Kōji Fukada


Voted for

The Green Ray1986Eric Rohmer
The Spirit of the Beehive1973Víctor Erice
NAGARERU1956Mikio Naruse
NINJO KAMIFUSEN1937Sadao Yamanaka
Late Spring1949Yasujirō Ozu
The Long Farewell 1971Kira Muratova
India Song1975Marguerite Duras
...All the Marbles1981Robert Aldrich


The Green Ray

1986 France

All of Éric Rohmer's works are very interesting, but if I were to choose one of them, it would be this one. The most modern and sublime film about human loneliness and salvation.

The Spirit of the Beehive

1973 Spain

The movie that made me fall in love with movies. When I realised that the windows of the house where the main characters live had the same shape as a beehive, I was horrified by the deep nihilism there.

'El Sur' is equally brilliant -- it's hard to compare the two. However, I chose 'The Spirit of the Beehive' because it's more memorable.


1956 Japan

Why are Naruse Mikio's films so comforting? Since there are no easy-to-discuss hooks like Ozu's low angle or Mizoguchi's long take, the mystery of the production only deepens.


1937 Japan

Through the meticulously calculated layering of dialogue, Yamanaka's films expose the gulf and loneliness between people. I've never seen a film that so captures human beings in grief and portrays them in such an objective and ruthless way.


1939 Japan

When I was a teenager, I saw the film at a 16mm screening at a neighbourhood civic centre, and was so impressed that I went to see it again that night. The beauty of the long take captures the main characters walking along the river at night from the opposite bank.

Late Spring

1949 Japan

A frightening film that gently portrays people who accept the distortions of patriarchy as a matter of course, while at the same time depicting the profound loneliness that lies deep within their hearts. As usual, the perfect painting; constructed like a geometric pattern, it's intoxicating.

The Long Farewell


To be honest, I only saw it once 20 years ago, so I don't remember the details. However, I don't know of any other work that captures the separation of people with so much precision, such use of time on the screen. I remember being deeply touched and gasping for breath.

India Song

1975 France

A truly moving and powerful piece in which the cinematography and music portray with almost terrifying beauty the oppressive layers of time which simultaneously seem to be at a standstill and steadily moving towards inevitable death – all this playing out over an undercurrent of the twisted nature of colonialism. A film that immediately widened how I viewed cinema.


1926 Germany

The heroine's thoughts fly across time and space, across fields and mountains, and reach Faust. The exaltation of art easily surpasses naturalism.

...All the Marbles

1981 USA

For the film, all candidates were sent to wrestling classes for auditions. The casting is so powerful that such dynamic episodes are convincing. The film is full of cinematic delights.

Further remarks

A very personal selection. Even so, ten was far too few to include everything I had in mind. I chose Éric Rohmer to represent the Nouvelle Vague; however, I had to disregard masterpieces from Italy, the UK, Greece and Iran. Though it feels like there are far too many Japanese films, I still had to omit Kurosawa Akira, Shimizu Hiroshi and Ōshima Nagisa, not to mention films from other Asian countries. I chose Robert Aldrich’s unapologetically entertaining piece as a broad exemplar of American cinema, and could not choose any of the animated wonders of Yuri Norstein or Miyazaki Hayao. I would need at least a top 50 list.