|Un chien andalou
|Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper
|I Am Cuba
|2001: A Space Odyssey
|La Maman et la Putain
|Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
|Pier Paolo Pasolini
Un chien andalou
If there's one premiere I would dream of attending, it’s this film, which was decades ahead of its time. There are many directors whose films inspire envy, but in the case of Buñuel, it’s also his life that does it. More of a cry of happiness than a call to murder.
Another film as perfect as it is extraordinary. I wish I could have been at the first screening in 1933! That must have been pure magic for contemporary spectators. With 2001 and Metropolis, it's one of the three most ambitious films of all time and the greatest spectacle of entertainment that I know of.
I Am Cuba
A revolutionary and lyrical film where the movements turn the camera into a symphonic instrument, and one of the principal sources of inspiration for my long sequence shots in Irreversible and Enter the Void.
A film as unique as it is perfect. Much like with Un Chien Andalou, I can watch it on repeat and never get bored. A great aesthetic experience that can only be compared to Anger’s other masterpiece, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.
2001: A Space Odyssey
This is the film I've seen more than any other in my life – 40 times or more. My life altered when I discovered it when I was about seven in Buenos Aires. It was my first hallucinogenic experience, my great artistic turning point and also the moment when my mother finally explained what a foetus was and how I came into the world. Without this film I would never have become a director.
La Maman et la Putain
It’s the most existentialist, raw, deep film about the impossible nature of romantic love in the modern Western world. Created almost as a replayed autobiography by Jean Eustache, the three and a half hours of the film seem too short, and I enjoy rewatching it every two years, mostly through my bootlegged DVD until the film is finally rereleased. I had the enormous chance to work with Françoise Lebrun, its lead actress, on my film Vortex.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom
The film that my mother considered it essential to take me to see on the eve of my 18th birthday. I was old enough to learn of torture and the reptilian nature of human relationships. To this day, I continue to consider it as the most educational film about man’s domination by man.
If there's a cinematic hero I dream of being, it’s Travis Bickle. This film fills me with joy at De Niro’s charisma and Scorsese’s amphetaminic staging. He’s the kindest and most cinephilic film director I’ve ever had the luck of meeting. With Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver, this is the film that seems to best represent the dirty New York of the ’60s and ’70s as the centre of the world in which I partly grew up.
This film is the second reason why I wanted to learn how to make films. For me it’s the film that best reproduces the language of dreams and nightmares. Apparently Kubrick once said that he regretted not having directed it himself.
A great lesson in visual imagination but also in psychopathology. This film, still poorly known in Anglo-Saxon countries, was my perpetual point of reference while shooting I Stand Alone. It’s the most emotional film about a murderer that I’ve ever seen. I had a VHS dubbed into French that I showed my friends about 50 times.
This is my 2022 top ten list of the films – by chronological order – that had the greatest impact on me. Against my will, I had to leave out masterpieces by Sjöström, Christensen, Von Stroheim, Murnau, Lang, Robison, Browning, Dreyer, Mizoguchi, Kinoshita, Franju, Powell, Belson, Yamamoto, Favio, Godard, Fellini, Pontecorvo, Wakamatsu, Hopper, Boorman, Fassbinder, Edel, Eloy de la Iglesia, Klimov, Shepitko, Cavalier, Argento, Cronenberg, Solondz, Haneke, Von Trier, Seidl and Mungiu, all of which would feature in a wider list.