Eva Markovits

Programmer and critic

Voted for

Charulata1964Satyajit Ray
To Be or Not to Be1942Ernst Lubitsch
The Band Wagon1953Vincente Minnelli
The Quince Tree Sun1992Víctor Erice
Close-up1989Abbas Kiarostami
Partie de campagne1936Jean Renoir
Uccellacci e uccellini1966Pier Paolo Pasolini
Rio Bravo1958Howard Hawks
Ordet1955Carl Th. Dreyer
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman



1964 India

A perfect film: the exquisite opening sequence and its ballet of camera movements, the Renoiresque swing sequence, Madhabi Mukherjee and Soumitra Chatterjee's deep and subtle interpretations accompanied by the wonderful music composed by Ray himself. I wouldn't cut out one single moment.

To Be or Not to Be

1942 USA

The most hilarious film of all time by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Difficult to choose between this one, The Shop Around the Corner, Trouble in Paradise and Design for Living. But the fact that I laugh my head off each time I watch it is a decisive point.

The Band Wagon

1953 USA

One of the best musicals ever, containing a sublime dance sequence – 'Dancing in the Dark', with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. I watch it every time I feel blue and will continue doing so.

The Quince Tree Sun

1992 Spain

A haunting and philosophical documentary on the act of creation. Victor Erice's work, which includes The Spirit of the Beehive, is scarce but stunningly beautiful.


1989 Iran

A dizzying film which explores the thin line between documentary and fiction, truth and lies. I still remember being knocked out by its breathtaking cleverness.

Partie de campagne

1936 France

A visual, sensual delight which contains one of the most beautiful close-ups ever: Sylvia Bataille at the point of surrender, pain and pleasure intertwined.

Uccellacci e uccellini

1966 Italy

I remember saying to myself: "I have never seen such a delightful, poetic and inventive film in my life." I still haven't.

Rio Bravo

1958 USA

A classic western which transcends the formula. John Wayne at his best, tired but righteous. Unforgettable musical sequence with Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson singing 'My Rifle, My Pony and Me'.


1955 Denmark

Life captured so completely. Dreyer shoots faces like no one else.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

1975 Belgium, France

A three-hour time-and-space experience where each shot is essential. A masterpiece.

Further remarks

Making lists is the cinephile's most tantalising yet frustrating exercise, since exhaustivity is by definition unattainable and choices have to be made. I have followed two separate criteria: the incalculable number of times I have watched some of these films and the tingling feeling in my spine of witnessing something extraordinary that I would never forget. Also, more objectively, I find them "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant", to quote the Library of Congress. It is a list I will share with my now three-year-old son if one day he asks: "What is cinema ?"