Jonathan Walley

Associate Professor of Cinema

Voted for

A Movie1958Bruce Conner
All the President's Men1976Alan J. Pakula
An Autumn Afternoon1962Yasujirō Ozu
Anticipation of the Night1958Stan Brakhage
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Line Describing a Cone1973Anthony McCall
Meshes of the Afternoon1943Maya Deren, Alexander Hackenschmied
Playtime1967Jacques Tati
Psycho1960Alfred Hitchcock
The End1953Chris Maclaine


A Movie

1958 USA

The perfection, if not the invention, of the found footage film. While it launched thousands of imitations, all of them pale in comparison to Conner’s 15-minute ascent into the terrifying cinematic sublime.

All the President's Men

1976 USA

A definitive work from one of cinema’s greatest decades. The events of recent years have made it newly relevant, indeed urgent, but it has always been a masterpiece, equally brilliant in storytelling and visual style. Who would have thought people searching through stacks of paper library lending cards could be compelling cinema?

An Autumn Afternoon

1962 Japan

Surpasses the (justly) beloved Tokyo Story and Late Spring as exemplar of Ozu’s astonishingly rigorous cinematic craftspersonship, particularly in its subtle but often breathtaking use of colour.

Anticipation of the Night


Surely the cinematic equivalent of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, a breakthrough not only for its maker – the first film of Brakhage’s mature style – and not just for the underground, but for the cinema generally.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Still Great (capital G). As modern as any indie or art films being made today; still a model of what cinema has been and can be. Upon every viewing – whether the first or the hundredth - one finds something new.

Line Describing a Cone


Loved by all who experience it, McCall’s literally three-dimensional film distills cinema to its barest essences – light moving in time – and in so doing suggesting all sorts of radical new possibilities for it. Line Describing a Cone is at once radically reductive and liberatingly expansive, austere and beautiful, minimal and maximal, intellectual and sensuous, deadly serious and giddily delightful.

Meshes of the Afternoon

1943 USA

The greatest film by one of the most brilliant and charismatic filmmakers (avant-garde or otherwise) who ever lived, and probably the most important and influential American avant-garde film of all time.


1967 France

Transforms the drab urban world and the dullest daily tasks into pure cinema and pure pleasure. A entire genre unto itself.


1960 USA

Compared to the sprawling cine-operas of the 1950s (Vertigo, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief) this is a chamber piece, but its apparent smallness and the austerity of its production makes it all the more concentrated and forceful. The most subversive of Hitchcock’s films, not because it kills off the heroine in the first reel, or because it tricks us into identifying with a deranged killer, but for its radical assault on the ideal of the family and the revelation of its perversions.

The End


A 30-minute epic, intended to be screened just before the onset of a global nuclear holocaust. A scathing critique of Cold War America, the howl of a tortured soul, and perhaps the most formally radical underground film made at the time.