Frédéric Mercier

Best movie

Voted for

The Big Sky1952Howard Hawks
Sherlock Jr.1924Buster Keaton
Young Mr. Lincoln1939John Ford
Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
Au hasard Balthazar1966Robert Bresson
Once upon a Time in Anatolia2011Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Phantom of the Paradise1974Brian De Palma
Amarcord1972Federico Fellini
The Deer Hunter1978Michael Cimino
L' ENFANCE NUE1969Maurice Pialat


The Big Sky

1952 USA

Along with To Have and Have Not, the ideal union between recording reality and Hollywood sophistication, all shot in natural settings and in the service of a progressive theme that never reveals its subject. Everything here is harmony, balance and an ode to friendship, brotherhood between peoples and adventure as a territory of freedom. This is the true masterpiece of Hawks and one of the most beautiful films in the world.

Sherlock Jr.

1924 USA

Keaton's Golden Age is a magic box filled with all the possibilities offered by silent cinema. His most poetic and moving film.

Young Mr. Lincoln

1939 USA

A Ford is essential, and this year it will be this one, for its figurative and symbolic power, the beauty of its compositions. But it could also have been My Darling Clementine or The Quiet Man.

Once upon a Time in Anatolia

2011 Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The only film since 2000 to appear in my top 10 – when I had promised myself that it was too early to include any. The point is to bring Ceylan back into the firmament of the great metaphysical filmmakers, great directors tout court, who with a total singularity of tone pursues a quest for absolutes and truth, accuracy from film to film. This one, like so many of his others – in fact, all of them – leaves me speechless with admiration, so far does Ceylan seem to have reached the heights of all that constitutes the vital force of cinema. Moreover, he is the greatest living writer of dialogue.

Phantom of the Paradise

1974 USA

The peak of cinematographic mannerism, the peak of its author's work, enamelled with brilliant plastic and political intuitions.


1972 Italy, France

Impossible to choose a single Fellini but this one being, to my eyes, the closest to the spirit of la commedia all'italiana, it seemed to me that it was a way of not forgetting how great Italian filmmakers like Monicelli, Risi, Comencini, Petri, Germi... could have been.

Further remarks

sorely lacking – 10 others :

– He Who Gets Slapped by Victor Sjöstrom (1924)

– Lucky Star by Frank Borzage (1929)

– To Have and Have Not by Howard Hawks (1944)

– Germany: Year Zero by Roberto Rossellini (1948)

– The Apartment by Biilly Wilder (1960)

– America America by Elia Kazan (1963)

– Seduced and Abandoned (Sedotta e Abbandonata) by Pietro Germi (1964)

– Histoire(s) du cinéma by Jean-Luc Godard (1988)

– Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock (1960)

– The Taste of Cherry by Abbas Kiarostami (1997)