Heng Yang


Voted for

Tokyo Story1953Yasujirō Ozu
Mirror1975Andrei Tarkovsky
Taste of Cherry1997Abbas Kiarostami
The 400 Blows1959François Truffaut
L'avventura1960Michelangelo Antonioni
Sátántangó1994Béla Tarr
Modern Times1936Charles Chaplin
Das weisse Band Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte2009Michael Haneke
Csillagosok, katonák1967 Miklós Jancsó
Last Year at Marienbad1961Alain Resnais


Tokyo Story

1953 Japan

Every time I watch Tokyo Story, I always feel it is great, never out of time, representing the emotions of the East, the family outlook, the everyday life as bland as water, the timeless images! If Westerners want to understand the life, emotions, and way of thinking of the East only through one movie, then Tokyo Story will be the best or only choice. This film has, in a sense, transcended the film itself and become a cultural paradigm.


1975 USSR

Mirror represents everything about art cinema. To express the greatness of Mirror in words would seem a bit pale. What makes a film art, "Mirror" can explain everything.

Taste of Cherry

1997 Iran

My soul was touched as the man lay in the grave pit, when he is looking at the moon in the night sky. Kiarostami uses the unique language of cinema very calmly to show the human emotions. In the purest tradition of cinema, this is what it should look like.

The 400 Blows

1959 France

Teenagers, marginalized people, classroom, society, repression, sadness, narrow interior space, open sea - after many years, I still remember the teenager who keeps running, and the sound of rapid breathing can still make people empathize. Films of the same genre will be cast into the shade in comparison.


1960 Italy, France

An impeccable film! A masterpiece. Serendipitous, absurd, unpredictable plots, its story is so unpredictable and yet seamless, with a combination of poetry and philosophy, a visualized text of Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Antonioni's best work.


1994 Hungary, Germany, Switzerland

The film is long and durable, with the texture of heavy metal music and the shock of symphonic music, coarse and delicate, rich in rhythm, untamed in the light, one of the most important works in the history of cinema.

Modern Times

1936 USA

Natural fondness. All people: workers, farmers, the middle class, intellectuals, adults, children should like this movie, even if the reasons for liking it are not the same. The benchmark of comedies.

Das weisse Band Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

2009 Germany, Austria, France, Italy

The cold reality of the film is surrounded by the illusion of warmth; the expression of violence, restrained and biting, which is calm as water on the surface, but in fact the waves are rough. A unique work, a critique of human nature that is both unsentimental and bone-deep. The world needs such great films.

Csillagosok, katonák


Many war films are similar, but this one impressed me with its strong documentary quality, which will make me forget that it is a feature film, without it having the extra sensationalism of other films of this type. People in the midst of war, the mental state of different people during war, and the coldness of the director's image-making style, all make this film worth remembering.

Last Year at Marienbad

1961 France, Italy

The first time I watched this movie, I felt a kind of breathless feeling, owing to the slow pace, the stage sense of the scene, the ritual of the performance, the strange atmosphere of lighting, the metaphorical nature of the lines. Just like the audience, I was wandering in a dream which seemed familiar. If the movie is a dream, then "L'année dernière à Marienbad" is undoubtedly the best one to restore the dream.

Further remarks

What are the "greatest films of all time"? Obviously there is no quantitative standard, as numerous films are showing in theatres every day, and choosing ten films by ten directors from the vast amount of cinema works is bound to be quite subjective. Based on the above two reasons, the list I have given will not be too radical, nor will it be too inclined to the taste of cinephiles.

The fact that there are not many living directors in this list does not mean that current films are regressing. Every year, we can still see many talented film authors being active at the forefront of creation, and some exciting films are coming out, but great works must stand the test of time, so that even in the distant future, we will still be thrilled by the images created by film authors.

This is a list of mainly art house films, which is not to discriminate against commercial ones. I personally believe that there is no absolute difference between commercial or artistic films, and that great commercial films have always been part of the art of cinema; only that in great works of cinema, there is more of the personal expression, which is not conflicting, but just another topic.

Regarding the directors, there are too many that I think deserve a place in film history, and there are many directors with more than one great work, and I would regret that there are not more places in this list, but I believe that these directors' works will be nominated by other directors, so I am relieved.