film by” credit on this movie changed my understanding of how movies are made. When Béla Tarr says “As a filmmaker, you have to believe in the people – in their power,” he means it.
WELT AM DRAHT
This is everything I want in a film. It's sci-fi. It's genre. It's queer. It's deadly serious. It's hilarious. It's strange. It's fantastical. It's real. It nailed the psychosis of digital reality before digital reality even existed. Is this television? I've only ever seen it projected in a movie theater. On the other hand – who cares?
These films are listed in alphabetical order. I've only named one film per director in my list or in my notes – any more would have become quickly unsustainable. All of the films on my list were also made after 1970 – perhaps a desire to recognize the applications and evolutions of cinema. I've otherwise chosen films that I adore, that I constantly return to, and that stand as pillars of what is most important to me in cinematic expression. I wish I had been able to include Interstellar, A Man Escaped, My First Film, Scorpio Rising and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. If I had more guts, I would've voted for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Maybe in 2032.