Lautaro García Candela

Filmmaker, Critic

Voted for

Man's Castle1933Frank Borzage
Partie de campagne1936Jean Renoir
Only Angels Have Wings1939Howard Hawks
Young Mr. Lincoln1939John Ford
Wanda1970Barbara Loden
Céline and Julie Go Boating1974Jacques Rivette
JUAN MOREIRA1973Leonardo Favio
Cockfighter1974Monte Hellman
Flammes1978Adolfo Arrieta


An important part of my cinephile education was reading and researching the individual lists of certain voters in this poll in previous years. They were more important for mapping out paths of discovery than for their contribution to the canon of "best films ever." So, by that learning, my choice goes on that way. Would be a lie to say these films I chose are the best because they are not the most skillful or important films, nor the most self-assured. Most of them are not even the most complete expression of the themes and motives of their creators. That is precisely what interests me: they far exceed the strictly cinematic and capture an air of the times. More than individual films, I am interested in highlighting two particular eras that can shed light on what we are missing as filmmakers making films here and now.

The 1930s is the decade in which cinema was a toy in still naïve hands. The poverty of those years was not incompatible with lyricism (Man's Castle, Une partie de campagne). There is a possible heroism, modernizing, iconoclastic (as in Young Mr. Lincoln, Zangiku monogatari, Only Angels Have Wings). A tough but hopeful time. The 70s are its counterpart: in a crepuscular decade, depending on the place, utopias coexisted with disenchantment. Private worlds can lead us to fantasy (as in Flammes or Celine et Julie vont en bateau), to a certain laconic individualism (Wanda and Cockighter), or to the expressive excess of popular vindication (Juan Moreira). Both are decades of crisis and reformulation.

To free ourselves from the preciosist misanthropy that circulates in today's films we can learn from the bitter (but not cynical) feeling of the 70s, which comes from radical political experiences (we could add Fassbinder, Garcia-Pelayo or Eustache to the list) or from the gentle banality of the films of the 30s, which without anthropological thesis could speak to you at ground level. These are possible paths that could illuminate new angles in the films we make from now on.