Mani Haghighi


Voted for

Mulholland Dr.2001David Lynch
IDIOTERNE1998Lars von Trier
The Thin Blue Line1988Errol Morris
The Band Wagon1953Vincente Minnelli
Ugetsu Monogatari1953Kenji Mizoguchi
Persona1966Ingmar Bergman
La notte1961Michelangelo Antonioni
The Passion of Joan of Arc1927Carl Th. Dreyer
Shanghai Express1932Josef von Sternberg
A Woman under the Influence1974John Cassavetes


Mulholland Dr.

2001 France, USA

Because it says things to me that I understand and don’t understand at the same time.


1998 Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany

Because its hardcore punk DIY aesthetic makes the truth it explores both unbearable and unavoidable.

The Thin Blue Line

1988 USA, United Kingdom

Because it transforms the murky differences between facts and stories into a territory in and of itself.

The Band Wagon

1953 USA

Because it encapsulates perfectly the romance associated with the act of artistic creation.

Ugetsu Monogatari

1953 Japan

Because it is the supreme example of lyrical associations transforming into coherent cinematic images.


1966 Sweden

Because it’s a minimalist film that manages to assault you like a silent typhoon.

La notte

1961 Italy, France

Because it uses coldness, austerity and alienation to make you swoon with longing.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

1927 France

Because its compositions infect you like a virus and circulate in your consciousness forever.

Shanghai Express

1932 USA

Because its sharp, shiny, dark images make you feel like you are in the presence of love itself.

A Woman under the Influence

1974 USA

Because its undiluted sadness is so overwhelming it gives you hope.

Further remarks

These are the films that make me want to make films. Whenever I watch them, I get the urge to get up and light a scene, talk to an actor, move my camera. I wouldn’t make films the way I do without them. Painful omissions: Melancholia (Lars von Trier), There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson), 8½ (Federico Fellini), Ran (Kurosawa Akira), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino), GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese), Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel), Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami), Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock), Annie Hall (Woody Allen). Personal obsessions: Chungking Express (Wong Karwai), Short Cuts (Robert Altman), American Hustle (David O. Russell), Birth (Jonathan Glazer), A Heart in Winter (Claude Sautet), Visitor Q (Miike Takashi), The Untamed (Amat Escalante), The Grudge (American remake, Shimizu Takashi), Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr) and, yes, Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis).