|Djibril Diop Mambéty
|Cléo from 5 to 7
Gena Rowlands is mind blowing in this. I love A Woman under the Influence, it was a pretty close call on which one to choose. The moments of vulnerability, that sense of intimacy and the transformation of Rowlands once she walks on stage are stunning in one of Cassavetes' finest films.
I saw this film at Edinburgh International Film Festival when we showed our documentary Isolation a few years ago; it was presented as one of the forgotten classics of the 1970s. I think it's up there. It has an energy, a real combustible sense that the drama could go any way, that the narrative is really alive. That's a massive inspiration; trying to give the audience a sense that characters could do anything, that the narrative isn't set on a fixed path. I love films that explore that sense of a blossoming friendship and the relationship between Gene Hackman and Al Pacino is beautifully balanced.
I've never seen a film that explores the space between fiction and reality so uniquely. I'd seen Welles' F for Fake but Close-Up is on another level. It's one of those films that makes you feel happy to be alive, not necessarily in the narrative but through the human spirit that the film reveals.
The scene where Bruno gives Eva Mattes a 'sculpture' to represent how he feels is one of my favourite of all time. Stroszek manages to capture the absurdity, beauty and humour of modern life and has one of the best final scenes involving chickens…
My friend Damien who runs Close-Up Film Centre says “there are filmmakers and then there is Andrei Tarkovsky”. I have to agree. I watched Solaris in my early 20s and I kept walking around the room afterwards shaking with excitement. It showed that the possibilities of cinema are endless…
I couldn't believe how captivating Apichatpong's film is; it boils the drama down to its purest form. It illustrates that atmosphere in cinema can sometimes be captivating enough to carry the whole movie.
There is something about heartbreak in stories and cinema that I find really life affirming. Every image of Paris, Texas is burned into my memory. When I first moved to London I could only afford an old VHS copy and I watched it nearly every day.
One of the greatest haircuts in cinematic history. Even though Jack Nance's character seems lost and isolated I find it the best film to ward off loneliness. Out there somewhere there is someone who can sing you to sleep (they probably live in a radiator).
Tender, exciting and a killer soundtrack. Mambéty captures longing and love like no other.
Cléo from 5 to 7
The purity of Varda's narrative creates this amazing immersive experience. The protagonist Cléo is waiting for test results from her doctor, so as the day unfolds, everyday scenes become poignant. I also like scenes with kittens – modern films don't feature enough kittens…