Elisabet Cabeza

Spanish correspondent, Screen Daily; lecturer in film, FCRI Blanquerna (Barcelona)

Voted for

Brief Encounter1945David Lean
The Big Sleep1946Howard Hawks
The Band Wagon1953Vincente Minnelli
Madame de...1953Max Ophuls
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance1962John Ford
El verdugo1963Luis García Berlanga
Opening Night1977John Cassavetes
In the Mood for Love2000Wong Kar Wai
I Am Not Your Negro2016Raoul Peck
First Cow2019Kelly Reichardt


Consider my list the product of a here and now, a love letter rather than an impossible attempt at summarising must-sees and masterpieces. Out of this top ten I have had to leave out an eclectic bunch of names and titles that could also have made the cut: I would have loved to include more John Ford, Howard Hawks, Max Ophuls and, of course, works by Douglas Sirk (Imitation of Life, All That Heaven Allows), Billy Wilder (The Apartment, Some Like It Hot), Alfred Hitchcock (Notorious, Rear Window, North by Northwest), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons), Preston Sturges (Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story), Charles Chaplin, Agnès Varda, Yasujirô Ozu, Hirokazu Koreeda, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, Martin Scorsese, Joanna Hogg. Then there are the Spanish directors, like Víctor Erice, Carlos Saura and Pedro Almodóvar, who were key in my cinephile upbringing. I could go on, but the joy was in the process, thinking about the list and discussing it with colleagues. The joy will also be in having the chance to read the selections of people I admire and who have helped me love cinema too.