José Teodoro

Freelance critic

Voted for

Fear Eats the Soul1974Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Beau travail1998Claire Denis
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
Persona1966Ingmar Bergman
Sans Soleil1982Chris Marker
The Spirit of the Beehive1973Víctor Erice
The Red Shoes1948Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Taste of Cherry1997Abbas Kiarostami
A Woman under the Influence1974John Cassavetes
Wings of Desire1987Wim Wenders


The benefit of being asked to undertake this task a second time is that your sophomore effort comes to feel more cavalier. First time round, I felt crippled by reverence. This time it’s all, See you around, Stalker! I’ll let you know when I’m in the Mood for Love. We’ll always have Paris, Texas. I revere the films that receded from my 2012 list, but the new selections puncture, haunt, or impose with greater immediacy. What’s more, films converse across history, and there is consolation in seeing evidence of one beloved work gleaming within another. As before, I was compelled to select films that seemed above all singular, that didn’t fit in their ostensible niches, that break something that can’t be repaired, that didn’t necessarily stand for anything greater – films that seemed to be greatest at nothing so much as being themselves. And as before, because performance in cinema remains mysterious and resistant to evaluation, I like that many of these films are to an unusual extent dependent on a performance of some mutant genius: Denis Levant, Gena Rowlands, Bruno Ganz, Liv Ullman, little Ana Torrent. As before, these ten films do not represent the work of many of my most beloved directors – Buñuel, Bresson, Charles Burnett, Lucrecia Martel, Joanna Hogg – whose bodies of work seem more exultant than any individual film. All these films continue to give pleasure and yield discovery. All are exceedingly personal. All remain deeply strange.