|Vivre sa vie
|Carl Th. Dreyer
|Vittorio De Sica
Because it's the best.
In The Searchers, Ford not only achieves the pinnacle of the western – the most influential and exemplary movie genre in history, to which no other director contributed nearly as many canonical texts – but also inscribes within the film an astonishing critique of his own life's work up until that point. A grand, brutal and fearless work.
I have no doubt that had Shepitko not died tragically at an early age she would have continued to make masterpiece after masterpiece and be considered today one of cinema's greatest artists. Watching The Ascent – her searing study of wartime heroism – is a devastating, transcendent experience.
Vivre sa vie
Deep human emotion and empathy plus Godardian formal/political play.
Two hours of farmers and villagers bickering over religion (plus some other stuff), ending with six minutes that will have you on your knees in wonder. A miracle.
I'm surprised at how 'conservative' my choices ended up being, but my past decade of viewing hasn't dislodged many of my canonical favourites after all.