Kate Saccone

Academic, editor, curator

Voted for

Suspense1913Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
America 2019Garrett Bradley
Lovers Rock2020Steve McQueen
Dance, Girl, Dance1940Dorothy Arzner
Aruitemo aruitemo2008Hirokazu Koreeda
Sidewalk Stories1989Charles Lane


I have nothing against the widely screened and celebrated titles by the now-iconic male filmmakers that continue to populate (impossible) polls such as this one. In fact, it was physically painful to leave off Gene Kelly and Singin’ in the Rain, my first cinematic loves. But I want to widen the conversation beyond what (and who) usually appears in the Top 20, for example. While my list would look different next week, I ultimately settled on these ten films. They are great to me because they either display a high level of craftsmanship, artistry, and imagination; advance the cinematic medium at formal, aesthetic, generic, and/or narrative levels; or are engaged in some meaningful and thoughtful way with the society and culture in which they are embedded. (These criteria are, of course, not mutually exclusive.) Some of the titles I have selected are well known but sadly never make it to the upper echelons of this poll, while others are now becoming more accessible, which gives me hope. Others are more recent, and are the types of films and filmmakers that I hope to see included more moving forward. Although this list centers the Western world more than I would like, it constitutes a personal attempt to think about film culture and cinephilia in more inclusive terms.