Juan Manuel García Ferrer

Film writer and Film Societies curator

Voted for

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927F.W. Murnau
Land without Bread1933Luis Buñuel
The River1951Jean Renoir
Ordet1955Carl Th. Dreyer
Wild Strawberries1957Ingmar Bergman
The Leopard1963Luchino Visconti
The Spirit of the Beehive1973Víctor Erice
La Maman et la Putain1973Jean Eustache
Shoah1985Claude Lanzmann
Tren de sombras 1997Guerin


The capacity of the container is so limited (only ten titles) and the possible content so broad (the entire history of cinema!), that each contributor will have needed to create some rules to draft the ranking, even if, in spite of them, the result must have left them unsatisfied.

My internal, sometimes forgotten, rules have been:

– the limitation to one title per director.

– the preference of more universally known titles to less popular gems, even if that relegated my perhaps most beloved Mes petites amoureuses to the benefit of the more quoted La maman et la putain and led me to choose Smultronstället over the extraordinary, seemingly simple Karins ansikte, and Tren de sombras over the exquisite miniature De una isla or the slightly longer Memorias de una mañana.

– the selection of a 'well-rounded' work over one with beautiful shortcomings.

– buying local.

– the promotion of courageous works.

Am I pleased with the result? How could I be, after

– having left out the entire 21st century.

– omitted a big number of beloved filmmakers who stand out for the consistent quality and characteristics of all their filmography rather than for a particular masterpiece (like Akerman, Roy Andersson, Antonioni, Bellocchio, Bilge Ceylan, Cassavetes, Chabrol, Costa, Dardenne, Delvaux, Eastwood, Epstein, Gianikian/Ricci, Godard, Hansen-Love, Herzog, Kiarastomi, Kurosawa, Marker, Monteiro, Moretti, Oliveira, Olmi, Ophuls, Philibert, Portabella, Powell/Pressburger, Rohmer, Sang-Soo, Tarr, Taviani, Watkins, Yang, Zheng-ké, Wiseman or Zvyagintsev).

– discarded eternal masterpieces, like O Thiassos (Angelopoulos), Correspondèncias (Azevedo), El verdugo (Berlanga), Three Sisters (Bing), Pickpocket (Bresson), Mauvais sang (Carax), Bronenosets Potyomkin (Eisenstein), 8½ (Fellini), Petites arrengements avec les morts (Ferran), Man of Aran (Flaherty), La cicatrice intérieure (Garrel), The Searchers (Ford), La sang des bêtes (Franju), Frente al mar (García-Pelayo), Une simple histoire (Hanoun), Vertigo (Hitchcock), Lundi matin (Iosseliani), El encargo del cazador (Jordá), In the Mood for Love (Kar-Wai), The Navigator (Keaton), M (Lang), To Be or Not To Be (Lubitsch), Duck Soup (Marx brothers), Ugetsu monogatari (Mizoguchi), Tokyo monogatari (Ozu), Lock-out (Padrós), Accattone (Pasolini), Pather Panchali (Ray), Tras os montes (Reis/Cordeiro), Nuit et bruillard (Resnais), Germania, anno zero (Rossellini), Playtime (Tati), Les mistons (Truffaut), The Crowd (Vidor), L’Atalante (Vigo), Paris, Texas (Wenders)… conscientiously selected among their directors' filmography.

– after shamefully and painfully setting aside many (some unique) – beloved films of other filmmakers, like The Night of the Hunter (Laughton), Histórias que só existem quando lembradas (Murat), Berlin – Die symphonie der großstadt (Ruttmann) or É na Terra não é na Lua (Tocha).

– having forgotten – catastrophe – at this very moment this and that greatest film and filmmaker…