|The Passion of Joan of Arc
|Carl Th. Dreyer
|La Règle du jeu
|Au hasard Balthazar
|The Wild Bunch
I probably shouldn't be including this because so few people have had the chance to see it on the big screen, with an orchestra and with the majestic triptych and colour tinting. But it's the greatest experience I've ever had at the movies, so I MUST include it, and specify that it's Kevin Brownlow's 2000 restoration that I am citing. Gance's direction is extraordinary and displays practically every technique that would be part of the world's cinematic grammar. It is the filmic definition of "greatness".
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The power of pure cinema realized. Dreyer's direction, Maté's extraordinary camera work, and the transcendent performance by Falconetti… this is the apotheosis of the art form.
La Règle du jeu
To be scathing and humanist and gentle at the same time, and tell your tale effortlessly… that's Renoir's genius. He belongs on any list of the world's great filmmakers, and this is his greatest achievement.
Sadly fashionable now to chip away at its greatness. The temptation should be resisted. The audacious American masterpiece of the 20th century, not only for its cinematic innovations and storytelling vigour, but for how accurately it dissects the "American character".
Hollywood Grand Guignol and a daringly and perfectly realised motion picture. Wilder balances tragedy and mordant black humour on the edge of his rapier wit.
Made in 1954 and STILL the greatest, deepest and most profound action movie of all time.
Au hasard Balthazar
Many films confront the sadness of existence, but none do it as simply and deeply as this one. Bresson made many masterpieces, but this one can completely change a viewer's entire perspective on life.
The Wild Bunch
The myth of the American West: glorified, vilified, rhapsodised and blown all to hell. The rare movie that actually strives for greatness in every moment – and achieves it.
The detective story is one of the great narrative creations of the 20th century, and no movie better utilised it to offer a scathing critique of avaricious capitalism. Polanski's grasp of the form and the milieu is supremely assured… his telling of the tale absolutely pitch-perfect. Considering the difficulty of the production, this might be the best-directed American film of all time.
David Lynch radically altered narrative filmmaking, making non-linear storytelling acceptable to a mass audience and making buried subtext the actual plot of his films. No one has better realised the dreamy potential of cinema, and this is his masterpiece. Special nod to Naomi Watts for a truly fearless performance.
Thank you for asking me to participate.